Loongson 3A5000 Benchmarks For These New Chinese CPUs Built On The LoongArch ISA

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 24 July 2021 at 01:55 PM EDT. 93 Comments
While Loongson has been known for their MIPS-based Loongson chips that are open-source friendly and have long been based on MIPS, with MIPS now being a dead-end, the Chinese company has begun producing chips using its own "LoongArch" ISA. The first Loongson 3A5000 series hardware was just announced and thanks to the company apparently using the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org we have some initial numbers.

Announced this week was the Loongson 3A5000 as their first LoongArch ISA chip that is quad-core with clock speeds up to 2.3~2.5GHz. Loongson 3A5000 offers a reported 50% performance boost over their prior MIPS-based chips while consuming less power and now also supporting DDR4-3200 memory. The Loongson 3A5000 series is intended for domestic Chinese PCs without relying on foreign IP and there is also the 3A5000LL processors intended for servers.

While the 3A5000 series was just announced, in the past few days some party in China -- likely Loongson themselves -- have begun uploading benchmark results from the Phoronix Test Suite to OpenBenchmarking.org. The past few days has seen several Loongson-3A5000LL benchmarks uploaded. But going back to last month are also many Loongson 3A5000 benchmarks in general.

Click through those search results for all of the benchmarks uploaded, but overall the performance isn't that impressive if comparing itself to modern Intel/AMD or even Arm competition. Take for example the easy C-Ray benchmark on the 3A5000 at around 393 seconds... Compared to the composite ranking for C-Ray via OB, that puts this new Chinese CPU around the speed of an Arm-based Phytium FT-2000 or Core i3 8109U / Core 2 Quad Q9500 / Core i5 750.

Or even the Perl benchmark on Loongson 3A5000LL puts it among the slowest results we've seen. Or for the PC (non-LL/server) version, benchmarks there show a Core i5 7200U Kaby Lake CPU easily slaughtering it in the lightweight SciMark2 benchmark. Or there is this comparison in several benchmarks of the Loongson-3A5000 against the Phytium ARMv8 SoC that is also made in China.

The Loongson 3A5000 is a step forward for China in domestically made PC/server processors using their own "LoongArch" ISA but of all the public data so far on OpenBenchmarking.org I haven't seen any points putting it remotely close to modern x86_64 or ARMv8 hardware.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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