Core i7 8700K vs. Ryzen 7 1800X For NVIDIA/Radeon Linux Gaming
Following last week's look at using the new "Coffee Lake" Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 CPUs for Linux gaming comparison among our other ongoing tests of these new "8th Gen" processors, a frequent request has been a closer look at the gaming performance between the Core i7 8700K and the Ryzen 7 1800X. Here's a look with two AMD Radeon graphics cards and two NVIDIA GeForce offerings.
The Core i7 8700K is priced at around $360 USD and offers six cores plus Hyper Threading to yield 12 threads. The i7-8700K has a 3.7GHz base frequency with 4.7GHz turbo frequency, 12MB L3 cache, and has a 95 Watt TDP. The Core i7 8700K was paired with the ASUS PRIME Z370-A motherboard.
The Ryzen 7 1800X meanwhile is commanding a $440~450 USD price while offering eight cores / sixteen threads, 3.6GHz base clock speed, 4.0GHz turbo core speed, 16MB L3 cache, and a 95 Watt TDP. The Ryzen 7 1800X offers the two extras cores, but as we know from past tests, not many OpenGL/Vulkan Linux games are well optimized for a multi-core experience in which case the i7-8700K may have the advantage due to its higher clock speeds. The Ryzen 7 1800X was paired with the MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM motherboard.
Both systems were running Ubuntu 17.04 x86_64 with the Linux 4.13.6 kernel and shared components included 2 x 8GB Corsair DDR4-3200 memory and Corsair MP500 128GB NVMe SSD.
The tested graphics cards were the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti on the NVIDIA side paired with the 387.12 driver. On the AMD side was the RX 580 and R9 Fury with the Linux 4.13 AMDGPU DRM and Mesa 17.3-dev + LLVM 6.0 SVN via the Padoka PPA. The RX Vega cards weren't used due to using the mainline kernel tree where there isn't yet the Vega display support until 4.15 with AMDGPU DC and due to hitting several Vega regressions recently that would have limited the games used for testing in this article.
All of these OpenGL and Vulkan tests on the two systems across the four graphics cards were run in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.