AMD EPYC Rome Still Conquering Cascadelake Even Without Mitigations
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 12 August 2019. Page 3 of 3. 16 Comments

The Linux kernel scheduler benchmark "Hackbench" has shown more of an impact on previous generations of Intel CPUs though with Cascadelake's hardware mitigations no longer yields a real difference in the performance.

GIMP is one of the real-world programs that has been affected by these mitigations. The performance for GIMP has been neck-and-neck to start with due to GIMP 2.10 not being heavily threaded and thus benefits from Intel's higher clock speeds. So without mitigations, the Cascadelake vs. Rome performance was even more of a neck-and-neck battle but not that many of you would be running GIMP on a server.... For those doing batch processing of images, there are better programs like GraphicsMagick/ImageMagick.

When looking at the geometric mean across many different benchmarks, we see the very small difference the remaining toggleable software mitigations still have on AMD Rome/Zen2 and Intel Cascadelake processors. With the benchmarks carried out, the software mitigations disabled by mitigations=off had a 3% impact on performance for the Xeon Platinum 8280 while the EPYC 7742 impact with the same workloads was just over 2%. Granted, every little bit counts, but much of Rome's competitiveness can be attributed to the design improvements with Zen 2 and Intel's much belated 10nm/Icelake offerings. When comparing the unmitigated performance for these server processors, AMD still led by 20% over Intel. Need we remind you that the 20% performance advantage is also while the EPYC 7742 cost much less than the Xeon Platinum 8820, making the Rome processors particularly compelling and sure to shake up the server industry over the months and quarters ahead.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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