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A different type of performance

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Posted · Original PosterOP

When I read posts on this forum or watch LLT;s (Or basically any tech channel's) videos about CPUs, I always hear that CPUs are not as important as Graphics Cards, and they then measure the FPS in a pile of games and talk about the CPU's secondary effect on graphics performance. Clearly CPU's are not super critical as long as you don't get a crap one, BUT I have found a situation in which this may not apply.


Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is a where you are in charge of a space agency and build and fly rockets to other planets, it has 2-body Newtonian physics (Or even N-body if you download a mod), most realistic aerodynamics, and the craft are effected by physics. As such it has to run physics calculations on dozens (Or if you're trying to do anything impressive, hundreds) of parts. This makes it an insane CPU hog, even more so considering that any vehicle can only use one CPU core. KSP's graphics are impressively basic. Terrain has almost no small scale detail, you can literally see that the planets are based off low res map images, nearly all the hills in the game are square with points at the center due to the pixelatedness of the terrain, and the atmospheric effects extend to making the sky map blue instead of black. Despite this, even on my friend's fairly graphically capable laptop, it can only barely run at 24FPS with all settings turned down. While the game is badly optimized, this is mainly still a problem caused by a limit on the CPU's ability to do that much math with only one core.


My question is: At this point, for someone with a sub $1000USD budget, AMD and Intel are close in terms of FPS in fancy, graphics dependent games, however I am curious to know if anyone has experience with the difference in the physics calculation performance of the offerings from these companies. 


Also, there is a little known game called Minecraft, that has a similar situation, although not quite this extreme. EVERY SINGLE CPU BENCHMARK I CAN FIND for MC is judging performance based on FPS, but even my oldest, 2008 laptop with the graphics performance of a pen and paper can run it at 60FPS at default settings, what it cannot do is run the game at full 20 Ticks per second. Doing this is not normally a problem for my not as old computer, but I am still curious about this as well, as it takes a full 10 minutes to build farms that can tear through minecraft's single threaded limits.

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If the game is really terrible in using multiple cores, then Intel's single thread advantage could still take the crown. I play BeamNG drive though which although it also does a lot of physics calculation on the CPU, it can use multiple cores for multiple objects which means the stronger multithread Ryzen CPUs take the lead.

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1


Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync


Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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Intel focuses more on single threaded performance than AMD does.

Single thread passmark scores will give you a good idea of which chips perform best in KSP and MC.


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