Here we go again—in the lead up to the eventual unveiling of new Threadripper processors based on AMD's 7-nanometer Zen 2 CPU architecture, one of the upcoming chips has again made an appearance on Geekbench. What is remarkable about this particular leak, however, is how just well the leaked CPU performs.
That is assuming the database entry is legitimate, and of course we have no way of knowing that for sure. What we do know is that the listing indicates a "Sharkstooth" (third-generation Threadripper) processor with 32 physical cores and 64 threads of computing muscle. According to the database entry, the third-gen Threadripper part has a 2.2GHz base clock and 4.17GHz (probably 4.2GHz) boost clock, along with a generous 128MB of L3 cache (16MB x 8).
Here are the scores...
The presumed Threadripper part scored 5,523 in the single-core test and 68,576 in the multi-core test. To put those scores into perspective, here's a database entry for a current generation Threadripper 2990WX processor scoring 4,776 and 36,042 in those same single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.
It's perhaps the best comparison to make, because the Threadripper 2990WX is also a high-end desktop (HEDT) processor with the same number of cores and threads, at similar clocks. Yet the leaked third-gen Threadripper chip posted a single-core score that is 15.6 percent higher, and a multi-core score that is a whopping 90.2 percent higher.
The scores are nothing short of impressive. At the same time, it's hard to fathom a nearly 2X increase in multi-core performance over Zen+. It is entirely possibly that Geekbench is misreading the clockspeeds, or something else could be afoot. Nevertheless, the numbers as presented are all we have to go on.
If sticking with consumer desktop processors (read: not server parts), Intel's top HEDT CPU is the Core i9-9980XE. In Geekbench, that chip typically scores around 5,400 in the single-core test and around 49,500 in the multi-core test (in Windows 10). Granted, it has fewer cores and threads, as it's an 18-core/36-thread CPU. In terms of bang-for-buck, though, it's a fair comparison, given that they are priced similarly.
Here's a look at our own collection of scores for more reference points...
Where things will get interesting is with Cascade Lake-X versus the next round of Threadripper processors. We've also seen leaked benchmarks of Cascade Lake-X, with a 18-core/36-thread part scoring 5,387 (single-core) and 54,597 (multi-core) in Geekbench. If we break down the latter score, the Cascade Lake-X part scores 3,033 per core, whereas the Sharkstooth sample above scores 2,143 per core.
It's not clear how far Cascade Lake-X will scale in scores. Unless Intel is willing to match AMD in cores and threads, Threadripper will likely end up the better performing part in multi-threaded workloads. And if the past repeats itself, the bang-for-buck proposition is likely to be higher as well. But, those are comparisons for another day.