SPEC CPU - Multi-Threaded Performance

Moving onto multi-threaded SPEC CPU 2017 results, these are the same workloads as on the single-threaded test (we purposefully avoid Speed variants of the workloads in ST tests). The key to performance here is not only microarchitecture or core count, but the overall power efficiency of the system and the levels of performance we can fit into the thermal envelope of the device we’re testing.

It’s to be noted that among the four chips I put into the graph, the i9-11980HK is the only one at a 45W TDP, while the AMD competition lands in at 35W, and the i7-1185G7 comes at a lower 28W. The test takes several hours of runtime (6 hours for this TGL-H SKU) and is under constant full load, so lower duration boost mechanisms don’t come into play here.

SPECint2017 Rate-N Estimated Scores

Generally as expected, the 8-core TGL-H chip leaves the 4-core TGL-U sibling in the dust, in many cases showcasing well over double the performance. The i9-11980HK also fares extremely well against the AMD competition in workloads which are more DRAM or cache heavy, however falls behind in other workloads which are more core-local and execution throughput bound. Generally that’d be a fair even battle argument between the designs, if it weren’t for the fact that the AMD systems are running at 23% lower TDPs.

SPECfp2017 Rate-N Estimated Scores

In the floating-point multi-threaded suite, we again see a similar competitive scenario where the TGL-H system battles against the best Cezanne and Renoir chips.

What’s rather odd here in the results is 503.bwaves_r and 549.fotonik_r which perform far below the numbers which we were able to measure on the TGL-U system. I think what’s happening here is that we’re hitting DRAM memory-level parallelism limits, with the smaller TGL-U system and its 8x16b LPDDR4 channel memory configuration allowing for more parallel transactions as the 2x64b DDR4 channels on the TGL-H system.

SPEC2017 Rate-N Estimated Total

In terms of the overall performance, the 45W 11980HK actually ends up losing to AMD’s Ryzen 5980HS even with 10W more TDP headroom, at least in the integer suite.

We also had initially run the suite in 65W mode, the results here aren’t very good at all, especially when comparing it to the 45W results. For +40-44% TDP, the i9-11980HK in Intel’s reference laptop only performs +9.4% better. It’s likely here that this is due to the aforementioned heavy thermal throttling the system has to fall to, with long periods of time at 35W state, which pulls down the performance well below the expected figures. I have to be explicit here that these 65W results are not representative of the full real 65W performance capabilities of the 11980HK – just that of this particular thermal solution within this Intel reference design.

SPEC CPU - Single-Threaded Performance CPU Tests: Office and Science
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  • mode_13h - Monday, May 17, 2021 - link

    That's clearly not a M.2 drive and therefore not a laptop. Please reread my question. Reply
  • xpclient - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    It is from an M.2 gen 4 drive in a gaming laptop - ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 (GX703HS model – Core i9 11900H + RTX 3080 140W, 4K 120Hz screen) but I get your point - at the moment, not many will need such speeds. Gen 3 will serve them fine. Please do not question the benchmark itself. Personally I got an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H-based machine myself, without waiting for Tiger Lake H45. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    xpclient> It is from an M.2 gen 4 drive in a gaming laptop - ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703
    xpclient> (GX703HS model – Core i9 11900H + RTX 3080 140W, 4K 120Hz screen)

    BS. Look at the numbers: you cannot do 10.5 GB/s read or 9.8 GB/s write over PCIe 4.0 x4.

    I don't know what it's from, but it's no mere x4 drive. Maybe a 4-drive RAID-0 or something like that.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    @mode_13 Those scores are from a laptop that comes with a 3-drive RAID-0 config, which is - quite frankly - an absurd setup to have by default for a gaming system. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    spunji> Those scores are from a laptop that comes with a 3-drive RAID-0 config

    Wow, so I was actually close!

    > which is - quite frankly - an absurd setup to have by default for a gaming system.

    Yeah, I'd say a 3-drive RAID-5 might make sense in a mobile workstation for editing digital cinema footage on-location.
    Reply
  • xpclient - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - link

    @mode_13h and @Spunjji, my apologies. I didn't notice the 3 drive RAID config in that review article of an ASUS laptop and missed that completely. My bad. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, May 20, 2021 - link

    > my apologies.

    No problem. It did spark an interesting tangent about RAID in laptops.

    Thanks for the follow-up. It's a good idea to sanity-check the numbers, since that's what first caught my attention.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, May 20, 2021 - link

    @xpclient - no harm no foul! Reply
  • Bagheera - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    let's not forget that Intel was 2 years late to PCIe4 on DESKTOP and Intel fans didn't seem to mind. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - link

    > let's not forget that Intel was 2 years late to PCIe4 on DESKTOP

    It's there now. If you weren't in the market for a new PC in the past 2 years, what does it matter?

    > and Intel fans didn't seem to mind.

    Not even just Intel fans. AMD was early with their PCIe 4, on the desktop. That's why they caught Intel by surprise. Because, at the time, PCIe 3 was good enough. We're only just starting to see some minor advantages for PCIe 4, on the desktop. It's no game changer.

    Honestly, of all the criticisms you could make of Intel, this is one of the weaker ones.
    Reply

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