The Time Spy CPU test measures processor performance using a combination of physics computations and custom simulations. It is designed to stress the CPU while minimizing GPU load to ensure that GPU performance is not a limiting factor.
The CPU test uses a fixed time step. This means that the speed at which the timeline advances is constant. As a result, the same frames are simulated and rendered on every system but the time taken to complete the test will vary.
The two main components of the test workload are an implementation of a boid system to simulate flocking behavior and a physics simulation. The boids use a simple, highly optimized simulation whereas the physics simulation is performed with the x86 path of the Bullet Open Source Physics library (v2.83) using rigid bodies and a Featherstone solver. Of the two, the boids are more dominant accounting for 40% to 70% of the workload.
In the Time Spy CPU test, the boids are implemented with SSSE3 vectorization, which is common practice in games.
The test metric is the average frame rate reported in frames per second. A higher value means better performance.