In 2017, both AMD and Intel introduced new processors with more cores than had ever been seen in a consumer-level CPU before.
The Time Spy CPU Test does not scale well on processors with 10 or more threads. It simply doesn’t have enough workload for the large-scale parallelization that high-end CPUs provide. A new test is needed.
Enhanced test design
The Time Spy Extreme CPU Test also features a combination of physics computations and custom simulations, but it is three times more demanding than the Time Spy CPU Test.
Adding more simulation requires more visualization, however, which can make rendering the bottleneck in some cases. This issue was solved by changing the metric for the test.
Instead of calculating the time taken to execute an entire frame, in the Time Spy Extreme CPU Test we only measure the time taken to complete the simulation work. The rendering work in each frame is done before the simulation and doesn’t affect the score.
The test metric is the average simulation time per frame reported in milliseconds. With this metric a lower number means better performance.
Time Spy Extreme should not be used to benchmark systems with integrated graphics as the rendering will affect the simulation time on such systems due to shared resources.
CPU instruction sets
In the Time Spy CPU Test, the boids simulation is implemented with SSSE3.
In the Time Spy Extreme CPU Test, half of the boids systems can use a more advanced CPU instruction set, up to AVX2, if supported by the processor. The remaining half use the SSSE3 code path.
The split makes the test more realistic since games typically have several types of simulation or similar tasks running at once and would be unlikely to use a single instruction set for all of them.
With Custom run settings, you can choose which CPU instruction set to use, up to AVX512. The selected set will be used for all boid systems, provided it is supported by the processor under test.
You can evaluate the performance gains of different instruction sets by comparing custom run scores, but note that the choice of set doesn’t affect the physics simulations, which always use SSSE3 and are 15-30% of the workload.