The 3DMark CPU Profile measures CPU performance. It includes six tests that feature custom simulations. All six tests use the same workload; it is only the amount of threading that changes, with tests limited to using either 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or the maximum number of available threads.
The 3DMark CPU Profile benchmark is designed to stress the CPU at different levels of threading while minimizing the GPU workload to ensure that GPU performance is not a limiting factor.
Short breaks for loading and saving between tests ensure that the CPU is able to cool down between tests. For this reason, the 3DMark CPU Profile should not be used as a long-running stress test.
3DMark CPU Profile tests
The Max-threads score represents the full performance potential of your CPU when using all available threads. The practical use cases for this score lie in heavy, multithreaded workloads such as 3D rendering, audio and video production, and software development.
Computationally intensive tasks such as digital content creation and 3D rendering benefit from more threads.
Modern DirectX 12 games make better use of multithreaded performance beyond 4 cores. The gaming performance of a CPU usually correlates most closely with the 8-threads score. This score also has a high correlation with the 3DMark Time Spy CPU score.
4 threads and 2 threads
Older games developed for DirectX 9 are often bottlenecked by the CPU on modern gaming PCs. The frame rates of popular esports titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive usually correlate with the 2-threads or 4-threads score.
The 1-thread score is a fundamental measure of the processor's performance. For games and real-world use cases, however, the multithreaded scores are usually a better indicator of practical performance.
Each CPU Profile test features custom simulations. The main component of the test workload is an implementation of a boid system to simulate flocking behavior. The boids use a simple, highly optimized simulation.
Half of the boids systems use the SSSE3 code path. The remaining half can use a more advanced CPU instruction set, up to AVX2, if supported by the processor. 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.