Chromium Compile: Windows VC++ Compile of Chrome

A large number of AnandTech readers are software engineers, looking at how the hardware they use performs. While compiling a Linux kernel is ‘standard’ for the reviewers who often compile, our test is a little more varied – we are using the windows instructions to compile Chrome, specifically a Chrome 56 build from March 2017, as that was when we built the test. Google quite handily gives instructions on how to compile with Windows, along with a 400k file download for the repo. This is by far one of our most popular benchmarks, and is a good measure of core performance, multithreading performance, and also memory accesses.

In our test, using Google’s instructions, we use the MSVC compiler and ninja developer tools to manage the compile. As you may expect, the benchmark is variably threaded, with a mix of DRAM requirements that benefit from faster caches. Data procured in our test is the time taken for the compile, which we convert into compiles per day. The benchmark takes anywhere from an hour on a fast single high-end desktop processor to several hours on the slowest offerings.

Compile Chromium (Rate)

Prior to this test, the two CPUs battling it out for supremacy were the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 2950X, and the 8-core i9-9900K. By adding six more cores, a lot more frequency, and two more memory channels, the Core i9-9990XE plows through this test very easily, perfoming the compile in 42 minutes and 10 seconds, and is the only processor to broach the 50 minute mark, let alone the 45 minute mark. 

The Intel Core i9-9990XE Review CPU Performance: Rendering Tests
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  • edzieba - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    An ASIC has a significant (many months to years) lead time between "we need X design" and functioning silicon. Trading algorithms are a constant arms race being updated to counter others' algorithm changes (who then counter your counters, etc) on the days to hours timescales.
  • shtldr - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    If you've got all the money (which you should, in case you are a successful algorithmic trader), why not go ASIC?
  • Dribble - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    It's not as simple as you need hundreds of threads or you need one. Compiling is an obvious example. You have a mixture of tasks - some take more threads (e.g. you have a large number of files in a makefile you can compile at once), some take less threads (you have a smaller makefile with only a few files), some take one thread (you need to link).
    A chip like this with 14 cores and very high single thread performance it turns out is ideal for this sort of task.
    Compiling is very much not a niche market.
  • eek2121 - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    Word (in the article) is that it helps with web browsing as well. So there is that. ;)

    That being said, I don't look at this CPU as being competitive to AMD offerings simply because you can't buy the thing. However it is nice to see that Intel can do something if they put their mind to it.
  • bananaforscale - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    Well, multiple cores *do* help with web browsing, doesn't mean you need 14@5 GHz. :D
  • MattZN - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    You don't need all those cores running on a single platform to do HFT. In fact, that winds up being a negative because all the cores are competing for memory cycles. Instead what you want to do is mirror (not split, but do a full mirror) the packet stream to a whole bunch of platforms with fewer cores which can then maximally leverage their memory bandwidth and CPU caches. You also filter the packets inside the NIC itself, not with the CPU.

    You also don't need to have a high-frequency CPU to minimize response time. The CPU is calculating outcomes from likely moves way ahead of time, long before actually receiving any packet telling it what movement actually happened. When the packet comes in, the CPU really only needs to look up the appropriate response from a table that has already been calculated. In fact, the NIC itself could do the table lookup for certain actions and bypass the CPU entirely.

    So you want lots of cores, but they don't actually have to be ultra fast. Anyone using something like this processor to try to 'get ahead' in the HFT game is going to be in for a big surprise.

  • Spunjji - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    Thanks for the clarification. I thought that leaning on a single, many-core high-frequency CPU for this sort of task sounded a lot like optimising the wrong part of the whole process.
  • peevee - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    That's the point. It does not make them much money, the volume is simply not there. It is for INTEL's bragging.
  • eek2121 - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    They likely auction the chips due to the aggressive binning required. I expect if they could roll out this kind of chip easily, they would have already. Think: 10 chips for every 100,000 can do 4-5 GHz @ 14 cores, 255 watt TDP.
  • lazarpandar - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    So if you have an absurd amount of money and can't scale with more cores beyond 14...

    What a stupid product.

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