Question Best single threaded performance parts?

stuffwhy

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While I assume that the fastest CPUs nowadays are fastest period, I'm in a position where specialized, but dated, software I use is only single-threaded in nature. More cores put up better numbers in benchmarks, but I assume raw clock speed is more what I should be looking toward. What consumer level CPU promises me best, or at least the sweet spot vs cost, single threaded performance? Is it the current leading i7? Or maybe something from AMD? And, should I look into things like disabling hyperthreading or even disabling a few of the CPU cores to give headroom to the others? I'm not interested in overclocking because I need these machines to be as stable as possible.
 

kanewolf

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Is your software data intensive? Then more memory channels will benefit. Does it mostly fit in the CPU cache? Then more cache can benefit. Clock speed is important, as is instructions per clock (IPC). The Intel i5-7600K has a base freq of 3.8Ghz. The i5-9800K has a base freq of 3.7Ghz. Those are going to be the fastest single threaded CPUs. Put an NVMe SSD and a matched set of high clock speed RAM for maximum performance.
 
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rigg42

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Any of the current Intel socket 1151 i7/19 chips that have a K SKU should do the trick. The nature of background tasks in windows dictates that you'll probably never really see that max single thread turbo unless you are completely idle. Still you would see a solid 4.7 ghz at all times (with an 8700k or 9900k) which is faster than any of the non k SKUs or Ryzen can achieve. Maxing out the power limits in the UEFI will be needed to achieve this with some motherboards. I'd go with a cheaper z390 board (even though you are not overclocking) so you can use faster RAM. It will also have better resale down the road.

I understand your reluctance to overclock on a workstation PC. You would be able to get the most performance for the least money if you did though. If this is your only use case an overclocked 8350k would probably be the best single thread performance for the least amount of money.

If you can wait a few months to see what ryzen 3000 series brings to the table AMD might actually out perform Intel in single threaded performance. It's all just rumors and conjecture at this point though.
 
"probably never see that max single core turbo unless you are completely idle"

Sounds a bit backwards to me, as if a mis-speak...; if a rig were truly 'idle', it would likely sit at near 800 MHz, with a few cores bursting to 1200-2000 MHz for fractions of a second to perform assorted WIndows tasks.

I'd contend that most will likely see assorted cores bouncing all over the place at various clock speeds, with HWMonitor showing twice per second updates, with clock speeds bouncing from 800 MHz to 4.7 GHz (7700K, MCE enabled, Intel XTU altered to allow all-core turbo to 4700 MHz) when things are happening...; I see clocks from 800 to 1000, to 2200, with frequent bursting to 3500, to 4400, to 4700 MHz, even in Chrome reading THG forums, or watching Youtube, etc...
 
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rigg42

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"probably never see that max single core turbo unless you are completely idle"

Sounds a bit backwards to me, as if a mis-speak...; if a rig were truly 'idle', it would likely sit at near 800 MHz, with a few cores bursting to 1200-2000 MHz for fractions of a second to perform assorted WIndows tasks.

I'd contend that most will likely see assorted cores bouncing all over the place at various clock speeds, with HWMonitor showing twice per second updates, with clock speeds bouncing from 800 MHz to 4.7 GHz (7700K, MCE enabled, Intel XTU altered to allow all-core turbo to 4700 MHz) when things are happening...; I see clocks from 800 to 1000, to 2200, with frequent bursting to 3500, to 4400, to 4700 MHz, even in Chrome reading THG forums, or watching Youtube, etc...
Depends on the power settings in windows and how you have c-states setup in the bios. I always run performance mode in windows on intel systems. With performance mode it periodically hits max single core boost at idle on idividual cores. With power and duration limits maxed in bios it hits at least max all core at pretty much any load up to and including 100%. How high of frequency it can sustain an all core turbo is dependent on the cpu. MCE might impact this I don't really recall. I know my 9900k sustained 4.7 all core without MCE. The 8700k may have required MCE to sustain that. I know for sure my 8700 won't go above 4.3 and I don't think there is a MCE option with non K chips. I work with a lot of different bios' and chips so this stuff tends to get a bit jumbled.
 
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stuffwhy

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I'm getting the idea, which I suppose I should have realized, that pure clock speed is what I'm after for single thread performance, perhaps even regardless of whether I get an i3/i5/or i7 class CPU. Also, things are relatively data intensive, so I should mind memory speed and channels, although I'm probably limited to two channels being budgetarily restricted to consumer grade hardware and probably can't afford any HEDT gear.
 

rigg42

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Now that they added turbo boost to 9th gen i3's the 9350k is the best bargain for pure single thread stock turbo. You need to go all the way up to a 9th gen i7 to beat it. Pairing that with a cheap z390 and some 3600 B-die memory could be interesting. You could do that combo for less than a 9900k alone would cost.
 

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