Upgrading my PC to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X System – Benchmarks

It wasn’t easy this time. Don’t get me wrong – the VFIO passthrough part, though challenging in some ways, went quite well. All in all I’m pleased now with the results. Here the Passmark 9.0 benchmark as uploaded onto their database (for more details, click the frame below):

PassMark Rating

VM hardware and software configuration:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU
  • Gigabyte Aorus Pro X570 motherboard
  • Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini-ITX OC (Nvidia) GPU for guest
  • Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB NVMe drive for guest, using an LVM volume (not passthrough !)
  • 48 GB VM memory
  • Qemu 4.0
  • virt-manager based configuration – configuration see at the bottom

Here some individual results:

Passmark 9.0 result for AMD Ryzen 9 3900X based virtual machine

I was surprised to discover a major improvement in the 2D benchmark. Here a comparison with my previous Intel i7-3930K based system using the same Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card:

Passmark 2D benchmark comparison with previous Intel i7 3930K based system

Even 3D graphics performance improved slightly (not shown here).

But given the fact that I didn’t upgrade my graphics card, the real improvement was in CPU power:

Passmark 9.0 CPU benchmark of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X based virtual machine

I had moved my existing Windows installation from an SSD onto a NVMe drive. The performance boost is impressive:

Sequential read performance of NVMe versus SSD based system
Random read-write performance of NVMe versus SSD based system

The only sub-test that didn’t show an improvement was memory latency. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that my previous Intel 3930k PC system used quad-channel memory.

Passmark memory latency comparison – the Ryzen 9 has significantly more latency

But all in all, memory performance is good:

Passmark memory benchmark

For comparison, have a look at the Geekbench 5 results for the Linux host versus the Geekbench 5 results inside the Windows 10 VM.

In summary: The upgrade to a Ryzen 9 3900X platform combined with new NVMe drives has given a substantial performance boost that can also be used in a VM.

For those interested, here is the configuration used when running the benchmark:

<domain type='kvm' xmlns:qemu='http://libvirt.org/schemas/domain/qemu/1.0'>
<libosinfo:libosinfo xmlns:libosinfo="http://libosinfo.org/xmlns/libvirt/domain/1.0">
<libosinfo:os id="http://microsoft.com/win/10"/>
<memory unit='KiB'>50331648</memory>
<currentMemory unit='KiB'>50331648</currentMemory>
<vcpu placement='static'>24</vcpu>
<type arch='x86_64' machine='pc-q35-4.0'>hvm</type>
<loader readonly='yes' type='pflash'>/usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd</loader>
<bootmenu enable='no'/>
<relaxed state='on'/>
<vapic state='on'/>
<spinlocks state='on' retries='8191'/>
<vpindex state='on'/>
<synic state='on'/>
<stimer state='on'/>
<reset state='on'/>
<vendor_id state='on' value='Gigabyte Inc'/>
<frequencies state='on'/>
<hidden state='on'/>
<vmport state='off'/>
<ioapic driver='kvm'/>
<cpu mode='host-passthrough' check='none'>
<topology sockets='1' cores='12' threads='2'/>
<cache mode='passthrough'/>
<feature policy='require' name='topoext'/>
<clock offset='localtime'>
<timer name='rtc' tickpolicy='catchup'/>
<timer name='pit' tickpolicy='delay'/>
<timer name='hpet' present='no'/>
<timer name='hypervclock' present='yes'/>
<suspend-to-mem enabled='no'/>
<suspend-to-disk enabled='no'/>
<disk type='block' device='disk'>
<driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='none' discard='unmap'/>
<source dev='/dev/vmvg/win10'/>
<target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/>
<boot order='1'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x03' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<disk type='block' device='disk'>
<driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='none' io='native'/>
<source dev='/dev/photos/photo_stripe'/>
<target dev='vdb' bus='virtio'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x08' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<disk type='block' device='disk'>
<driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='none' io='native'/>
<source dev='/dev/media/photo_raw'/>
<target dev='vdc' bus='virtio'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x0a' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<controller type='usb' index='0' model='qemu-xhci' ports='15'>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x02' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<controller type='sata' index='0'>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x1f' function='0x2'/>
<controller type='pci' index='0' model='pcie-root'/>
<controller type='pci' index='1' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='1' port='0x8'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x0' multifunction='on'/>
<controller type='pci' index='2' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='2' port='0x9'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x1'/>
<controller type='pci' index='3' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='3' port='0xa'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x2'/>
<controller type='pci' index='4' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='4' port='0xb'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x3'/>
<controller type='pci' index='5' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='5' port='0xc'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x4'/>
<controller type='pci' index='6' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='6' port='0xd'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x5'/>
<controller type='pci' index='7' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='7' port='0xe'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x6'/>
<controller type='pci' index='8' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='8' port='0xf'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x7'/>
<controller type='pci' index='9' model='pcie-to-pci-bridge'>
<model name='pcie-pci-bridge'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x07' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<controller type='pci' index='10' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='10' port='0x10'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0' multifunction='on'/>
<controller type='pci' index='11' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='11' port='0x11'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x1'/>
<controller type='pci' index='12' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='12' port='0x12'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x2'/>
<controller type='pci' index='13' model='pcie-root-port'>
<model name='pcie-root-port'/>
<target chassis='13' port='0x13'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x3'/>
<interface type='bridge'>
<mac address='52:54:00:e1:80:c2'/>
<source bridge='br0'/>
<model type='virtio'/>
<driver name='qemu'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x01' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<input type='mouse' bus='ps2'/>
<input type='keyboard' bus='ps2'/>
<sound model='ich9'>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x1b' function='0x0'/>
<hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
<address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0b' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
<address domain='0x0000' bus='0x0b' slot='0x00' function='0x1'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x05' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
<address domain='0x0000' bus='0x08' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x0b' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
<address domain='0x0000' bus='0x08' slot='0x00' function='0x1'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x0c' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
<address domain='0x0000' bus='0x08' slot='0x00' function='0x3'/>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x0d' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<memballoon model='virtio'>
<address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x06' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
<qemu:arg value='-audiodev'/>
<qemu:arg value='pa,id=pa1,server=/run/user/1000/pulse/native'/>

A special thanks goes to Bryan who provided a wonderful libvirt / virt-manager based tutorial. Much of the configuration is based on his tutorial, with some changes as I saw fit.

I’m still not through with testing, so the configuration can change.

Author: Heiko Sieger

The day has 24 hours. If that isn't enough, I also use the night.

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