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The Mitigation Impact Difference On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week I shared benchmark results of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Intel Core i9 9900K in 400+ benchmarks in the largest comparison ever for these two competing ~$500 USD processors. If that wasn't enough, I repeated the hundreds of CPU/system benchmarks again but without any of the recent CPU security mitigations in place to see how the situation would have played out pre-2018.

Immediately following those tests last week, I restarted the large benchmark queue with the 300+ system/CPU tests (foregoing the gaming benchmarks with the various CPU speculative execution vulnerabilities having little impact on gaming/graphics performance). As a reminder, both the Intel and AMD systems were tested on Ubuntu 19.10 with the Linux 5.3 kernel and all of the other latest software components for this H2'2019 update to Ubuntu Linux.

The Core i9 9900K was running with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard and the Ryzen 9 3900X with the ROG CROSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard, both boards using their very latest public BIOS releases as of testing. Both systems were tested with the same GSKILL 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, 280GB Intel Optane 900p NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card.

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  • Intel SGX foundations
    Intel(R) SGX is a set of CPU instructions that can be used by applications
    to set aside private regions of code and data. The code outside the enclave
    is disallowed to access the memory inside the enclave by the CPU access
    control.
    
    There is a new hardware unit in the processor called Memory Encryption
    Engine (MEE) starting from the Skylake microacrhitecture. BIOS can define
    one or many MEE regions that can hold enclave data by configuring them with
    PRMRR registers.
    
    The MEE automatically encrypts the data leaving the processor package to
    the MEE regions. The data is encrypted using a random key whose life-time
    is exactly one power cycle.
    
    The current implementation requires that the firmware sets
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    decide what enclaves it wants run. The implementation does not create
    any bottlenecks to support read-only MSRs later on.
    
    You can tell if your CPU supports SGX by looking into /proc/cpuinfo:
    
    	cat /proc/cpuinfo  | grep sgx