AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X has grabbed a top spot in RPCS3, a multi-platform open-source Sony PlayStation 3 emulator. The CPU outperforms all of its predecessors as well as rivals from Intel. RPCS3 gained AVX-512 support earlier this year, and AMD’s latest CPUs based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture fully support AVX-512 instructions.
AVX-512 support brings a 30% performance improvement to RPCS3, which is enough to make AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X the most powerful CPU to emulate PS3 using this emulator. Evidently, increased single-thread performance of AMD’s Zen 4 plays a big role here as well since the CPU outperforms AVX-512-enabled Intel’s 11th Generation Core ‘Rocket Lake’ processors (via Reddit).
Intel’s AVX-512 instructions are perfect for emulating Sony’s PlayStation 3. This console is based on the Cell CPU featuring one general-purpose Power core and eight synergistic processing elements (SPEs) featuring a proprietary instruction set architecture with in order execution and 128-bit SIMD organization. The Cell processor offered explicit parallelism and large file registers, a combination that AVX-512-supporting multi-core CPUs fully support. Meanwhile, the popular LLVM compiler can automatically choose the best code path that can be executed and in case of AVX-512-enabled hardware it brings a 30% performance uplift.
Truth to be told, contemporary gaming PCs are powerful enough to emulate Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console from 2006, and most of them should be good enough to play some old games and relieve experience from 15 years ago. Meanwhile, RPCS3 can add some eye candy using AMD’s FSR technology as well as some additional framerates courtesy of modern hardware to get a more 2022 experience.
It remains to be seen how AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X processor stacks up against Intel’s Core i9-13900K, but we are pretty sure that the former CPU will continue to lead — at least in applications that take advantage of AVX-512 instructions. A 30% performance bump is hard to offset with high clocks and large caches alone.