The first review of China’s domestically produced Loongson 3A6000 CPU has been published, revealing better IPC than Intel’s 10th Gen & AMD Zen 2 architectures.
China’s Domestic Chips Now Have Better IPC Than 3-Year-Old AMD & Intel CPUs, Reveals Loongson 3A6000 Review
A few weeks back, we reported that Loongson has begun shipping the very first PCs equipped with its latest 3A6000 CPUs in the Chinese domestic market. Featuring the new Dragon core architecture and a range of optimizations, the new chips are said to deliver a major improvement over the older 3A5000 CPUs.
In terms of specifications, the Loongson 3A6000 CPU features a quad-core design (4C/8T) and an operating frequency of 2.5 GHz (peak). The CPU uses a 4th Generation Dragon architecture which integrates LA664 cores with support for 128-bit vector processing extended instructions (LSX) and the 256-bit advanced vector processing extended instructions (LASX) along with SMT2.
The PC that the Loongson 3A6000 came equipped with is designed for the Chinese domestic market and includes the motherboard, a power supply, two 8 GB DDR4-3200 memory modules, a 256 GB SSD, and an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card. The CPU is seated beneath a standard circular heatsink with active fan cooling while the PCH rests beneath a smaller passive heatsink. Power is provided through an 8-pin CPU and 24-pin ATX connector. The CPU itself comes in the BGA form factor and hence is embedded into the motherboard.
The Loongson 3A6000 CPU was compared against the older 3A5000 chip along with the Intel Core i3-10100 and AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPUs. In both SPEC CPU INT & FP tests, the 3A6000 performed up to twice as fast compared to its predecessor while offering comparable performance against Intel & AMD chips. The major difference was that the Intel and AMD chips run at higher clocks with the i3-10100 offering a 60% peak clock of 4.0 GHz and the Ryzen 3 3100 offering a 56% peak clock of 3.90 GHz. Despite offering higher clocks, the Core i3-13100 stumbled in both single-core tests versus the Loongson 3A6000.
Loongson 3A6000 CPU Performance Benchmarks (Image Source: MyDrivers):
In UnixBench, the Loongson 3A6000 offered a 72% boost in multi-core and 40% boost in single-core performance versus its predecessor and once again came in close to the Intel & AMD counterparts. In terms of video playback, the CPU offered smooth 1080P 30 FPS and 4K 30 FPS playback while the frames dropped a bit when playing 4K 60 FPS videos.
The tests right now are quite limited as we don’t get thermals, power & gaming figures. It is said that the CPU can run a range of games including the latest Tomb Raider titles, Torchlight, Dead Cells, and World of Warcraft but the gaming support is still in early stages so expect more updates later on.
This marks a major development for China’s domestic CPU development. A 30% IPC uplift over Intel 10th Gen CPUs is very strong and if Loongson is able to bridge the frequency and core count gap, they might have a very strong product. The company is also set to launch higher-core count CPUs including the 8-Core 3B6000, 16-Core 3C6000, and 32-Core 3D6000 next year which will serve the workstation and server segments. Continued progress will definitely help them close the gap with Intel’s and AMD’s latest offerings.