Amd ryzen 1950x


AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X review

Over the past half year, AMD has redefined the processor world with high-core count and affordable Ryzen CPUs. Now, the $999 (£999, AU$1,439) Threadripper 1950X feels even more ambitious. This might just seem like a Ryzen chip on steroids, but it also introduces an architecture, as well as features, previously only seen in servers and enterprise-grade computers.

  • Get all the latest AMD Threadripper news

Equipped with 16 cores and 32 threads, there aren’t many processors that can stand up to the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X – including the equally-priced $999 (£899, AU$1,449) Intel Core i9-7900X. 

That said, you’re looking at a pretty expensive CPU with way more power than most people need. Also, because Threadripper is so different to any consumer CPU before it, the 1950X runs into a few problems that will likely be fixed with time.

Cores: 16 Threads: 32 Base clock: 3.4GHz Boost clock: 4.0GHz L3 cache: 32MB TDP: 180W

Pricing and availability

For casual gaming, we would say a $200 (about £154 AU$254) processor is good enough, and $300 (about £231, AU$381) if you’re looking for something futureproofed for at least a few years. With this mind, paying $999 for the Rzyen Threadripper 1950X might be mind boggling to most users.

This is exactly why AMD is marketing this chip to its die-hard fans, the ultimate mega-taskers and gamers who also want to play, record, stream and produce video – all at the same time.

Even if you’re not that person, AMD arguably makes a better case for its $1K processor than the Intel Core i9-7900X. On paper, the Threadripper has six more cores and 12 more threads than the Core X part, though, Intel has the upper hand with a greater range of 3.3GHz base/4.3GHz boost clock speeds and a lower 140-watt thermal design power.

Features and chipset

If you’ve never handled server-grade components before, Threadripper will be an eye opener for you. The processor is physically twice the width of most consumer market CPUs. What’s more, instead of plopping a chip onto the motherboard, Threadripper CPUs come attached to a holder you slide into place – we’ll have a how to guide on installing the processor soon.

Those with liquid-cooling solutions also might find it especially unnerving to see the corners of their processor uncovered and bare – rest easy, the processor dies are positioned in the center of the chip.

Once you get over the new physical nuances of Threadripper, there are also new software profiles to get your head wrapped around. Out of the box, the 1950X and all Threadripper parts thus far are configured to run in either a Creative or Game Mode.

Without getting too deep into technical aspects, users can for the most part expect premiere, video encoding and multi-tasking to operate more smoothly in Creative Mode. 

Meanwhile, Game Mode has the CPU turn off half its cores and return to a more traditional memory access protocol, which helps it deliver slightly higher frame rates while gaming.

For the most part, you should be able to do everything you want to, including playing most games, in Creative Mode. Gaming Mode is better for playing games but, as we’ll go over in our benchmarks, there isn’t a dramatic improvement in frame rates to warrant switching every time you want to play something – especially when every profile change requires a full restart.

If you’re looking for a simple plug-in-and-play CPU that just works, this left-right brain processor isn’t for you.

That said, this processor has the legs to last you for a long time. Its X399 chipset will also allow you to grow your PC with quad-channel memory and 64 lanes of PCIe for multiple graphics cards – and still plenty of bandwidth for the fastest SSDs.

GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti (11GB GDDR5X VRAM) RAM: 32GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB (DDR4 3,200MHz) Motherboard: Asus ROG Zenith Extreme Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Storage: 512GB Samsung 960 Pro M.2 SSD (NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4) Cooling: Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 TT Premium Edition Operating system: Windows 10 Pro

Performance

[Editor's Note: the original version of this review included charts that inaccurately represented the benchmark data. This has been now corrected, but the data remains unchanged.]

In the AMD vs Intel wars, we’ve come to expect the same pattern of Ryzen chips winning out with multi-core performance while the Core i-series leads in frequency and gaming frame rates. However, the results between the Threadripper 1950X and Core i9-7900X aren’t as clear cut.

Instead, the two chips trade blows, beating each other on particular tests.

AMD set out to make the ultimate processor for content producers with the Threadripper 1950X, and we can confidently say it succeeded. The Threadripper 1950X scores significantly better in Cinebench and encodes video at a slightly faster frame rate than its Intel rival. Meanwhile, the Core i9-7900X wins out with higher Geekbench and PCMark 8 scores.

Ultimately, both these processors are putting out some astounding numbers over the traditional quad-to-octo core processors we typically test and use every day – as they should for such a high asking price.

When it comes to gaming, the Intel Core i9-7900X might look like the clear winner with higher frame rates across all our gaming benchmarks. However, as we raised the resolution on Total War: Warhammer and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Intel’s advantage evaporated quickly.

From our testing, it also seems as though you can skip Game Mode entirely, as it only adds one or two extra frames per second with most graphically-intensive games. You’ll see Game Mode have a greater effect with processor intensive games, such as Total War: Warhammer jumping from 92 fps to 112 fps.

As with Ryzen chips that predate Threadripper, we expect to see much better numbers when we play the same titles again within a few months as developers learn to optimize for even higher-core count processors.

Final verdict

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X isn’t the silicon messiah for all the hype that its announcement and launch produced, but that’s fine. AMD has produced a very competitive product to go up against Intel’s long-unopposed Extreme Edition processors.

Although the Intel Core i9-7900X performed better than the Threadripper 1950X overall, you’ll hardly be disappointed by the performance of this processor for your creative work and gaming. Games are absolutely playable, and AMD’s 16-core chip works splendidly with creative applications. Just be sure you’re certain whether you truly need to plunk down the cash for this over-powered processor.

www.techradar.com

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X & 1920X Review

After much speculation and an official unveiling last week, it's finally time to see if Threadripper can bring competition to the high-end desktop segment while delivering the value and efficiency we've come to expect from other Ryzen processors.

Before we jump into the benchmarks, here's how we've set up the comparison. For this review, we'll be testing the new Threadripper 1950X and 1920X along with the Ryzen 7 1700 and 1800X, as well as Intel's competing Core i7-7800X, 7820X and Core i9-7900X.

Compared to the Ryzen 7 1800X, which until now was leading AMD's pack, the Threadripper 1920X comes at a 75% price premium and offers 50% more cores. You also get quad-channel memory support and significantly more PCI Express lanes.

While we're curious to see how Threadripper fares against AMD's more affordable lineup, I'm more interested in learning how they compare against Intel's Skylake-X parts, so you can expect an emphasis on those results.

The Skylake-X CPUs were installed on an Asrock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 motherboard, while the Threadripper CPUs were tested on the Asrock X399 Taichi motherboard. Both platforms were fitted with G.Skill's TridentZ DDR4-3200 CL14 64GB quad-channel memory kit. Big thanks go to G.Skill for providing all that memory.

The X299 platform was installed on the Praxis Wetbench and was cooled using Thermaltake's Pacific RL360 custom liquid cooled kit. Meanwhile Threadripper was tested on a sheet of foam on my desk and was cooled by the Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360 AIO liquid cooler.

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
  • Asrock X399 Taichi
  • 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM (CL14)
  • Samsung SSD 850 Evo 4TB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Intel Core i9-7900X
  • Intel Core i7-7820X
  • Intel Core i7-7800X
  • Asrock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
  • 32GB DDR4-3200 RAM (CL14)
  • Samsung SSD 850 Evo 4TB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  • Asrock X370 Taichi
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM (CL14)
  • Samsung SSD 850 Evo 4TB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 

First up, memory bandwidth performance. As you probably know, Ryzen 7 CPUs feature a dual-channel memory controller whereas Threadripper offers quad-channel memory access, much like Skylake-X. As a result, memory bandwidth has been increased by 50% over Ryzen 7 and now Threadripper is on par with the Core i9-7900X.

As promised by AMD, the 1950X is good for an incredible multi-threaded score of 3028pts in Cinebench. That's a 39% increase over the i9-7900X, both of which cost $1,000.

The Core i9 CPU is 10% faster for single-threaded tasks, but that's not exactly the point of these CPUs. The 1920X was also 13% faster than the 7900X and 40% faster than the i7-7820X, so a clear win here for AMD in terms of price vs. performance.

Before we move onto the more serious benchmarks, I wanted to see how Threadripper stood up in PCMark 10, which looks at office type workloads and typically isn't core-heavy. To my surprise, Threadripper scored very well in this test and did considerably better than the Core i9-7900X.

www.techspot.com

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X Review: CPUs on Steroids

In the early 2000s, we had the battle to high frequencies. The company that could force the most cycles through a processor could get a base performance advantage over the other, and it led to some rather hot chips, with the certain architectures being dropped for something that scaled better. Move on 10-15 years and we are now at the heart of the Core Wars: how many CPU cores with high IPC can you fit into a consumer processor? Up to today, the answer was 10, but now AMD is pushing the barrier to 16 with its new Threadripper processors. We got both of the launch CPUs for review and put them on the grill.

The New World Order

Earlier in the year, AMD launched their new CPU microarchitecture, Zen. This was implemented into the Ryzen series of CPUs, aiming squarely at Intel’s high-end desktop market first. The three members of the Ryzen 7 family all had eight cores with hyperthreading, and scored highly in performance per dollar, achieving performance near comparable Intel processors at half the price (or better). Next came four Ryzen 5 CPUs, competing in price against the quad core i5 parts, and for that price Ryzen 5 had twelve threads, triple that of Core i5. Finally Ryzen 3 hit the ~$120 market against the Core i3s, with double the cores over Intel. We also saw AMD’s EPYC family officially launch into the enterprise space, offering up to 32 cores, and is being rolled out over the next few months as OEMs and customers test and scale their performance.

Out of the gate today is AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper family, or Threadripper for short. These CPUs take a similar design as the AMD EPYC processors, but for a consumer platform. The first two CPUs are the 1950X and 1920X, with 16 and 12 cores respectively, to be then followed by the 8 core 1900X on August 31st, and the 1920 at sometime unknown. These parts will fit into the LGA-style TR4 socket, containing 4094-pins. This socket is identical (but not interchangeable) to the SP3 socket used for EPYC, and a large step over the 1331-pin PGA-style AM4 socket for the Ryzen 7/5/3 processors.

AMD Ryzen SKUs
  Cores/ Threads Base/ Turbo XFR L3 DRAM 1DPC PCIe TDP SRP Cooler
TR 1950X 16/32 3.4/4.0 +200* 32 MB 4x2666 60 180W $999 -
TR 1920X 12/24 3.5/4.0 +200* 32 MB 4x2666 60 180W $799 -
TR 1920** 12/24 3.2/3.8 ? 32 MB 4-Ch? 60 140W ? -
TR 1900X 8/16 3.8/4.0 +200 16 MB* 4x2666* 60 180W* $549 -
Ryzen 7 1800X 8/16 3.6/4.0 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 95 W $499 -
Ryzen 7 1700X 8/16 3.4/3.8 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 95 W $399 -
Ryzen 7 1700 8/16 3.0/3.7 +50 16 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $329 Spire
Ryzen 5 1600X 6/12 3.6/4.0 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 95 W $249 -
Ryzen 5 1600 6/12 3.2/3.6 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $219 Spire
Ryzen 5 1500X 4/8 3.5/3.7 +200 16 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $189 Spire
Ryzen 5 1400 4/8 3.2/3.4 +50 8 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $169 Stealth
Ryzen 3 1300X 4/4 3.5/3.7 +200 8 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $129 Stealth
Ryzen 3 1200 4/4 3.1/3.4 +50 8 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $109 Stealth

* New information from AMD from our last piece ** Unannounced product, specifications subject to change

Where Ryzen 7 was aiming for Intel’s high-end desktop (HEDT) market share, Threadripper is designed to go above and beyond this, into a ‘super high-end desktop’ market (SHED). The core counts that AMD are releasing with Threadripper were only traditionally seen on Intel’s server line, which features up to 28 cores for a $10000 outlay. By bringing higher-core count parts, with reasonable IPC, frequency, and power numbers, AMD is fudging the line between consumer, prosumer, and enterprise. To compete, Intel announced that their Skylake-X platform will be coming out with 12, 14, 16 and 18 core parts over the next few months.

Similar to Intel’s biggest chips, AMD is aiming Threadripper into the hands of users who want to do everything all the time. For home users, that might mean gaming while streaming (transcoding and uploading in real-time) while also hosting a game server and all other things besides. For prosumers it means video production or compute throughput using several GPUs/FPGAs mixed in with fast storage and networking. The idea is that if the user has something that needs doing, they can also use their system to do other things at the same time and have sufficient CPU grunt, PCIe slots, storage, and DRAM to power it all. Threadripper is, after all, derrived from a design for a server CPU, and accordingly it never strays too far from the high performance-density aspects that have defined servers over the last decade.

New Socket, New Motherboards

Again, similar to Intel’s HEDT platform, AMD is launching the X399 platform alongside Threadripper to provide the necessary tools. The large TR4 socket and all of its pins gives quad-channel memory with two DIMMs per channel, along with up to 60 PCIe lanes for add-in cards (Video cards, NICs, SSDs, etc). These motherboards currently support the two Threadripper CPUs launched today, one more CPU to be launched at the end of the month, and another CPU that has been leaked but not announced (with an unknown release date).

The socket is different to previous AMD sockets, showcasing how much of a step up this is. Rather than a PGA socket with a simple latch system to provide enough force between the pads and pins, the LGA TR4 socket has three Torx screws that should be removed in order – one on the left of the picture above and two on the right. The socket bracket immediately flips open, with a small tray – this tray takes the CPU. All of the Threadripper CPUs will come in this little tray, and there’s no need to take it out of the tray.

Because of the design of the socket and the size of the CPUs, the screw holes for CPU coolers are different as well. As each CPU is currently geared for 180W, AMD recommends liquid cooling at a bare minimum, and will bundle an Asetek CPU bracket with every CPU sold (a Torx screwdriver is also supplied).

The bracket is narrower on one end, which indicates the ‘top’ of the socket in a traditional motherboard shot.

A total of six motherboards from the four main manufacturers should be available on day one, with at least one or two more coming down the pipe. Our own Joe Shields has written an extensive preview of each motherboard to accompany this article.

  • AMD Threadripper X399 Motherboards: A First Look at 7 New Products

The crux of the motherboard design will be down to how each of the available IO functions is routed. AMD’s base block diagram is as follows:

AMD's suggested configuration gives 48 lanes from the CPU to the PCIe slots for 4-way SLI/CFX action (16/16/8/8), 12 lanes from the CPU to M.2 slots for 3-way x4 NVMe, and 4 lanes to the chipset. The chipset then would have two gigabit Ethernet ports, a PCIe x4 slot, a PCIe x1 slot, a PCIe x1 for WiFi, SATA ports, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2, and USB 2.0 ports.

At present we expect the X399 motherboards to vary between $249 and $599, depending on their feature set. The motherboard we were sampled for the launch review was ASUS’ X399 ROG Zenith Extreme, which has an MSRP of $549.

Competition

We asked both Intel and AMD to list what they consider would be the ideal competition for the Threadripper processors. Given that Threadripper is a consumer focused product – and interestingly, not really a workstation focused product – AMD expectantly stated that Intel’s current Core i9-7900X, a 10-core processor, is the product available today that best fits that role. A Xeon would be an workstation/enterprise product, which would not be sold in many prebuilt systems that Threadripper customers might want.

Intel surprised me, in saying exactly the same thing. They stated that the Core i9-7900X would be the best fit at the time of Threadripper’s launch. I half-expected them to suggest some form of cheaper 2P option, although when I followed them up as to why they didn’t suggest such a thing, it became obvious for two reasons: firstly, Intel’s Consumer and Intel’s Enterprise divisions are almost different companies with little crossover or insight into the other’s business. There are no unified press relations on this front: ask the consumer team, get the consumer answer. Ask the Enterprise team and they’re more focused on EPYC, not Threadripper. The second reason is that a ‘cheap 2P’ system doesn’t exist when you buy new – most online discussions about cheaper Intel 2P systems revolve around finding CPU bargains from the gray market or resellers.

So the competition is essentially Skylake-X (and a nod to Broadwell-E at a discount). The AMD Threadripper 1950X with 16-cores and 1920X with 12-cores are put up against the Core i9-7900X with 10-cores and the Core i7-7820X with 8 cores. Broadwell’s Core i7-6950X also makes an appearance due to the different microarchitecture. We’ll add in AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X as a contender as well, and Ryzen 7 1700 as a performance per dollar competitor.

The Battle
  Cores/ Threads Base/ Turbo XFR L3 DRAM 1DPC PCIe TDP Cost (8/10)
AMD TR 1950X 16/32 3.4/4.0 +200 32 MB 4x2666 60 180W $999
Intel i9-7900X 10/20 3.3/4.3 +200 13.75 4x2666 44 140W $980
Intel i7-6950X 10/20 3.0/3.5 +500 25 MB 4x2400 40 140W $1499
AMD TR 1920X 12/24 3.5/4.0 +200 32 MB 4x2666 60 180W $799
Intel i7-7820X 8/16 3.6/4.3 +200 11 MB 4x2666 28 140W $593
AMD TR 1900X 8/16 3.8/4.0 +200 16 MB 4x2666 60 180W $549
AMD R7 1800X 8/16 3.6/4.0 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 95 W $419
AMD R7 1700X 8/16 3.4/3.8 +100 16 MB 2x2666 16 95 W $350
AMD R7 1700 8/16 3.0/3.7 +50 16 MB 2x2666 16 65 W $291

The key here is that Threadripper has more cores and more PCIe lanes at the same price, with a lower turbo but a higher base frequency, at slightly more power for similar platform costs. It’s going to be an interesting battle.

Pages In This Review

  • 1: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X
  • 2: Feeding the Beast and CPU Top Trumps
  • 3: Silicon, Glue, & NUMA Too
  • 4: AMD’s Solution to Dual Dies: Creator Mode and Game Mode
  • 5: Test Bed and Setup
  • 6: Benchmark Overview
  • 7: Benchmarking Performance: CPU System Tests
  • 8: Benchmarking Performance: CPU Rendering Tests
  • 9: Benchmarking Performance: CPU Web Tests
  • 10: Benchmarking Performance: CPU Encoding Tests
  • 11: Benchmarking Performance: CPU Office Tests
  • 12: Benchmarking Performance: CPU Legacy Tests
  • 13: Gaming Performance: Civilization 6 (1080p, 4K, 8K, 16K)
  • 14: Gaming Performance: Ashes of the Singularity Escalation (1080p, 4K)
  • 15: Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, 4K)
  • 16: Gaming Performance: Rise of the Tomb Raider (1080p, 4K)
  • 17: Gaming Performance: Rocket League (1080p, 4K)
  • 18: Gaming Performance: Grand Theft Auto V (1080p, 4K)
  • 19: Power Consumption and Efficiency
  • 20: Analyzing Creator Mode and Game Mode
  • 21: Conclusions and Final Words

Additional Review Notes

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this review has no Skylake-X gaming data. At the time of our SKL-X review, it was throwing up some issues and so we aimed to test at a later date. We ran some more data using the latest BIOS and a more stringent cooling setup, then when Threadripper arrived we packed the SKL-X away and Threadripper took the phsyical place of SKL-X in the lab. Having had time to look back at our SKL-X results and now process them, we had one CPU+GPU combo that seemed to perform as expected but the rest were still erroneous. Once this review is out of the way and a couple of mini-projects, we're going to update the X299 motherboard with a new one and knuckle down to find this issue, as it appears to be BIOS/firmware related.

www.anandtech.com

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X - AMD - WikiChip

From WikiChip

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X - AMD

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is a 64-bit hexadeca-core high-performance x86 desktop microprocessor introduced by AMD in mid-2017. The 1950X, which is based on their Zen microarchitecture, is fabricated on a 14 nm process. This processor operates at a base frequency of 3.4 GHz with a TDP of 180 W and a boost frequency of up to 4 GHz. This MPU supports up to 2 TiB of quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

Cache[edit]

Main article: Zen § Cache

[Edit/Modify Cache Info]

Cache Organization Cache is a hardware component containing a relatively small and extremely fast memory designed to speed up the performance of a CPU by preparing ahead of time the data it needs to read from a relatively slower medium such as main memory.The organization and amount of cache can have a large impact on the performance, power consumption, die size, and consequently cost of the IC.Cache is specified by its size, number of sets, associativity, block size, sub-block size, and fetch and write-back policies.

Note: All units are in kibibytes and mebibytes.

L1$L2$L3$
1.5 MiB1,536 KiB 1,572,864 B 0.00146 GiB L1I$L1D$
1 MiB1,024 KiB 1,048,576 B 9.765625e-4 GiB 16x64 KiB4-way set associative 
512 KiB0.5 MiB 524,288 B 4.882812e-4 GiB 16x32 KiB8-way set associativewrite-back
8 MiB8,192 KiB 8,388,608 B 0.00781 GiB  
 16x512 KiB8-way set associativewrite-back
32 MiB32,768 KiB 33,554,432 B 0.0313 GiB  
 4x8 MiB16-way set associative 

Memory controller[edit]

This processor supports up to 512 GiB per memory channel for a total of 2 TiB.

[Edit/Modify Memory Info]

Integrated Memory Controller

Max TypeSupports ECCMax MemControllersChannelsMax BandwidthBandwidth
DDR4-2666
Yes
2 TiB
4
4
79.47 GiB/s

Single 19.87 GiB/s

Double 39.74 GiB/s

Quad 79.47 GiB/s

[Edit] Official AMD Supported Memory Configurations
Quad Channel Single Rank 1 DIMM per channel 4 of 8 DDR4-2666
2 DIMMs per channel 8 of 8 DDR4-2133
Dual Rank 1 DIMM per channel 4 of 8 DDR4-2400
2 DIMMs per channel 8 of 8 DDR4-1866

Expansions[edit]

This processor includes 60 PCIe lanes with PHY of 16 lanes may each have a maximum of 8 PCIe ports (x1, x2, x4, x8, x16).

  • eMMC, LPC, SMBus, SPI/eSPI

Graphics[edit]

This processor has no integrated graphics.

Features[edit]

  • This model has full XFR support, allowing for an additional +200 MHz boost frequency.

Frequencies[edit]

See also: AMD's CPU Frequency Behavior

Beyond the frequencies shown below, with a sufficiently good cooling, this processor has XFR suport for +200 MHz. That is, with good enough cooling, this processor can reach 4.2 GHz on up to four cores.

[Modify Frequency Info]

ModeBaseTurbo Frequency/Active Cores12345678910111213141516Normal3,400 MHz
4,000 MHz4,000 MHz4,000 MHz4,000 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz3,700 MHz

en.wikichip.org

Ryzen Threadripper review: AMD's monster 1950X stomps on other CPUs

AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X ($999 on Amazon) is an angry Godzilla stomping his way through downtown Tokyo. Those puny 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core CPUs? They’re just tanks and army trucks to be punted across the city. 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X See it

Yes, it’s that good.

But before you buy, there’s a lot you need to know about what is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU ever unleashed upon mankind.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU on the planet today.

What is Threadripper

Ryzen Threadripper’s name tells you its lineage: the ground-breaking Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 3 CPUs that have made AMD a contender again, after years of watching Intel dominate.

AMD

Each Zen core complex is made up of four individual CPUs. Two of these complexes make up an 8-core Ryzen die. 

While Intel currently builds its CPUs around a monolithic piece of silicon for all of its cores, AMD has designed Ryzen to be modular at the chip level. The basic building block of all Ryzen CPUs are two 4-core complexes, or CCXes, joined by AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric interconnect. Every Ryzen 7, for example, has an 8-core die such as the one below.

AMD

AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper is based on the same dual 4-core complex (CCX), so instead of one chip, you get two.

To get to 16 cores in Threadripper, AMD uses the same high-speed Infinity Fabric to join two 8-core dies. The 12-core version also joins two 8-core dies, but each of the 4-core CCXs has one processor core disabled.

AMD

A 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X consists of two 8-core dies connected using AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric.

But wait: You’ve seen pictures of the inside of a Threadripper and there are four chips—are those two other 8-core dies just waiting to be enabled? Nope. It’s no secret that Threadripper reuses hardware from AMD’s 32-core, server-focused Epyc CPU, but AMD isn’t giving us 32-core consumer CPUs today. Two of those “chips” are actually dummy pieces to add structural support for the cooler that will be clamped onto the CPU.

der8auer

Two of the 8-core “dies” on the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X are just dummies to support the heat spreader.

With great cores, come great resources

AMD actually doubles down twice with Threadripper specs, giving you double the amount of CPU cores and double the amount of memory channels. It also vastly increases the PCIe lanes.

[ Further reading: AMD Ryzen Threadripper X399 motherboards compared: Specs, prices, and features ]

For example, the mainstream Ryzen line supports dual-channel DDR4 memory. Threadripper supports quad-channel DDR4. Unlike Intel, whose strategy is to disable features on its Core-series CPUs to push people to its pricier Xeon chips, AMD leaves in support for ECC RAM to help correct single-bit errors. AMD also says Threadripper should technically be able to support up to 2TB of RAM, although the company hasn’t validated this because there are no DIMMs that support the capacity yet.

Asus

This Asus ROG Zenith Extreme takes advantage of the 64 PCIe lanes in the new Threadripper CPU.

As for PCIe, while the mainstream Ryzen chips offer a pedestrian 20 lanes for support of graphics cards or SSDs, Threadripper offers a whopping 64 lanes. Of those 64, four are used to connect to the south bridge, leaving 60 available to connect up to seven different simultaneous PCIe devices. That means up to four GPUs along with three NVMe PCIe drives.

Intel Core i9-7900X Processor See it

Compare AMD’s generous approach to Intel’s careful rationing: The $1,000 10-core Core i9-7900X, for example, has a decent 44 lanes of PCIe, but the $599 8-core Core i7-7820X has only 28. Even AMD’s cheapest Threadripper so far, the 8-core Threadripper 1900X, features a full 64 lanes of PCIe support.

The Lineup

Despite many unsubstantiated rumors of a large lineup of Threadripper CPUs, AMD is officially launching only three CPUs today (the 8-core Threadripper 1900X will ship in a few more weeks). The lineup (see below) is sparser than Intel’s currently, but an unintentional leak by motherboard vendors indicates the company has lower-wattage, non-“X” versions coming, too.

IDG

AMD’s Threadripper lineup is sparse, but it’s enough to upset Intel’s Core i9 lineup.

Intel’s own lineup looks more impressive, but thus far, the company has shipped only the 10-core Core i9-7900X and its 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core siblings. 

IDG

Intel’s new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs look impressive as a group, but only the lower-end (4-core to 10-core) parts have shipped so far.

Installation: Read the manual. Seriously.

No matter how many systems you’ve built, if you buy Threadripper, do yourself a favor and read the manual. As expected, Threadripper brings a new CPU socket, officially called sTR4. While the mainstream Ryzen features the pin-grid array familiar with AMD fans, Threadripper moves to an LGA, or land-grid array, that will be more familiar to Intel fans.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

With Threadripper, the CPUs no longer feature easily bendable pins. Instead, the easily bendable pins are moved to the motherboard.

LGA moves the delicate pins to the motherboard instead of the CPU. Which is better? From a customer point of view, it probably depends. Mash a pin on a $550 motherboard badly, and you trash the motherboard. Mash it on a $999 CPU, and you trash the CPU. 

One thing we do know: Installing a Threadripper is unlike anything you’ve done before. That doesn’t mean you need to sweat bullets, but don’t just dive into it without first reading the documentation and watching a proper installation video (preferably not ours, which we did dead-tired and blind).

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

Failure to use the included torque wrench could result in a machine that won’t POST. AMD also includes an adapter bracket that fits many popular Asetek-based coolers.

The three essential takeaways from your manual-reading and video-watching should be these:

  • You must keep the plastic orange carrier on the CPU. The CPU can’t be installed without it.
  • You must use the torque wrench that’s packed into the bottom of the Threadripper box (see above). 
  • Pay attention to the correct sequence for installing and uninstalling the CPU.
Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

There are two covers in the sTR4 socket. Leave the black one that protects the delicate pins until you’re ready to put the CPU in place.

To install it, you open the socket by loosening three T20 Torx screws with the AMD-provided wrench. Remove the top-level protective plate and insert the entire CPU with the orange plastic carrier. Slide the CPU until it clicks into place or is clearly at the bottom of the assembly.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

A Threadripper CPU is ready to be installed.

Once you’re sure the CPU is in the carrier correctly, remove the protective cover over the socket and gently lower the CPU into place. Finally, you carefully tighten all three Torx screws with the provided AMD torque wrench.

One more time: Don’t try to muddle through this without at least familiarizing yourself with the process.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

The Threadripper comes with a torque wrench and an adapter for most Asetek-based CLC coolers in the box. Although we removed the outer orange CPU carrier (lower right) to take pretty pictures, AMD recommends leaving it in place at all times.

Meet the new Game Mode

Before we get to the all-important performance section, you should know about Threadripper’s new Gaming Mode. Most people don’t buy 16-core CPUs to play video games, but the world is a-changing, and many professional gamers and streamers need the ability to play games at high frame rates and also edit the content once it’s done.

IDG

The new Game Mode helps address legacy games that can’t handle the crazy core count and also switches to a NUMA memory mode.

When it designed Threadripper, AMD says it realized the high-thread-count CPU didn’t always perform at its best for some games. Remember, it’s made using two separate chips, each with its own dual-channel memory controller. Out of the box, Threadripper supports Uniform Memory Access mode, which spreads the memory access between both memory controllers. The benefit is greater memory bandwidth, but often higher latency. Some games, AMD says, just want low latency.

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Processor See it

To address this, AMD has introduced a new Game Mode that switches the system to Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA), or what AMD calls Local Mode. Local Mode essentially shunts all memory access to one memory controller to lower latency. Memory access that goes to the other memory controller is possible, but it’s done with higher latency.

Threadripper’s crazy core count has another unintended consequence: AMD says some older games crashed in its tests. This isn’t a problem with Threadripper, AMD notes, but the games themselves, because they just can’t handle the number of CPU cores.

To address this problem, Game Mode essentially tells Windows to recognize only 8 of the 16 CPUs in the system. An updated Ryzen Master Utility lets you switch between Game Mode when it’s needed for older games, and Creator Mode when you want all of your CPU cores and more memory bandwidth.

IDG

Game Mode does lower memory latency by a significant amount.

Does it work? Yes. Although we won’t get into its impact on gaming until later, we did measure the modes’ impact on latency and memory bandwidth. You can see how Game Mode lowers memory latency in the chart above.

As you can see in the next chart, however, Game Mode has the opposite effect on memory bandwidth. Because Game Mode enables NUMA/Local Mode, you give up a significant amount of memory bandwidth 

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Switching from the default Uniform Memory Access mode to Non-Uniform Memory Access mode trades off a significant amount of bandwidth.

What’s right? Well, it’s complicated. Gears of War Ultimate, AMD says, likes low memory latency, so Game Mode should be on for that game. Rise of the Tomb Raider likes more CPU cores, so maybe you’ll want it off. Far Cry 4 likes low core-to-core latency, so maybe you’ll want to switch on Game Mode.

AMD

Games often require different things for the highest performance.

If this all sounds way too complicated when you just want to play a game, know that for the most part this is just being nit-picky. Any modern game paired with a modern powerful GPU and a Threadripper CPU will run fine at normal resolutions and visual quality settings. AMD just wants gamers to have more granular control so they can wring more performance out of the new CPU. Some may be put off by this complexity, but if you’re really buying a 16-core, 32-thread CPU just for conventional gaming, you’re doing it wrong. A regular Ryzen or Kaby Lake CPU is probably better for that purpose.

Time for performance numbers! Keep reading.

Page 2

None of this matters without solid performance. Our Threadripper 1950X was tested with an Asus ROG Zenith Extreme X399 motherboard, a ThermalTake Floe Riing (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) 360 cooler, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, Samsung 960 Pro SSD, and 32GB of DDR4/3200 RAM.

These last two items actually differ from our standard configuration, which is a HyperX Savage SATA SSD and 32GB of DDR4 at JEDEC 2133 speeds. To minimize the impact of the SATA SSD versus a PCIe SSD, we used a HyperX Savage SSD as the target and source drive for any tests where storage might have an effect—primarily our encoding test using Handbrake and Adobe Premiere Creative Cloud.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

That’s no moon, that’s a Ryzen Threadripper below a Ryzen 7 and to the left of an LGA 2011 V3 Core i7 CPU.

The memory configuration was a little stickier, as we’ve tested previous CPUs with all DIMM slots filled. On Ryzen, that limited the memory clock speeds, as only JEDEC speeds are allowed when fully loaded with RAM. That hurts Ryzen, particularly because Infinity Fabric is directly tied to the speed of the memory controller.

Asus ROG Zenith Extreme

Getting the Core i9-7900X to run at DDR4/3200 was also problematic, as it effectively overclocks the CPU to 4.3GHz on all cores in our BIOS. So, instead, we ran the Core i9 system using the XMP default setting of DDR4/2666. 

This isn’t ideal, but as memory increasingly ties itself to a platform’s performance, we’ll have to continue to search for a happy medium.

Application performance

Pull up a chair, because everyone wants to see how Threadripper does on pretty much everything. We’re going to start with single-application performance and some synthetic benchmarks, then move on to multitasking and gaming. 

Blender performance

Let’s kick this off where AMD started the Zen hype train almost exactly a year ago: Blender. This is an open-source 3D modelling application that actually gets decent use in indie films for effects scenes. Heck, even NASA uses it for its models these days. Blender loves CPU threads, but we’ve found that it doesn’t always scale as well as commercial products such as Maxon’s Cinema4D. Still, more cores generally means more performance, and the first win goes to Threadripper 1950X for handily rendering Mike Pan’s popular BMW benchmark file 22 percent faster than the 10-core Core i9-7900X.

We know we just said Blender doesn’t always scale perfectly, but when you look at the score from the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1800X compared to the 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper 1950X, Threadripper takes just over half the time to render the image. 

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The Threadripper 1950X’s performance in Blender puts it at the front of the pack.

POV-Ray performance

Our second test is also free: the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer. This application dates all the way back to the Amiga but is continually updated and supported. It’s no surprise, but ray tracing is a CPU-intensive task, and throwing more CPUs at it makes it go faster.

Against the Core i9-7900X, the Threadripper 1950X is 35 percent faster running the internal performance benchmark. Against the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X, you’re looking at an 85-percent performance boost. From a multi-threading point of view, it’s all win here for the Threadripper 1950X.

IDG

POV-Ray’s internal benchmark also puts the Threadripper 1950X at the front with performance 30 percent greater than Intel’s top Core i9 CPU today.

Before you pop the champagne, let’s also see how the Threadripper 1950X does in POV-Ray when only a single thread is used. Once that happens, this turns into a battle of overall clock speed and IPC, or micro-architecture efficiency. When it’s all about single-threaded clock speeds, it’s all about Intel’s 7th Gen Core i7-7700K, which jumps to the front. Skylake-X, with its very high Turbo Boost Max 3.0 cores, comes in second. Threadripper pulls in about 14 percent slower than the Core i9-7900X, which is within striking distance.

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When we run POV-Ray on a single thread, Core i9 prevails.

CineBench R15 performance

CineBench R15 benchmark is based on the same engine Maxon uses in its Cinema4D professional application. Like the previous two applications, it’s all about the thread count, so again Threadripper 1950X triumphs with a score almost 39 percent faster than the Core i9-7900X.

IDG

CineBench R15.038 puts the Threadripper 1950X about 32 percent ahead of the Core i9-7900X.

As with POV-Ray, we also run CineBench R15 single-threaded to get another dimension of CPU performance. When you’re talking CPU efficiency or IPC and high-clock speeds, the momentum again shifts back to Intel’s 7th-gen Kaby Lake CPUs and Core X, though Skylake-X is still just 12 percent faster than Threadripper. Note, too, that Threadripper 1950X manages to hang tight with Intel’s original consumer 10-core, the Core i7-6950X, which cost $1,723 when released.

IDG

Single-threaded performance at the native clock speeds puts Skylake-X and Kaby Lake in charge.

Corona Renderer performance

One final rendering benchmark is the newish Corona Renderer test. It’s a new plug-in renderer for Autodesk 3ds Max and is touted as being “unbiased” and high-performance. As the test is new to us, our sample set is extremely limited. Given that AMD is promoting it, however, the results aren’t surprising: Corona Renderer loves CPU cores and gives the Threadripper 1950X a 21-percent advantage.

IDG

The new Corona Renderer touts itself as “unbiased.”

Geekbench 4 performance

Geekbench is one the most popular free benchmarks around. We don’t typically use it to gauge performance of desktop CPUs. It’s recently been gaining some traction, however, as the latest version does away with many of the controversial aspects of the previous version.

The results put the Threadripper 1950X in front, but not by much, never mind its six-core advantage. Does this mean Threadripper 1950X isn’t as fast as the previous tests show? No. More than anything else, it probably shows that Geekbench 4.04 doesn’t scale with available core count. Or that it just doesn’t like something about the Ryzen design, as the Ryzen 7 doesn’t do well either.

IDG

Geekbench doesn’t seem to scale with the core counts that well.

And no, this isn’t the older 4.04 version. The latest 4.1 version did add some updates for AMD’s micro-architecture, but apparently not enough. 

IDG

Despite the Threadripper having 12-more threads than the Core i9, the two are pretty close in Geekbench.

WinRAR performance

Speaking of applications that seem to have no love for Threadripper 1950X, here are the results of WinRAR 5.40’s internal benchmark. There’s no mixup: WinRAR just doesn’t perform very well on Threadripper.

WinRAR seems to be fair in that it doesn’t like Skylake-X much either, instead putting the two Broadwell-E chips clearly in front. Why? At the time of our Core i9 review, Intel said its analysis showed that the new mesh design on Core i9 was the issue. The mesh design makes it easier and faster for Intel to connect multiple cores, but there is a penalty in WinRAR and some games as well.

Intel’s mesh is similar to AMD’s Infinity Fabric in some ways, so it’s entirely possibly WinRAR is revealing an Achilles’ heel in both designs. 

IDG

WinRAR (multi-threaded) seems to disrespect Skylake-X as well as Threadripper, perhaps because of their somewhat similar mesh and Infinity Fabric designs.

7-Zip performance

Fret not, AMD fans: The good news is you can just use 7-Zip, because it’s all roses there. Threadripper 1950X is again large and in charge with a 22-percent lead over its Core i9 nemesis. Although 7-Zip doesn’t scale as well as the 3D tests, Threadripper’s still a healthy 73 percent faster than the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X.

IDG

In 7-Zip Threadripper takes a healthy 22-percent lead over Skylake-X.

VeraCrypt performance

One other test that AMD has touted is VeraCrypt. Based on TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt picked up where its popular free predecessor fell apart. As it’s new to us, our sample set is tiny, but it shows a whopping 45-percent advantage for Threadripper. 

IDG

VeraCrypt is a fork of the now dead TrueCrypt, and Threadripper posts a big win here.

Adobe Premiere Creative Cloud 2017 performance

Besides 3D rendering, video encoding is one of the top reasons people buy mega-core chips. To test that we take a short project that PCWorld’s video team shot on a 4K Sony Alpha camera and export it using the 1080p Blu-ray preset, with the maximum render quality option checked.

Both the target and the source of our test don’t actually reside on the PC’s local drive. Instead, we store it on a Plextor M8e PCIe SSD that’s moved from machine to machine for testing. This essentially makes the storage subsystem irrelevant in the performance discussion.

The first result uses CPU encoding rather than the CUDA engine on the GPU. Scoff all you want—many professionals still say CPU encoding gives you the best quality. 

The results put the Threadripper 1950X in front with a score about 20 percent faster than the Core i9-7900X’s. Against the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X, it’s roughly 39 percent faster. Our actual encode times are relatively short given the video project’s short duration, but any professional who’d like to shave off 20 percent on a 5-hour encode will likely pay for it.

IDG

In this 4K video encode test, the 16-core Threadripper 1950X is almost 40 percent faster than the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800XCPU.

For those who use the GPU, we ran the same project using the GTX 1080 for the heavy lifting. Our encode times are drastically cut down using GPU rendering, but if you think the CPU doesn’t matter, think again. Compared to an 8-core CPU, for example, the Threadripper 1950X is still 37 percent faster. 

IDG

The CPU still matters, even on GPU encodes.

Handbrake performance

Our last encode test uses the free and popular Handbrake encoder to convert a 30GB file using the Android Tablet preset. Handbrake tends to love CPU cores and threads, but we’ve found the scaling starts to peter out as you approach crazy amounts of cores. In this test, the 16-core Threadripper 1950X is “only” 15 percent faster than the Core i9 chip. Still, when you notch a win, you notch a win.

IDG

Handbrake gives the win to Threadripper, though not by much.

You want multitasking and gaming performance? You got it on the next page.

Page 3

Before we move on to gaming performance, we wanted to present how well these CPUs do when tasked with running multiple, multithreaded workloads. For that we decided to run Blender and Cinebench simultaneously. Multitasking tests can be difficult to pin down. AMD recommends manually setting the affinity of each core to the various applications to increase the reliability of the results. Most people won’t do that, however, so we decided to see if we could obtain repeatable results just by clacking off one benchmark and then another.

We found by running Cinebench first, and then starting Blender and keeping it in the foreground, we could obtain easily repeatable results. The results here are the average of three runs each, but we could reproduce the results days later. 

Note that in the chart below, the Blender and Cinebench results have opposite scales. For the Blender test (in blue), a shorter bar is a faster and better score. For the Cinebench test (in red), a longer bar is a faster and better score.

Threadripper 1950X, with 32 threads at its disposal, finished the Blender render about 19 percent faster than the Core i9-7900X. In CineBench R15 it was 46 percent faster than the Core i9-7900X.  

IDG

By multitasking some multithreaded apps, Threadripper 1950X really shows its strength.

Gaming performance

Do people really buy $1,000 mega-core CPUs exclusively to play games? Probably not, but how well each CPU performs in gaming benchmarks is still an important metric for many (like it or not).

3DMark FireStrike performance

First up is the venerable 3DMark FireStrike test. This is a bit old and mostly a GPU test, but the overall score factors in CPU performance too. The overall winner is the 10-core Core i7-6950X (there’s a reason it cost $1,723). A close second is the Threadripper 1950X in Creator Mode. We did flip the switch for Game Mode and performance dropped. Why? Remember, Game Mode tells Windows it has access to only eight cores, so 3DMark uses only eight of them.

IDG

Game Mode hurts Threadripper performance because the core count gets cut in half.

Drilling down into the Physics test results, you can see the direct impact of Game Mode. With all cores used by Windows, Threadripper pulls out in front. With half of them off in the OS, it’s just slightly faster than an 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X.

IDG

Game Mode tells Windows not to use half the cores in Threadripper, so performance drops.

This isn’t a knock on AMD’s Game Mode, but clearly, for games that really need more CPU cores, set it to Creation Mode instead.

Tomb Raider performance

Turns out.Tomb Raider with a GTX 1080 at 1080p and set to Ultimate really doesn’t care about the CPU—it’s purely a GPU test. Why would we say that? If you look at the results of the elderly FX-8370 CPU, which was a dog in every single test, it’s humming nearly as well as the $1,000 CPUs here. 

IDG

Even the older Tomb Raider at 1080p and Ultimate is purely GPU-bound.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege performance

Moving on to something newer, we used Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege at 1920x1080 resolution and the medium-quality setting to make it less about the GPU.

The Threadripper 1950X exhibits the familiar pattern we’ve seen in Ryzen-Core face-offs in the past: Intel has 10 percent or more better performance. Considering that in the past we’ve seen AMD’s defecit be 15 to 20 percent in some games at low resolution, this isn’t bad. But can Game Mode make a difference?

Yes. With Game Mode activated, the gap between the top-performing Core i7-6950X and Threadripper closes to about 5 percent. That’s right on the heels of the Core i9-7900X, which likely takes a performance hit from its mesh interconnect.

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You’ll want to turn on Game Mode for Rainbow Six

Rise of the Tomb Raider performance

Just as in Rainbow Six, the Threadripper 1950X’s performance in Rise of the Tomb Raider is a bit underwhelming in Creation Mode, but flip on Game Mode and it’s a ball game. Well, at least it’s in the ball game and trying.

IDG

Game Mode helps get the Threadripper back into the battle in Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation performance

Our last gaming test is Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, which is the poster child for how to use a CPU in gaming. Unfortunately for AMD, it’s all about Intel here: The Core i9-7900X has a commanding lead over Threadripper 1950X. Game Mode helps inch the Threadripper 1950X closer, but Intel still wins by 12 percent.

Why? Some of it is pure clock speed differences. But we expected this to be closer, especially considering that the developer of Ashes was one of the first to optimize for Ryzen earlier this year. Granted, game optimization has not yet proven to be the cure-all AMD promised. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal, but it’ll vex AMD fans.

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AotS: Escalation shows AMD still has a lot of work to do on optimization.

Conclusion

In this short-attention-span world, you’re probably looking for the quick answer. Unfortunately, the real answer has three parts, since CPUs fulfill a variety of purposes.

The first is single-threaded or very lightly-threaded use, such as most photo-editing applications. In that category, the more spry quad-cores outpace Threadripper 1950X, though its relatively high clock speeds keep it very much in contention.

The second is gaming, where we see the familiar deficit of previous Ryzen launches. AMD argues that in social gaming, such as streaming and recording while gaming, more cores are better—and we’d tend to agree. But in conventional gaming, Intel leads. The good news is that AMD’s new Game Mode can help close that gap to the point that it doesn’t even matter.

IDG

If you live in the right side of this chart, Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is the easy choice. If you live in the left side of this chart, the Core i9-7900X has the advantage.

That brings us to the last category: multithreaded performance. In every single multithreaded test we ran (including multitasking multithreaded tests), Threadripper 1950X outpaced all comers by significant margins. It simply destroys any 8-core CPU and makes you question how the 10-core Core i9-7900X can dare to be priced the same as the Threadripper 1950X.

This last point is very much the entire reason for Threadripper 1950X’s existence. Frankly, no one should buy a $1,000, 16-core CPU just to play conventional gaming or run lightly threaded applications. It’s the wrong tool for the job.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

You buy a 16-core CPU for work. Real work. Real work means modelling, encoding, and doing five things simultaneously, because it’s work.

For that, Threadripper 1950X is an incredible breakthrough in performance and cost. Just four years ago, consumers paid $1,000 to get a 6-core CPU. Today, the same $1,000 gets you 16 cores. That’s something to be applauded loudly by anyone who cares about performance.

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X review

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Massive HEDT performance for a consumer level price.

Ryzen Threadripper is here and as such welcome to our first Threadripper review. It has been a short but massively interesting few months for AMD and everyone that has been following it all. Hey, do you realize that it was only in March this year that AMD unleashed Ryzen processors into the consumer domain? And sure, it was a bit of a rocky launch with memory compatibility and some 1080p game performance. But look at where these platforms are now, just six months later any one of you guys, DiY PC builders, will at the very least consider buying and building a Ryzen based PC as they just ooze out performance and value. A year ago you would not even consider an AMD PC, right? That change in mindset is colossal and for AMD is well-deserved as they have been able to rattle the cages in the processor industry this year, massively. With the release of the Ryzen processor and accompanying eco system, AMD shifted the CPU arena to their advantage. Meanwhile Intel is looking everywhere to address the moves that AMD is making, Intel is puzzled, and has been panicking. They rushed out the X299 platform, quickly announced an up-to 18-core processor and, well, you have seen the results - enough said about that.

When AMD released Ryzen, all of a sudden there were announcements in their server segment, including Naples with up-to a staggering 32 processor cores. And from then onwards, rumors flooded the web. Later in March the first X399 design block diagrams surfaced on the web, indicating that AMD was working on a many-core processor, but little did we know it was to be released for you guys, the consumer market, and yes, these diagrams showed an ASUS label. Shortly thereafter the first official announcements were made, AMD would be releasing what we now know to be the X399 chipset platform for motherboards, to be paired with Ryzen Threadripper processors. You have already seen many X399 motherboard announcements and it is no secret that Threadripper processors were to be initially released in the HEDT (High-End Desktop) segment, available starting today on August 10th, 2017. AMD will initially release two models: a 16-core, 32-thread model and a 12-core, 24-threaded model. However, later this month you will also see a 3rd model, the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X.

The flagship processor is the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, a 16-core product that will get a 3.4 GHz base frequency with the ability to precision boost to 4.0 GHz. These processors are SMT, thus ‘hyper-threaded’ to 32 threads. This processor will retail for 999 USD. Then there is the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, this is the 12-core part, the base clock is a notch higher at 3.5 GHz and the precision boost is also 4.0 GHz, thus the SKU will get 24 threads. This processor will retail for 799 USD and then in late August you will see the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X, an 8-core part, the base clock is set at 3.8 GHz and the precision boost, again, is 4.0 GHz, this SKU will get 16 threads. The advantage for this processor is that you can house it on the X399 platform with its 64-PCIe lanes and Quad-channel DDR4 compatibility. This part will cost 549 USD.

These processors are fully unlocked and seat themselves onto the new Socket TR4 on a X399 motherboard of your choice. All these processors Turbo up towards 4.0 GHz and all of them have an extended XFR range of 200 MHz, so yes, when properly cooled and in the right conditions, these will hit 4100~4200 MHz on up-to four cores. All brands like MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte and ASRock will offer motherboards in several price ranges starting at roughly 300 USD. With Threadripper comes some benefits as combined with that new Socket TR4 (4094 pins!) X399 motherboard platform you will be able to run your memory in a quad-channel memory configuration. Next to that, you will gain a staggering 64 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3.0. And that means the sky is the limit, connectivity wise. 

That said, it is time to start up the review, you guys want numbers, right?! 

Introduction The Ryzen (Threadripper) Processor Series Architectural Details The AMD X399 Chipset and Quad Channel memory Compatible coolers and Ryzen Master Software Product Showcase - Ryzen processor & Installation CPU-Z Screenshots Power Consumption & Temperatures Hardware & Software Used Performance - CineBench Performance - CPU-Z Performance - Compression software 7-zip Performance - Google Chrome - Mozilla Kraken Performance - Content Creation Performance - Corona Ray tracing Performance - Video Encoding Performance - Video Creation - Vegas PRO Performance - WPrime Performance - 3DMark Time Spy CPU Performance - DDR4 System Memory Performance - Games: Hitman (2016) Performance - Games: Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Performance - Games: Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) Performance - Games: Deus Ex Mankind Divided Performance - Games: Watch Dogs 2 Performance - Games: Resident Evil 7 Performance - Games: 3DMark FireStrike Performance - Games: 3DMark Time Spy Overclocking Your Ryzen Threadripper processor Conclusion

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