THREADRIPPER 2

BENCHING: HOW DOES THE 2ND GEN THREADRIPPER STACK UP?

PC & Tech Authority - - REVIEWS COMPONENTS - CHRIS SZEWCZYK

“It’s no sur­prise that the 2990WX ab­so­lutely dom­i­nates the heav­ily threaded bench­marks.”

Yep, Threadripper 2 CPUs are beasts! Ob­vi­ously we know from their apt names that they will per­form very strongly with multi-threaded work­loads. With that in mind, bench­mark­ing Threadripper 2 proved to be a chal­leng­ing un­der­tak­ing for sev­eral rea­sons.

As we dis­cov­ered when test­ing both the 2990WX and 2950X, and let’s not for­get Intel’s i9-7980XE, as many of our con­sumer fo­cused bench­marks that make use of multi-thread­ing sim­ply don’t scale up to the in­sane core counts we’re see­ing here. The key takeaway is that you MUST have a use-case for a CPU like the 2990WX. Things like ren­der­ing, en­cod­ing and hash­ing al­go­rithms per­form magni cently when sup­ported, but if you can’t use all the cores, then the lower priced mod­els like the 2950X make a lot more sense. It’s no sur­prise that the 2990WX ab­so­lutely dom­i­nates the heav­ily threaded bench­marks. Cinebench and Blender are laughed off, but un­for­tu­nately many con­sumer level video en­coders just aren’t coded to sup­port 64 con­cur­rent threads. We tested a new bench­mark called Cin­egy Ci­nescore. It too failed to scale over 16c/32t. The 2950X with its lower core count is bet­ter sup­ported by a lot of soft­ware and its su­pe­rior clock speeds see it come out ahead in a few cir­cum­stances.

We looked at gam­ing too. We dis­abled ¾ of the cores on the 2990WX while leav­ing the 2950X at de­fault and saw a bit of a mixed bag. Ghost Re­con Wildlands and Warhammer II don’t have any prob­lem with 8 and 16 cores, but Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 re­ally strug­gle with high core counts. To get the best gam­ing per­for­mance out of Threadripper, you should en­able Legacy Com­pat­i­bil­ity mode in the Ryzen Mas­ter soft­ware, which dis­ables cores. While ul­ti­mate gam­ing per­for­mance still favours Intel, re­mem­ber, the gap is ba­si­cally Game mode drops the num­ber of cores in ac­tion while you play. noth­ing at high res­o­lu­tion and set­tings. Still, it’s fan­tas­tic that AMD of­fers a one click fea­ture to ex­tract max­i­mum per­for­mance in games, leav­ing all those cores to be used only when they are needed.

We ex­pected TR2 to get pretty toasty, but we were amazed at just how cool both pro­ces­sors run. At idle our tested cooler was silent, with Ryzen Mas­ter re­port­ing tem­per­a­tures in the low 30’s. It’s the load tem­per­a­tures that re­ally sur­prised though. With the cool­ing set at auto, the 2990WX never even hit 60c with 100% load. The 2950X was even bet­ter, in the mid 50s. It’s ob­vi­ous that the very large CPU pack­age with its in­di­vid­ual dies and large heatsink con­tact area make a huge dif­fer­ence. Awe­some.

MASTERING RYZEN

AMD has up­dated its Ryzen Mas­ter ap­pli­ca­tion with full sup­port for the Threadripper 2 se­ries. Things like clocks speeds, volt­ages and DRAM set­tings are all ad­justable. One of the re­ally cool fea­tures is the fastest core de­tec­tion. It identi es the strong­est cores which you could then use for apps that re­quire the high­est clock

speeds. We also men­tioned the legacy com­pat­i­bil­ity mode which we used for our 2990WX game test­ing. Ac­cord­ing to AMD it can boost game per­for­mance by 5 to 10% in most games. Ryzen Mas­ter is a par­tic­u­larly use­ful app with lots of in­for­ma­tion and set­tings avail­able to tweak to your hearts de­light.

There are two ways to sum­ma­rize Threadripper 2. For a pro­fes­sional user that can make use of its power, the 2990WX is far and away the best con­sumer CPU on the mar­ket and it of­fers ter­rific rel­a­tive value too. The 2950X is a bet­ter op­tion if you need the grunt and game too, though there are the cheaper and bet­ter per­form­ing op­tions to found on the main­stream plat­forms if gam­ing is your fo­cus. You’ll know which kind of user you are.

Threadripper 2 ups the ante yet again, bring­ing un­prece­dented com­put­ing power to the con­sumer desk­top. The 2990WX is the fastest CPU avail­able out­side of the en­ter­prise realm, pro­vided you have the work­loads to make use of it. For most mor­tals, the 2950X is a bet­ter buy.

Load temps show these new chips are very cool cus­tomers in­deed.

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