7950x as compared to a TR3 3960x

sphinx99

[H]ard|Gawd
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I currently have a 3960x system running on some ~2 years now that's served me well, but is something of a space heater. The current level of performance is sufficient - would not want to downgrade from it - but it seems to me that a 7950x system provides ~roughly CPU parity performance with the some workloads I care about (mostly simulation; encoding was also a major use case until the M1 Max showed up and kicks TR3 to the curb but maybe a 7950x is more competitive), likely a significant uplift for others (games) and almost certainly a significant power consumption / power efficiency benefit.

I wanted to see if anyone here has a 3960x (or 3970x) system and has been entertaining similar thoughts as I have, and if anyone has pros/cons they'd be willing to share.

GPU has been a base, original 3080 but I plan to upgrade to a 4090. This is another motivation; I have a minor concern about my 1kW PSU handling a 4090 plus a mildly OC'd TR3 on top of numerous peripherals (6x Exos x16 drives, 10GbE multiport, etc.) and it occurred to me that a 7950x + mobo is going to be a much more power efficient platform than any Threadripper system.
 
I went with the cheaper route with a dedicated gaming rig using a 5800X3D/3090. Keeping the 3960x for the threaded stuff. I would recommend you wait to see what Raptor Lake delivers on the 20th of this month; I would say probably faster than Zen 4 until AMD releases VCache versions next year. I see a lot of life yet in the 3960x system.
 
I went with the cheaper route with a dedicated gaming rig using a 5800X3D/3090. Keeping the 3960x for the threaded stuff. I would recommend you wait to see what Raptor Lake delivers on the 20th of this month; I would say probably faster than Zen 4 until AMD releases VCache versions next year. I see a lot of life yet in the 3960x system.
with a 7950x you could do both what the 5800xd and 3960x at the same time, saving power and money and space after you part out the 3960x rig. Raptor lake will boost to 5 to 8 percent faster because it will hit 6.0 but at some serious power cost , as z690 and z790 already eol and it the beginning of raptor. Best to keep the upgrade path with am5 and also its super-efficient has x3d coming and zen5

 
it occurred to me that a 7950x + mobo is going to be a much more power efficient platform than any Threadripper system.

Zen 4 does not shy away from pushing the power consumption and heat barriers. Just like the RTX 4090 is more efficient but still sucks down power, Zen 4 does the same.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/1758...nd-ryzen-5-7600x-review-retaking-the-high-end
the basic pattern is clear: Zen 4 can be a very power efficient architecture. But AMD is also discarding some of that efficiency advantage in the name of improving raw performance. Especially in multi-threaded workloads, for high-end chips like the 7950X the performance gains we’re seeing are as much from higher TDPs as they are higher IPCs and improved power efficiency.
When compared directly to the previous generation (Zen 3), AMD's Ryzen 7000 processors run quite hot; in fact in our testing, it was rare if our chips didn't hit their respective TJ Max of 95°C. The 95°C mark is where AMD has designed Ryzen 7000 to hover around, which maximizes processor performance up to this point, with frequencies scaling back with Precision Boost Overdrive.

Although AMD has said explicitly that 95°C is not the limitation, users can override this to a maximum of 115°C when manually overclocking. We feel that the higher all-core frequencies under maximum load, 95°C is a sufficient level of heat for what is on offer when it comes to overall performance. This might disgruntle users looking to use Ryzen 7000 in more tight spaces, such as small form factor systems where cooling performance is somewhat limited.
 
with a 7950x you could do both what the 5800xd and 3960x at the same time, saving power and money and space after you part out the 3960x rig. Raptor lake will boost to 5 to 8 percent faster because it will hit 6.0 but at some serious power cost , as z690 and z790 already eol and it the beginning of raptor. Best to keep the upgrade path with am5 and also its super-efficient has x3d coming and zen5

Well I can do both at the same time, one not affecting the other :D. Much cheaper cost. I have the space for multiple rigs doing different stuff so no big deal. Agree if limited on space.
 
I think you main issue might be memory or pci-e lanes. To me that's the only advantage in my eyes
 
I currently have a 3960x system running on some ~2 years now that's served me well, but is something of a space heater.

A 3960X CPU tops out around 280W package power.

A 7950X can peak at around 220W.

All-up, the 7950X plus a consumer motherboard is going to draw less power, but it might not be a huge difference. If you're really pursuing lower temps, you can take the 7950X and limit the power to the 130W range without sacrificing too much.

How often are you actually running sims and encodes? If it's an infrequent operation, focusing on a build that has low idle power is better for keeping room temps down, IMO. Intel has historically been better at low idle power than Zen 2/3. Not sure how Zen 4 does with idle power.
 
Amd will have x3d models early next year supposedly which would be a huge jump like the 5800x3d.

I'd wait to jump till then at least as the TR3 is still beastly. Cpu rounding up to 300W, 450W 4090, assuming you could load both 100% still leaves 150W for everything else. Tight but doable unless its an ancient 1kw, I have an OCZ 1kw I wouldn't try it on for example.

Get a 1500W psu on sale if anything and be more futureproof, they run best efficiency near 50% loads usually too. Evga had some crazy sales, got a 1500 or 1600 platinum 80p.

Not related but the naming schemes of CPUs and GPUs has been driving me nuts. Amd 7950x, intel 7940x, etc.
 
I went with the cheaper route with a dedicated gaming rig using a 5800X3D/3090. Keeping the 3960x for the threaded stuff. I would recommend you wait to see what Raptor Lake delivers on the 20th of this month; I would say probably faster than Zen 4 until AMD releases VCache versions next year. I see a lot of life yet in the 3960x system.
Same. Mines z490 but same concept. One high speed, one insanely threaded and lane counts maxed for my other work. Both can sorta do what the other does, but not as well. I’m waiting to see the below:
Amd will have x3d models early next year supposedly which would be a huge jump like the 5800x3d.

I'd wait to jump till then at least as the TR3 is still beastly. Cpu rounding up to 300W, 450W 4090, assuming you could load both 100% still leaves 150W for everything else. Tight but doable unless its an ancient 1kw, I have an OCZ 1kw I wouldn't try it on for example.

Get a 1500W psu on sale if anything and be more futureproof, they run best efficiency near 50% loads usually too. Evga had some crazy sales, got a 1500 or 1600 platinum 80p.

Not related but the naming schemes of CPUs and GPUs has been driving me nuts. Amd 7950x, intel 7940x, etc.
Bingo and same. I’m waiting to see the fallout between 7x3d, sapphire rapids, rumors on 14th gen, and what amd responds to SR with. That will determine my future and by then I’ll have gotten 3 good years out of everything.
 
As mild follow-up to this thread, we did build a i9-13900k system for my wife over the holiday break. Now that it's been setup, mildly overclocked and burned in, I am seeing that it's easily parity to slightly faster in nearly all "productivity" tasks versus the 3960x! Certainly faster in game benchmarks. Lower power, much easier to cool. I love it.

Since I believe the 13900k and 7950x mostly trade blows if memory serves, this tells me the 7950x is also likely at parity with or slightly faster than a TR3 3960x. I'll have to give this some thought.

Obviously this is not a disparagement of the TR3 platform which has given me 13900k/7950x performance for a couple of years now--and that's with the bottom-rung 3960x. I wish we got a TR4... :(
 
Also depends on your workload. I can’t easily make use of E cores for what I do (performance would be wildly inconsistent since a lot of it doesn’t understand the concept of a different core type, and the scheduler on that won’t ever change). Anything normal - I’m damned impressed with the 12900 I was given, and it’s even a non-K model. Super impressed.
 
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