AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX & 2950X CPU Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX & 2950X CPU Review

AMD teased us a bit last week by showing off its new 2nd Generation Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X packaging and specifications. This week AMD lets us share all our Threadripper data we have been collecting. The 2990WX is likely a lot different part than many people were expecting, and it turns out that it might usher AMD into a newly created market.

Here is a spreadsheet with raw SpecViewperf 13 data on all the CPUs tested.

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tsuehpsyde

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Thanks for the great write-up! I enjoyed the last two sections the most, for sure. Keeps us in the loop when you get the motherboard situation sorted out. :)
 
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Thanks for the great review Kyle! The 2950X is what I'll be targeting. I don't have a need for all 32 cores at home, but I could put those 16 affordable cores to use while I stream and game on the same machine.
 

sirmonkey1985

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glad to see amd stuck with the 2 die setup for the 2950x instead of spreading the core count across 4 dies.. even though the 2990wx isn't the best at gaming that things going to be a multitasking beast. at 64t you could basically be encoding something in premiere while also encoding 4 or 5 4k videos in handbrake at the same exact time and still have unused threads available for other things, lol.
 

Nightfire

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It looks like the 2950x is the real star of the show. Trading blows with the 7980xe for less than half the price!

The 2990wx really takes a beating in many apps due to the lower bandwidth and higher latency. Even in places where the 2990wx can stretch its legs, I feel like the 2970x will come within spitting distance if you can give it a good overclock. The fact that the 2990wx was killing $400 motherboards and overloading 1kw psus is not so comforting either.

Sweet review Kyle!
 

cageymaru

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That write up was so good! That Intel $2000 monster needs a severe price cut or just needs to be phased out.
 

Nobu

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The 2990wx really takes a beating in many apps due to the lower bandwidth and higher latency. Even in places where the 2990wx can stretch its legs, I feel like the 2970x will come within spitting distance if you can give it a good overclock. The fact that the 2990wx was killing $400 motherboards and overloading 1kw psus is not so comforting either.

Sweet review Kyle!
Keep in mind that it worked fine when not overclocked. It uses roughly twice the power, but it's got twice the number of cores. A workstation with a cpu like this (and possibly multiple workstation gpus) would probably have a +1200w psu anyway, maybe over 2000w of psu.
 

psyclist

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Thanks for the review fellas! AMD just stole the HEDT market. So much value for those that can make use of it. This is only day 1, support and core scaling is coming for sure from all the ISV's. That 2950X is awfully tempting to upgrade my 4930K, 3 times the Cinebench score! Looking forward to the future articles!
 

tangoseal

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Good review Kyle.

However, and not having anything to do with your review which was fantastic, I am seeing so many mixed results. From gaming to content creation it would seem that the numbers vary to a great degree for the 2990x. Its seemingly appearing to be based on each reviewers motherboards they have. Asrock vs msi vs gigabyte etc all showing highly variable single and multi threaded numbers. Especially in Cinebench.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Hot!

Literally and figuratively ;).

I will say that that 2950X is extremely attractive, if clockspeeds can be stabilized a bit higher- would love to see a 24/7 stable review with it and the 8700k for something along the lines of an HEDT vs. consumer CPU gaming comparison that exposes how much real-world performance is lost in gaming (and potentially other applications that are sensitive to single-thread performance) when moving to HEDT.

[main motivation is seeing the 2950X keep up pretty well with Intel HEDT, while also understanding that Intel's HEDT parts are a bit slower than their consumer parts, so we're not really yet seeing how these Ryzen 2 HEDT parts balance out against the top-end gaming setups]
 

Nobu

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Good review Kyle.

However, and not having anything to do with your review which was fantastic, I am seeing so many mixed results. From gaming to content creation it would seem that the numbers vary to a great degree for the 2990x. Its seemingly appearing to be based on each reviewers motherboards they have. Asrock vs msi vs gigabyte etc all showing highly variable single and multi threaded numbers. Especially in Cinebench.
Could be due to power delivery issues (i.e. not sufficient VRM or VRM cooling deficiency). Did they use the updated motherboards in their tests?
 

IdiotInCharge

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Thanks for the review fellas! AMD just stole the HEDT market. So much value for those that can make use of it. This is only day 1, support and core scaling is coming for sure from all the ISV's. That 2950X is awfully tempting to upgrade my 4930K, 3 times the Cinebench score! Looking forward to the future articles!

I'd say that they'd already 'stolen it' for the most part; I haven't recommended Intel for non-gaming HEDT since AMD got the memory controller compatibility on Ryzen more or less stable. You need specific non-gaming workloads to make a good case for Intel; if you just need the cores/threads to throw at a project, TR is your solution.
 

FrgMstr

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The fact that the 2990wx was killing $400 motherboards and overloading 1kw psus is not so comforting either.
To be clear, I KNOW that the issue with the MEG X399 Creation was not a power thing. I think the cooler shifted the CPU in the socket when I installed the cooler. I am going to get back to figuring this out this morning. That said, it does not bode well for that cooler. I have never seen anything like this happen with any other cooler and TR.
 

LurkerLito

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Great review Kyle.

I'll be sticking to my 1950x for a while longer, I might consider the 2950x at a later date since it's a simple drop in upgrade :). I'll still admit that a part of me still really wants the 2990wx but I really don't need 32 cores. It would be nice on certain occasions to have it I am sure, but haven't had the need to all that often lately so it just won't be worth the extra money, gaming, and heat/power draw penalties.
 

FrgMstr

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IdiotInCharge

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I think many of the scaling problems we are seeing here are due to Windows.

Phoronix ran a large number of multithreaded Linux benchmarks, and the 2990WX made short work of the 7980XE almost everywhere.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd-linux-2990wx

I use Linux for a lot of things, but I'm not familiar with the vast majority of those benchmarks. And I'm here on the [H].

While this may be a Windows thing (nice jab!), it is also quite specifically an application thing. Premiere Pro is a top-end content creation tool that is widely used and understood, for instance, that is also accessible to mere mortals, and it highlights part of the backstory here:

AMD cannot get their IPC up (yet) and they cannot get their clocks up (yet), so their only competitive solution is to throw more cores at the problem. As we've seen, while Intel has seemed a bit 'stingy' with cores, we've also see applications being the bottleneck: an 8700k is hardly faster than a 6700k at the same clockspeeds in most gaming workloads, and both are faster than an R7 2700(X). It isn't until you start doing things other than gaming (while gaming or otherwise) that the 8700k and then sometimes the 2700(X) start to pull ahead.

This situation repeats itself at HEDT levels, and as seen in the benchmarks and mentioned specifically in the article, Intel's combined IPC and clockspeed advantage continue to deliver.

On balance, of course, is that for those workloads that just need more cores (and not AVX512 or more memory bandwidth or more single-core performance), AMD has a solution!
 

ZeqOBpf6

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First review for something I'm not buying I've read in a long time.

Small note, on page 3 the 2950x is referred to as an $800 processor, I believe it should read $899.

Sick stuff in here, do want!
 

chithanh

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AMD also released a statement to ComputerBase, basically saying that Windows is at fault for at least some of the scaling problems.
ComputerBase said:
Und auch mit 64 Threads müssen viele Programme überhaupt erst einmal umgehen können. Hier sei auch der Scheduler von Windows nicht unbeteiligt, so AMD. Zusammen mit Microsoft arbeitet man bereits daran, Windows für den Umgang mit mehr als 32 Threads auf Threadripper 2000 zu optimieren.
rough translation:
ComputerBase said:
And many programs need to be able to handle 64 threads at all. This is also where the Windows scheduler comes in, says AMD. Together with Microsoft work is being done to optimize Windows for handling more than 32 threads on Threadripper 2000.
https://www.computerbase.de/2018-08...hnitt_32_kerne_machen_im_alltag_noch_probleme
 

Nytegard

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I was originally considering the 2990, but thinking about it I'm going to wait for the 2950. Better suited for what I'll be doing.

Thanks for the review!

That's pretty much what I decided too. I had the 2990 on preorder, but after this, I decided to cancel, and will just wait for the 2950. For most things that I'm after (Adobe, compiling), the 2950 seems just a tad better as well as $900 cheaper, and will also be able to play games without having to worry about rebooting.

The main thing I'm now worried about is preordering that. The 2990 is already out of stock, and I'm willing to bet for many consumer enthusiasts, the 2950 will be viewed in even higher regard, so I'm worried it might sell out in minutes, and I don't want to wait until October to see it.
 
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AthlonXP

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Such a great review and yet again another hit for AMD. I am really happy to see competition in the CPU market again as us the consumers benefit from this!
 

Criticalhitkoala

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Thanks for the great review Kyle! The 2950X is what I'll be targeting. I don't have a need for all 32 cores at home, but I could put those 16 affordable cores to use while I stream and game on the same machine.

What would you suggest to help with handling core allocation? I have a measly 16 core (8/8) machine and as soon as I do an export in lightroom my machine slows to a crawl. I haven't been able to figure out any way to bypass this.


Concerning the 2990x, I think that's pretty damn neat. I know a few people who are wanting it. Doesn't motivate me to move from Intel at all though, but I think the guys trying it out should be happy.
 

noko

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Loved the review and style of discovery. With the 2990wx I wonder about the motherboards that would best support this beast. When the ASUS Extreme has issues with temperatures on the VRMs at 4ghz - that makes me wonder how the other motherboards will fare. Also surprised that the MSI actually did good VRM wise but then it died. Disappointed in use of a 1000w power supply but should prompt others to get 1500w+ if going with a 2990wx.
 

FrgMstr

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Loved the review and style of discovery. With the 2990wx I wonder about the motherboards that would best support this beast. When the ASUS Extreme has issues with temperatures on the VRMs at 4ghz - that makes me wonder how the other motherboards will fare. Also surprised that the MSI actually did good VRM wise but then it died. Disappointed in use of a 1000w power supply but should prompt others to get 1500w+ if going with a 2990wx.
Just broke out a 1200W. Going to see if that was the issue with the 1000W unit.
 

USMCGrunt

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Im curious how well this would perform with VMWare in front of it. All these cores and all these threads would seem right at home in a small home lab.
 

FrgMstr

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Im curious how well this would perform with VMWare in front of it. All these cores and all these threads would seem right at home in a small home lab.
I had Dan_D working on this to see if we can lock VMs to direct attached memory, which I think we should be able to, but did not get anything back from him in the last week. The impetus for doing this would be to get around having to reboot the machine to get the 2990WX into its "Game Mode." I asked AMD a couple weeks ago as well and never got a reply.
 

Riccochet

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I have a feeling these new TR's aren't ready for VMWare yet. And that's mostly going to come down to the motherboard/BIOS being supported. It took a while, with some work-arounds, for TR1 to work with ESXi. Great if you can get it working, just don't expect much help from VMWare. Better on getting a used Epyc server, or running Hyper-V.
 

FrgMstr

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I have a feeling these new TR's aren't ready for VMWare yet. And that's mostly going to come down to the motherboard/BIOS being supported. It took a while, with some work-arounds, for TR1 to work with ESXi. Great if you can get it working, just don't expect much help from VMWare. Better on getting a used Epyc server, or running Hyper-V.
Well, AMD has in no way suggested that these CPUs are for running VMs in any way, shape, or form.
 

britjh22

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Definitely interested to see what air cooling the 2950x looks like with PB2, is the Noctua or the Wraith Ripper enough to keep it in decent clocks.
 

Trepidati0n

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It is amazing seeing AMD try and create new market with something of value. Be curious to see how it plays out.
 

Dan_D

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It is amazing seeing AMD try and create new market with something of value. Be curious to see how it plays out.

This has been among the most exiting times for CPU's I can recall in the two decades I've been working in the industry. So I'm eager to see what I can do with Threadripper in this scenario.
 

FrgMstr

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Not sure if sarcastic (mostly because I'm not particularly interested in what AMD or any other vendor says, but what they do, which is why I'm here ;) ),
I have always taken very seriously the marketing and messaging that accompanies products. You may not find it important, but I very much do.
 

mvmiller12

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It is amazing seeing AMD try and create new market with something of value. Be curious to see how it plays out.

You say this like it's never happened before... Everyone likes to look at Intel as the only innovator in x86, and they DO do a lot, but AMD gets some in from time-to-time as well. AMD integrated the memory controller onto the CPU with Athlon 64 (and Intel later followed suit), for example. But the big "market creating" thing was the AMD64 instruction set. At the time Intel was pushing IA64 hard and had no interest in an x64 market at all. And because Microsoft refused to make yet another variation of Windows to run a custom x64 implementation for Intel, Intel was forced to adopt the AMD64 instruction set in their own processors. You can bet THAT sat well with Intel brass. :)
 
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