A middle ground of architects, independent photographers, and many other creative people who require PCs that won’t steal them too many billable hours while they wait for their masterpieces to render lies between a Hollywood special effects studio and a PC gamer’s den. Hardcore gamers may construct their own rigs around a gaming powerhouse like the Intel Core i9-9900K, and large Hollywood studios have the funds and IT support for a fleet of Intel Xeon-powered workstations. But there aren’t many possibilities in that intermediate area. The new AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX ($1,299 on release) is fortunately one of them. One of four second-generation Threadripper family elite consumer processors, it has enough cores, threads, unlocked flexibility, and wallet-friendliness to act as a fantastic brain for digital producers looking for processing power for the newest and greatest programs without spending a fortune.
AMD Ryzen TR 2970X Specifications
AMD updated its standard Ryzen line-up earlier this year with new Zen+ enhancements, which featured 12nm manufacturing, better memory and cache latency, higher clock rates, and increased multi-core Precision Boost frequencies. The most recent Threadripper models from the business also use those modifications.
Additionally, AMD divided its Threadripper lineup into the WX and X families. The two WX versions are designed for heavy multitasking workloads, video encoding, 3D rendering, and cinema mastering. They are so appealing to programmers, audio and video engineers, and content producers.
AMD’s second quad-die processor for high-end desktops is called Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX. Again, it has 48 threads and 24 cores. Using AMD’s XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) techniques, a 3 GHz base frequency can be extended to 4.2 GHz. Additionally, the CPU has upgraded Precision Boost 2 technology, which allows it to achieve multi-core turbo clock rates that are more aggressive than those of first-gen versions.
The four dies that make up the WX CPU each have eight physical cores and 16MB of L3 cache. As a result, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2970WX both have 64MB of L3 cache. That’s kind of AMD considering how often Intel disables cache along with turning off cores to make cheaper models. Nevertheless, AMD does carve off two cores per chip to provide the 24-core arrangement of the 2970WX. The AMD Ryzen TR 2970X is rated at 250W, just like the 2990WX.
All Threadripper CPUs from AMD come with an Asetek mount that allows them to use appropriate closed-loop liquid coolers to partially cover the large heat spreader. AMD claims that this limited coverage is suitable for stock operation. We discovered that full-coverage coolers perform better, nevertheless. Additionally, AMD and Cooler Master worked together to create the Wraith Ripper heat sink and fan set for the Socket TR4 interface. However, it is offered separately.
Of course, AMD improves thermal transfer by using Indium solder between its dies and heat spreader. For its Skylake-X processors, Intel uses liquid cooling and recommends thermal grease. That is not required for Threadripper, according to AMD. Indium solder was recently added by Intel to their Core i9 series, so it’s possible that this innovation may soon reach the HEDT market.
All second-generation Threadripper CPUs are backwards compatible with X399 motherboards that are already in use. However, older Socket TR4-equipped boards could struggle to handle AMD’s 250W Threadripper WX series CPUs’ power requirements, especially if you attempt to overclock. If tweaking is on the agenda, think about looking for a new X399-based platform.
On the AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX, there are a ton of well-known AMD value-adds: you get a ratio multiplier that can be unlocked for overclocking, the new Precision Boost Overdrive automated overclocking function, Ryzen Master software, and 60 lanes of third-generation PCI Express (plus four lanes attached to the supporting chipset). Multiple add-in graphics cards may benefit from abundant connection, but high-performance storage and networking are also aided by it.
The independent dual-channel memory controllers included on the two dies of Threadripper CPUs work together to offer quad-channel memory with different data transfer rates depending on your configuration. AMD raises the maximum specification for its second-generation Threadripper CPUs to DDR4-2933 (up from DDR4-2666). The platform supports ECC memory and capacities of up to 256GB, but as density rises, it can handle capacities of up to 2TB.
AMD Ryzen TR 2970X Specs
|# of CPU Cores||24|
|Unlocked for Overclocking||Yes|
|Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)||68°C|
|Product Family||AMD Ryzen™ Processors|
|# of Threads||48|
|Product Line||AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors|
|Max. Boost Clock||Up to 4.2GHz|
|Processor Technology for CPU Cores||12nm|
|Thermal Solution (PIB)||Not included|
|*OS Support||Windows 10 – 64-Bit EditionRHEL x86 64-BitUbuntu x86 64-Bit*Operating System (OS) support will vary by manufacturer.|
AMD Ryzen TR 2970X Performance & Tests
Our testing routine began with Maxon’s CPU-intensive Cinebench R15 test. One of the greatest quick assessments of a task using all available processor cores and threads is Cinebench, a fully threaded test. Even professional apps can’t use all threads as well as Cinebench can in practice, but this horsepower test demonstrates the chip’s full capability by rendering a complicated image using the CPU rather than the GPU.
We’ve put in the single-core results here in addition to the typical test that utilizes all available cores to give you an idea of how AMD’s new CPU performs with single-threaded tasks.
The AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX dominates the competition on the all-cores test with a score of 4,203, as it should: It simply has by far the most cores. This finding shows that, all other things being equal, any app whose performance scales with the sheer number of cores available to it will like this CPU. Real-world applications that can execute core-dependent tasks like 3D rendering often also perform other tasks that depend more on clock speed, memory, GPU performance, and other aspects besides the number of CPU cores.
The performance of the AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX on the single-core Cinebench test is almost the exact opposite. Only the first-generation Threadripper 1950X recorded a lower score, by a hair, than it, with a score of 168, placing it in the bottom of its peer group (167). Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the Intel chips constantly outperform their AMD rivals in the single-core Cinebench test. The Core i7-7960X scored 191, whereas the Core i9-9900X with a faster clock speed scored 218.
AMD Ryzen TR 2970X Conclusion
The Threadripper 2970WX’s primary function is as a workstation APU. This use case is reflected in benchmark results, with the APU excelling in multi-core testing. Some may consider it excessive to pay over US$1,300 for comparatively subpar single-core performance, but the Threadripper 2970WX is far less expensive than competing Intel models and has noticeably superior multi-core performance. In conclusion, we believe that the high price is justified.
Editors of videos or photos will value the AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX power. Similar to the APU, the Threadripper 2970WX is an excellent choice for a server CPU because it can run several virtual machines concurrently. The APU is a multi-core beast overall, but because to its poor single-core performance and expensive launch price, it is not a good all-around processor. Instead, it works best in workstation or server applications where it can take advantage of its high core and thread count.
AMD Ryzen TR 2970WX