If the workstation is your life, the performance is your death. Throughput is essential for data processing since it determines how many projects and contracts can be finished per user. This indicates that workstation users frequently have limited computing resources and are willing to use cores, memory, storage, or graphics acceleration to attack an issue. The second-generation Threadripper product, also known as Threadripper 2, is AMD’s most recent entry into the market. It violates the previous rules for pricing and core count: the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX offers 32 cores and 64 threads for under $1799 (on release). The 2950X, which has 16 cores and 32 threads, is now available for a new low price of $899 (on release). We put both to the test.
How many cores make sense has been a hot topic ever when AMD introduced its first generation Ryzen chip, which has eight cores compared to Intel’s four in the mainstream. How many users will utilize a range of tools at once or how many will have a single workload in mind will determine the answer to this issue. Despite the requirement for speed, there are many different types of power users in the workstation sector, thus there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution.
When AMD’s first version of Threadripper was released in 2017, it gave consumers access to 16-core processors. These new parts, which were previously only accessible on server platforms, were relatively reasonably priced compared to 10-core alternatives. In the end, AMD has modified its server platform to take on a market where Halo products are regarded as the market leader.
Formerly known as E5-2687W and reliant on twin socket servers, Intel’s own workstation devices were actually servers. Intel first introduced its most recent high-end desktop platform, which had up to 18 cores, and then the Xeon W-series, which took the place of the E5-W components from the previous generation. Again, these cost around $2500 and had up to 18 cores, but they needed specialized motherboards and chipsets.
AMD today formally launched the second iteration of its Threadripper processor. These new components strike the market in two ways: first, by utilizing the upgraded Zen+ microarchitecture, which boosts core performance by 3% IPC, and second, by utilizing 12nm, which increases frequencies and lowers power. The second market assault is on core count: AMD offers 24 and 32 core processors for up to $1799. AMD will also replace the 12 and 16 core processors with new Zen+ variants at higher frequencies. It sounds like a no-brainer when comparing 32 cores at $1799 to 18 cores at $2500, right?
AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX Specifications
While the Threadripper X series is targeted for fans and gamers, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper WX series is designed for content producers and innovators. We are pleased that AMD is being straightforward and not pushing the 24-core and 32-core parts to gamers or your normal power user because gamers don’t require 32-cores and 64-threads.
A base clock of 3.0 GHz, a boost clock of 4.2 GHz, and 64 MB of L3 cache are all features of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. The 12nm Zen+ core-based processor’s design is one of the reasons the 2990WX is not intended for gaming. The 2990WX is a quad-die processor that can only be used as a Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) solution. It cannot be used as a Unified Memory Access (UMA) CPU. The good news is that AMD now formally supports memory clocked up to 2933 MHz, an increase from 2667 MHz on Threadripper CPUs of the first generation. The whole system is supported by 32 PCIe lanes and two memory channels from Dies 0 and 2 (IO Dies).
Compute Dies 1 and 3 receive DRAM and PCIe access from the IO Dies via the Infinity Fabric because they lack local PCIe or DRAM access. A mesh topology connecting all dies operates at about 25GBps (assuming DDR4 3200MHz memory is used). There is a gaming mode that disables everything but Die 0 to ensure the greatest performance while gaming, and the AMD Ryzen Master software lets you disable cores at will.
AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX Specs
|# of CPU Cores||32|
|Unlocked for Overclocking||Yes|
|Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)||68°C|
|Product Family||AMD Ryzen™ Processors|
|# of Threads||64|
|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 2990WX Performance & Tests
The Game Mode on the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX lowers the total number of cores while preventing performance-degrading cores from using too much bandwidth. However, because of its poorer per-core performance, Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX dropped to the bottom of our chart. It was moved up to the center of our test field with the aid of PBO.
Generally speaking, 3DMark scales nicely with increased core/thread counts. The 32C/64T 2990WX is one of the Threadripper processors, but it lags behind Intel’s lineup. In fact, the 2950X performed quite a bit faster than AMD’s earlier Threadripper 1950X. The 2990WX’s Game Mode setting, which made it an 8C/16C CPU, limited its performance. Through the use of Precision Boost Overdrive, both Threadripper 2 models experienced significant increases.
The computationally demanding game Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation scales nicely with thread count.
At standard settings, Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX trailed the rest of our test pool, but when PBO was enabled, it was competitive with an overclocked 1950X.
One of the better illustrations of a game that scales nicely with host processing power is this one. The fact that Ryzen 7 2700X outperformed the majority of the test pool while costing much less is telling, though. If playing games is your main objective, it’s advisable to stick with common desktop CPUs.
The AI test for the turn-based strategy game Civilization VI assesses CPU performance and favors per-core performance. The Civilization VI AI benchmark was completely dominated by Intel’s high-end desktop lineup. Despite falling short of its overclocked predecessors, the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX saw a respectable performance increase thanks to automatic tweaking.
Intel architectures and, more broadly, multi-core designs with high clock rates are preferred by Grand Theft Auto V. After we turned on Precision Boost Overdrive, AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX outperformed the Core i9-7900X. However, the Core i7-8700K from Intel and the Ryzen 7 2700X from AMD served as a reminder of why we don’t suggest using high-end desktop CPUs in the majority of gaming PCs.
The word processor, GIMP, and web browser load times are measured by the application start-up metric under both warm- and cold-start scenarios. This test is also impacted by additional platform-level factors, such as the storage subsystem. This benchmark still favors Intel, and once more we see how the Threadripper 1920X’s 4.0 GHz clock speed puts it ahead of its more recent competitors.
Performance of single- and multi-user applications that make use of the Windows Media Foundation for playing and encoding is measured using our video conferencing suite. Additionally, facial detection is done to simulate real-world use. In tests that aren’t substantially parallelized, Ryzen 7 2700X takes the lead while the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX continues to lag, but tweaking brightens the picture a little.
Performance using Futuremark’s binaries utilizing the ImageMagick library is measured by the photo editing test. Parallelized workloads for common photo processing tasks are also common, and the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is up to the task. Despite having 32 cores, the processor only slightly outperforms the optimized Threadripper 1950X, which has 16 cores, which serves as a reminder that AMD’s new flagship processor’s performance isn’t always scalable.
AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX Final Thoughts
Workloads that can make use of Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX’s arsenal of execution cores are nothing short of spectacular. Rendering is a prime illustration. However, it struggles to scale in other applications. Performance in applications that depend heavily on bandwidth or PCIe traffic can be significantly decreased by the dispersed design, which isolates half of the processor’s computing resources from the memory and I/O controllers. You’re better off with Threadripper 2950X unless you have a very specific workload that needs a lot of parallelism.
AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX