AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX Review

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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 Ryzen TR 2990WX 2

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).

AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX 3

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

PlatformBoxed Processor
# of CPU Cores32
Base Clock3.0GHz
L3 Cache64MB
Unlocked for OverclockingYes
Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)68°C
Product FamilyAMD Ryzen™ Processors
# of Threads64
L1 Cache3MB
Default TDP250W
CPU SocketsTR4
Launch Date8/31/2018
Product LineAMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors
Max. Boost ClockUp to 4.2GHz
L2 Cache16MB
Processor Technology for CPU Cores12nm
Thermal Solution (PIB)Not included
*OS SupportWindows 10 – 64-Bit EditionRHEL x86 64-BitUbuntu x86 64-Bit*Operating System (OS) support will vary by manufacturer.

AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX Performance & Tests

AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX 4

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

AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX 5

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.

Is AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX worth it?

With 32 cores and 64 threads, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is a very potent processor that’s perfect for demanding applications and intensive multitasking. However, your needs, expectations, and financial situation will determine whether or not it is worthwhile.

Among the benefits of the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX over other CPUs are as follows:

It can handle multiple activities at once and perform well in workloads that are parallel since it has the most cores and threads of any consumer CPU.

It can enhance performance and expandability by supporting overclocking, 64 PCIe lanes, and quad-channel DDR4 memory.

Because it works with the current TR4 socket and X399 chipset, you can replace an older Threadripper processor without having to swap out your motherboard.

Compared to Intel’s competitive Core i9-7980XE, which has 18 cores and 36 threads, it costs less per core.

But the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX also has several shortcomings, like:

Due to its high heat output and power consumption, it requires a strong cooling system and a dependable power source to operate.

It may not function effectively in some games and programs that are more sensitive to single-core speed and memory access due to its low base clock speed of 3.0 GHz and significant memory latency.

Its four distinct dies, two of which are not directly coupled to the main memory, make up its intricate architecture. This means that in some situations where high memory bandwidth or inter-core communication is required, it can have performance and compatibility issues.

Due to its expensive price of $1,799, it may not provide the best value for money and is out of reach for the majority of consumers.

For this reason, if you’re searching for a processor that can manage heavy workloads and apps that make use of all of its cores and threads, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is a good investment. On the other hand, you might be better off with a less expensive or more tuned processor that can provide comparable or greater performance if your primary interests are gaming or general-purpose computing.

Is AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX good for gaming?

Because it is intended for intensive multitasking and demanding applications that can make use of all 32 cores and 64 threads, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is not a particularly excellent CPU for gaming. The majority of games are more sensitive to memory access and single-core speed than to core count, hence gaming is not one of those applications.

The AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX can run most games at high settings and resolutions, according to various gaming benchmarks, although it is frequently surpassed by other CPUs with fewer cores but higher clock speeds and lower latencies, including the Ryzen 9 3950X, the Ryzen 7 5800X, or the Intel Core i9-10900K. Additionally, compared to these CPUs, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX produces more heat and uses more power, which may have an impact on its ability to overclock and cooling needs.

Consequently, unless you also require a large number of cores and threads for other tasks like content creation, streaming, or multitasking, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is not an ideal CPU for gaming. On the other hand, you might be better suited with a less expensive or more tuned CPU that can provide comparable or superior gaming performance if gaming is your primary focus.

Can you overclock AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX?

The AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX processor can be overclocked in order to perform better than it does at stock settings. Overclocking does, however, come with some risk and caution because it can alter your system’s temperature, power consumption, and stability. In addition, a sturdy power supply, an appropriate cooling system, and a compatible motherboard are required.

The TR 2990WX can be overclocked using two primary techniques: manual overclocking and Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO). Using a software tool like Ryzen Master or modifying the CPU’s core voltage and base-clock multiplier in the BIOS are two methods of manually overclocking a CPU. PBO is a function that, based on your system’s workload, temperature, and power supply, enables the CPU to boost longer and higher than the normal limitations. PBO can be enabled via Ryzen Master or the BIOS.

Some sources claim that manual overclocking can produce a core voltage of 1.375 V to 1.45 V and a consistent all-core frequency of approximately 4.1 GHz to 4.2 GHz. This might not be the ideal method of overclocking the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX, though, as it might greatly increase heat output and power consumption.

Moreover, it might not enhance performance in some situations where higher single- or low-core speeds are advantageous. On the other hand, because PBO respects the voltage/frequency curve and dynamically modifies the clock speed in response to demand, it can offer a more balanced and effective overclocking experience. PBO can also increase memory bandwidth and speed, which can enhance performance in specific applications.

What temperature should an AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX run at?

A high-end desktop processor with a maximum operating temperature (Tjmax) of 68°C is the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX. In order to avoid overheating and damage, the CPU will begin to restrict its performance if it reaches or surpasses this temperature. As a result, you should try to maintain the CPU temperature below this threshold, ideally between 50°C and 60°C when it is under load and between 30°C and 40°C when it is idle.

A number of variables, including the surrounding temperature, the cooling system, the airflow, the workload, the overclocking settings, and the voltage, will affect the CPU’s real temperature. Software tools like Ryzen Master or HWinfo, which provide the accurate temperature of the CPU die (Tdie), can be used to monitor the CPU temperature. If your motherboard has a display, you can also use it; just make sure the value displayed matches what the software indicates.

How much power does AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX draw?

With 32 cores and 64 threads, the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX is a very potent processor that’s perfect for demanding applications and intensive multitasking. But, it also produces a lot of heat and requires a lot of power, so in order to run it, you’ll need a strong cooling system and a steady power source.

Thus, depending on how you use and configure the AMD Ryzen TR 2990WX, its power consumption might vary from 31 W to 250 W. It is important to ensure that you have a sturdy power source and an effective cooling system to manage the CPU’s power and heat production.

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