Nothing compares to AMD’s new $1,999 (on release) AMD Ryzen TR 3970X, one of three premium chips in the third generation of AMD’s mega-CPU series, in the realm of desktop processors below the server level. This chip, which boasts 32 cores and 64 threads, is now the pinnacle of the high-end desktop market.
For anyone who relies on applications that need as many cores and as much power as possible, it is the silicon to long for. The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X and its surrounding platform (anchored by the new TRX40 chipset) break multicore records for its intended use—crushing core-aware tasks—while its single-core results are average.
It is a worthy replacement for the Threadripper 2970WX, which we evaluated, and the Threadripper 2990WX, which we did not test. It also puts pressure on Intel’s rival hardware, particularly the brand-new Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition. As one of the top CPUs for content creators, big multitaskers, and scenarios requiring enormous amounts of device bandwidth and memory access, it receives PCMag’s Editors’ Choice award.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X Unboxing
The new box has a nice design, but it’s difficult to open and once the CPU lock is released, it’s really challenging to put it back in. The CPU has the same appearance as earlier Threadripper CPUs, however it needs a motherboard with the new TRX40 chipset.
The CPU has a sizable heatspreader and is very standard. An Aestek bracket, a manual, a Torx wrench, two stickers—one large and one small—and a warranty brochure are included with the CPU.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X Specifications
Launched in November 2019, the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is a desktop CPU with 32 cores. It belongs to the Ryzen Threadripper family and utilizes Socket TRX4 and the Zen 2 (Matisse) architecture. Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) from AMD effectively doubles the number of cores to 64 threads.
The Ryzen Threadripper 3970X features 128MB of L3 cache and runs at 3.7 GHz by default, but depending on the workload, it can accelerate to 4.5 GHz. AMD is using a 7 nm manufacturing technology and 15,200 million transistors to create the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The chip’s silicon die is manufactured by TSMC, not AMD. The unlocked multiplier on the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X may be freely adjusted, substantially simplifying overclocking by allowing you to select any overclocked frequency.
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X requires excellent cooling because it consumes a lot of power (TDP: 280 W). The processor from AMD has a quad-channel interface and supports DDR4 memory. The maximum memory speed officially supported is 3200 MHz, but with the right memory modules, you can overclock your computer to go even faster. AMD Ryzen TR 3970X connects via PCI-Express Gen 4 to communicate with other system parts. Because this processor lacks integrated graphics, you will need to purchase a separate graphics card.
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X supports hardware virtualization, which significantly boosts virtual machine performance. This processor can run programs that make use of Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), which improves performance for applications that require lots of calculations.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X Specs
|# of CPU Cores
|Unlocked for Overclocking
|Max. Operating Temperature (Tjmax)
|AMD Ryzen™ Processors
|# of Threads
|AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors
|Max. Boost Clock
|Up to 4.5GHz
|Processor Technology for CPU Cores
|TSMC 7nm FinFET
|Thermal Solution (PIB)
|Not included, liquid cooling recommended
|Windows 10 – 64-Bit EditionRHEL x86 64-BitUbuntu x86 64-Bit*Operating System (OS) support will vary by manufacturer.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X Tests & Performance
I used an MSI TRX40 Creator motherboard, AMD Ryzen TR 3970X processor, 64GB of Corsair Dominator DDR4-3600 memory(Opens in a new window) installed in four of the DIMM slots, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card to handle video output during the CPU testing. (Like all previous Threadrippers and the majority of Ryzen CPUs, these new Zen 2-based Ryzens lack on-chip graphics, necessitating the use of a video card.) Throughout all testing, we used the Creator motherboard’s top supported XMP profile while operating the memory at its highest speed of 3,600MHz.
I utilized a 1TB Corsair MP600 PCI Express NVMe M.2 SSD as the Windows 10 boot disk. Remember that the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X does not come with a default CPU cooler in the package, so you will need to either have one on hand or purchase one. This is true of many of AMD’s enthusiast-focused processors. The triple-fan Thermaltake Floe Riing RB 360 liquid cooler we utilized for our first- and second-generation Threadripper tests was still in use.
As well as synthetic benchmarks with proprietary results, we evaluate CPUs in real-world scenarios using 3D games like Far Cry 5 and popular consumer programs like Apple’s iTunes. Let’s get going.
The POV-Ray benchmark provides a second view on the Cinebench findings because it is a synthetic, heavily threaded, and CPU-intensive rendering test. It provides a fair balance of outcomes that can demonstrate a processor’s single- and multicore capabilities in the same benchmark.
The Threadripper 3970X quickly made up any ground lost in the single-core iTunes test by dominating the multicore POV-Ray benchmark. With its decisive victory, the Threadripper 3970X broke the previous record for a CPU in this category.
We encode a set of audio songs using an old Windows version of Apple’s iTunes to get a realistic look at single-core performance. Because of its age, the application doesn’t employ the majority of the processing threads that are available; this is a characteristic of the sporadic legacy software that many of us occasionally need to rely on in unique situations.
Now, single-core tests continue to be difficult, despite the Threadripper 3970X’s brawn and physical force in multicore tests like Cinebench R15. The clocks of a single core may slow down when more cores are added to a package because something needs to give. Similar to the rest of the brand’s newest CPUs, the Threadripper 3970X consistently falls short in single-core tests (like this one) to much less expensive models like the Intel Core i9-9900K. Of all, purchasing a Porsche 911 to pull hay bales is analogous to utilizing a CPU like the 3970X primarily for single-core operations.
You can benchmark a computer utilizing a range of performance tests with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X PassMark 9 PassMark Performance Test. This test evaluates the complete computer and all of its parts. This is possibly one of the odder results that we found. Here, the Threadripper 3970X and the Xeon W-3275 are both outperformed by the Core i9-10980XE. We would not anticipate seeing that, yet that is what we did.
The most common problems reported with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
The primary concerns frequently encountered with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X pertain to audio dropouts and the necessity to deactivate Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) to achieve optimal performance in specific applications, particularly within the realm of professional audio workstations like Cubase. Users have noted that disabling SMT notably enhances performance and diminishes instances of audio dropouts.
While there are other issues found, they are not as widespread or specific to the 3970X. For instance, conversations touch upon the absence of backward compatibility and the requirement for updated BIOS versions and software to ensure seamless hardware and software integration. However, these concerns are not exclusive to the 3970X and are typical with the introduction of new hardware iterations.
In summary, the prevailing issues encountered with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X encompass audio dropouts and the imperative to deactivate SMT for optimal performance in select applications.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X Final Thoughts
On the surface, the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X appears to be nothing revolutionary. It’s simply an upgrade over last year’s 2990WX, with the same number of cores and threads.
However, it is everything surrounding the cores that distinguishes this Threadripper 2019 iteration. The transition to the Zen 2 7nm chiplet-based architecture has resulted in significant improvements for this generation of Threadrippers, so much so that they almost require their own category to be defined.
You won’t find a faster consumer-accessible processor for $1,999 anywhere in the world right now, and if you’re a professional content creator who relies on fast render times to do your job more effectively. This processor should pay for itself if you do your job more efficiently (including the equally hefty upfront cost of entry).
Is AMD Ryzen TR 3970X worth it?
With 32 cores and 64 threads, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X is a top-tier desktop processor. How much it’s “worth it” will depend on your needs, budget, and use case. Here are some things to think about:
Multithreaded Performance: With its outstanding multithreaded performance, the Threadripper 3970X is a great choice for professional workloads that require a high core count, like video editing, content production, 3D rendering, and other similar applications.
Budget: The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X and other Threadripper processors are premium CPUs, and as such, their prices reflect this. Think about your spending plan and whether the extra cores and improved performance are worth the money for your particular needs.
Gaming: Although the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is capable of handling both gaming and other duties, if gaming is your main priority, it might not be the most economical option. High clock speeds and potent single-threaded performance, which are available in other processors at a lower price range, are frequently more advantageous for gaming.
Newer Generations: It’s possible that newer CPU generations have been launched after my last update. Examine the cost and availability of more recent models to determine whether they provide better features or performance within your price range.
Workload: Take into account the particular programs and jobs you’ll be using. The higher core count of Threadripper CPUs may not be completely utilized by some software, thus it’s critical to match the CPU to your workload.
Availability: Due to technological advancements, some models, like the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X, may become less common. Look for more recent solutions that offer a decent trade-off between price and functionality.
To make an informed choice based on the state of the market and the available products, it is advised to look up the most recent reviews, benchmarks, and pricing data. With 32 cores, the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is a strong CPU that can be a worthwhile investment if your tasks benefit from a high core count. However, you might get a better deal with another Ryzen processor if gaming or less complex tasks are your main use case.
Is AMD Ryzen TR 3970X good for gaming?
High-end desktop processors like the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X are made for professional applications like scientific simulations, 3D rendering, and video editing. It is a great option for multi-threaded tasks because it contains 32 cores and 64 threads. But since most games only use eight cores, it is not the ideal option for gaming.
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X has an average gaming score of 86%, per UserBenchmark. With an average gaming score of 93%, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is one processor that has a higher score than this one.
Therefore, the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X might not be the greatest option if you’re searching for a processor that you’ll mostly use for gaming. However, the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is a great option if you’re searching for a processor that can manage multi-threaded workloads.
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is better suited for professional workloads that can take use of its large core count, even while it can handle gaming and deliver great overall system performance. If gaming is your main priority, you might want to think about getting a processor from AMD’s Ryzen 9 series, which is made with gaming in mind and frequently offers greater performance for the money. To make sure you have access to the most recent data on performance and cost, always look for updated benchmarks and reviews.
Can you overclock AMD Ryzen TR 3970X?
The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X has overclocking capability, just like a lot of other Ryzen chips. Overclocking is the process of altering several factors, like voltages and clock speeds, to make the processor function better than it does at stock.
AMD’s official overclocking tool, the AMD Ryzen Master program, can be used to overclock the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X. To maximize performance, Ryzen Master offers an intuitive interface for modifying voltages, clock rates, and other settings.
The following are general procedures for Ryzen Master overclocking:
Download Ryzen Master: The official AMD website is where you can get Ryzen Master.
Install Ryzen Master: To install the Ryzen Master program on your computer, adhere to the installation guidelines.
Start Ryzen Master: To utilize the overclocking options, open the Ryzen Master application.
Modify Settings: Ryzen Master gives you the ability to modify voltage, core clock speed, and other settings. Gradually adjust while keeping an eye on the system’s temps and stability.
Stress Testing: To make sure your system is stable after making changes, you must stress test it. For stress testing, programs such as Prime95 or AIDA64 can be utilized. Make sure the temperature stays within safe bounds by keeping an eye on it.
Fine-Tune: The process of overclocking is iterative. Adjusting your settings may be necessary to achieve the best possible balance between stability and performance.
Remember that there are certain risks associated with overclocking, such as increased heat generation and possible instability. It’s critical to keep an eye on temperatures, make sure the system is stable, and understand the cooling solution’s limitations. Furthermore, overclocking may cause your warranty to lapse, so be careful to know what that means for your particular processor.
What temperature should an AMD Ryzen TR 3970X run at?
The official AMD website states that the maximum operating temperature of the AMD Ryzen TR 3970X. On Overclock.net, several users claim that the optimal temperature range for the processor is between 40 and 50°C when it is operating at maximum speed.
It is significant to remember that the workload, the cooling solution being used, and other variables can all affect the processor’s temperature. In order to lessen the strain on the processor, you might want to think about changing your system settings or updating your cooling solution if you are experiencing excessive temperatures.
How much power does AMD Ryzen TR 3970X draw?
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is a high-end desktop processor whose Thermal Design Power (TDP) indicates how much power it uses. The greatest amount of heat that the cooling system is anticipated to dissipate under typical operating circumstances is measured by TDP.
The AMD Ryzen TR 3970X is normally rated for 250 watts of TDP. This suggests that, even with typical workloads, the processor’s cooling solution should be able to dissipate up to 250 watts of heat in order to maintain ideal operating temperatures.
AMD Ryzen TR 3970X