AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Review

TR4 Socket, X399 Chipset & Test Setup

The Threadripper TR4 Socket

Accommodating AMD's massive Threadripper processors required a new interface. Socket TR4 (SP3r2) for X399 motherboards boasts 4094 pins, which is much more complex than Intel's LGA 2066 interface found on X299-equipped motherboards. Socket TR4 socket marks AMD's transition from a PGA (Pin Grid Array) with the first Ryzen models to an LGA (Land Grid Array) implementation.

The processor employs a unique mounting process that should be safer than the normal latching mechanism, all the while remaining simple. Just remove the three Torx screws in a pre-defined order and the retention mechanism swings open. There is another assembly underneath that you also swing open. Pull out an internal plastic cover, and then slide the processor—contained in an orange plastic shroud—into the carriage. It's important to leave the black cover over the socket until you install the processor in the flip-up housing. Those pins are fragile.

After sliding the processor into its carriage, you remove the socket cover and swing the processor down into the socket. Then you swing down the mounting mechanism and tighten the fasteners (in the listed order) with the bundled Torx T20 torque wrench. We've included a picture of AMD's recommended TIM application technique. Heat sink installation requires four additional fasteners.

Socket AM4, like Threadripper, has its roots in the EPYC data center design. But the processors aren't interchangeable.

The X399 Chipset

The X399 chipset supports two USB 3.1 Gen2 and six USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, along with six USB 2.0 connections. Two PCIe 3.0 lanes allow motherboard vendors to add more storage connectivity (four SATA or two SATA Express), and the eight general-purpose PCIe 2.0 lanes accommodate other controllers, such as Ethernet or WLAN/Bluetooth. Eight SATA ports round out the chipset's connectivity options, and you can leverage several RAID configurations with the attached SATA devices. Unfortunately, NVMe RAID isn't supported in hardware yet, though software RAID is still an option.

The Threadripper processor provides an additional eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and four SATA connections (hardware RAID supported). The 60 remaining PCIe lanes support up to seven PCIe devices. Overall, the platform provides a wealth of connectivity options.

Comparison Products

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Test Systems

We introduced our new test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you'd like more detail about our general approach, check that piece out.

In this case, only the hardware configuration with CPU, RAM, mainboard, as well as the new cooling system are different, so the summary in table form gives a quick overview of the systems used:

Test System and Configuration
Hardware

Germany

AMD Socket
SP3 (TR4)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme
4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200

Intel LGA 2066

Intel Core i9-7900X
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 4GB G.Skill RipJaws IV DDR4-2600

AMD Socket AM4 Workstation
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X, 1600X, 1500X
MSI X370 Tomahawk
4x 8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200

Intel LGA 2011v3
Intel Core i7-6900K
MSI X99S XPower Gaming Titanium
4x 4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-2400

Intel LGA 1151
Intel Core i7-7700K
MSI Z270 Gaming 7
2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2400 MT/s

All Systems
GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
Nvidia Quadro P6000 (Workstation)

1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System)
2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W Power Supply
Windows 10 Pro (Creators Update)

US

AMD Socket SP3 (TR4)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme
4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 MT/s


Intel LGA 2066

Intel Core i9-7900X, i7-7820X
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 MT/s

AMD Socket AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium
2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 3200 MT/s

Intel LGA 1151
Intel Core i5-7700K
MSI Z270 Gaming M7
2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 MT/s

All
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE
1TB Samsung PM863
SilverStone ST1500, 1500W
Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703
Cooling
Germany
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
Alphacool Eisblock XPX
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (For Cooler Switch)
Monitor
Eizo EV3237-BK
PC Case
Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods
Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
Power Consumption Measurement
Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Thermal Measurement
1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Acoustic Measurement
NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)
Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)
Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm
Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA)
Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise

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5 comments
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  • vMax
    Very good in depth review. Threadripper looks like a great productivity CPU especially for the price to performance... At last AMD are back at the big table and thats not to put Intel down as they still make the fastest CPU's overall...just you have pay that much more for the privilege, but finaly we have a real choice at all price points... Great for the consumer. Good job Tom's and AMD.
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  • HEXiT
    so happy this has happend. intel wont be, but for amd, its great news. 95%+ the perfomance for half the price makes threadripper a very attractive cpu for virtual machines and even office environments that use terminals rather than every 1 using a desktop.
    so much potential for a £2k build that just wasnt there a year ago...
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  • fla56
    where is XFR testing?

    surely it's clear by now that the worst way to overclock a Ryzen is to try and overclock the cores?
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  • gferrin2012
    Hmm. I will first state I have no preference to AMD nor Intel. I can buy any CPU, or GPU that suits my needs. I looked over you "benches" and I will be very upfront. I do not believe yours. I think the "threadripper" benches a lot better than your are showing. Your test methods seem to favor Intel. I have long suspected and heard of Toms Hardware of being an Intel fanboy site. I have owned Intel and swore by them for years. In am considering AMD for the first time. I will continue to look at, what I believe, to be more honest test sites. Lets see how this plays out. I happen to have a friend who has an 1800x and and another associate that has an I7-7700k. I am familiar with Blenders Bmw benchmark. I would like an explanation as to why, in CPU rendering using blender 2.78c, the 1800x literally destroys the I7-7700k.
    If you look at my account (go ahead) here on Toms Hardware, you will notice I am not an AMD fanboy at all. When I start feeling I am getting biased reviews and have the sneaking suspicion of Intel slipping the 'ol kickback to you, it's time to delete my membership.
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  • HEXiT
    i think the variance between these and other benches is the way they have done em... maybe they didnt set the cpu to productivity and just used gaming mode or vies-versa. but there is some discrepancy between what im seeing here and elsewhere. whats up toms. normally your stuff is accurate.
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