AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Review

VRMark, 3DMark & AotS: Escalation

Testing Notes

As discussed on page two, Threadripper offers both Creator and Game modes to tailor the processor for different applications. We tested with both to compare the gaming-optimized and out-of-box configurations. Threadripper processors also feature two switches that allow for even more unique configurations, so we also tested with the full complement of cores (legacy off) and memory access set to "local." These “Local/SMT” results provide a nice boost for heavily-threaded games, particularly in overclocked configurations.

Most charts are presented in their entirety. But due to space constraints with our frame time variance graphs, we often include secondary charts with additional Threadripper performance data.

AMD notes that some games prefer different configurations, but we don’t have a detailed list of preferred settings for individual titles. Hopefully our results serve as a guide to gamers looking for the best settings.

Intel also released new microcode for its Skylake-X processors recently, which reduces performance in some titles and lowers the AVX offset by two bins. We also noticed far lower Turbo Boost activation thresholds, though that could separately be the result of MSI's newest BIOS. The changes likely come in response to some of the power and thermal issues we encountered during our extended testing. We consequently retested both Skylake-X processors with the newest microcode.

AMD's Ryzen gaming performance is also a moving target, though it continues to improve over time. Today's story reflects all processors re-tested with the latest chipset, BIOS, GPU drivers, and game patches. We're also deploying a new test image and game suite, so the results contained herein are only directly comparable to our Ryzen 3 1300X review.

VRMark & 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure game performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

Futuremark's VRMark test lets you gauge your system's suitability for use with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, even if you don't currently own an HMD. The Orange Room test is based on the suggested system requirements for current-generation HTC Vive and Oculus Rift HMDs. Futuremark defines a passing score as anything above 109 FPS.

VRMark prizes IPC throughput and frequency. AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors fall to the bottom of the chart, while the Intel models lead. We suspect that VRMark lacks some of the optimizations incorporated into other games.

The Threadripper 1950X fares much better during the heavily-threaded DX11 physics test, where it leads by a large margin. And it squeezes by the overclocked Core i9-7900X during the DX12 CPU test due to its copious core count. The Core i7-7700K suffers through these two tests due to its quad-core design.

Gaming performance, from a host processing perspective, relies on generating the maximum amount of draw calls (sometimes tens of millions per second) using the relevant API. AMD's Threadripper 1950X shows well in our heavily-threaded DX12 tests. But Vulkan performance suffers with all 32 threads active.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count. That’s music to Threadripper’s ears as the overclocked configuration leads. Intel's 10-core -7900X puts up a stout defense with 60% fewer cores, though.

The 1950X doesn’t fare as well out of the box; an eight-core i7-7820X manages to beat the 16-core contender.

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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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