Ryzen Threadripper 2 2990WX and 2950X Review - AMD Unleashes 32 Cores

Power Consumption

It appears that AMD made a conscious effort to minimize idle power consumption compared to previous-generation Threadripper CPUs. This is most impressive from Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, which hosts four active dies. Clearly, that model ducks in well under the level you'd expect by multiplying Ryzen 7 2700X's idle power consumption by four.

Threadripper 2950X fared especially well during our longer CAD run, which predominantly only uses up to four cores.

The 2990WX, on the other hand, sucks down a lot more power without a commensurate performance improvement.

Our gaming workload reflects big gains from AMD's second-gen Threadripper CPUs compared to their predecessors. Even turning PBO on for some extra performance doesn't kill the power story. Both new models offer significant efficiency improvements.

Full load represents a worst-case scenario for any flagship-class CPU.

Both new Ryzen Threadripper models employ Indium solder between their dies and heat spreader, whereas Intel sticks with thermal grease. We delidded CPUs from both families in order to measure overclocked power consumption without thermal throttling ruining our readings. Otherwise, we would have hit a ceiling at around 300W with Intel's grease under the hood.

It's apparent that motherboards impose AMD's specifications as hard limits: Threadripper 2950X, 1950X, and 1920X all top out at 180W without PBO enabled, while 2990WX peaks at 250W and not a watt more.

Power management is therefore the real highlight of today's launch, especially since the influence of cooling was perfectly implemented.

Even during our stress test with PBO enabled, Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX's thermal battle ends exactly at 500W. To top this, you need to manipulate your motherboard's limits and start messing with LN2. Then it's possible to top out just under 600W using a static 4.1 GHz.

Really, Threadripper 2950X represents the sensible upper limit for daily use. It also happens to be economically viable at a price point around $900. Compared to the previous-gen Threadripper flagship, this new 16C/32T model is a big improvement. Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, on the other hand, just doesn't impress as much.

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  • Rdslw
    first table is broken 32/64 cores/threads :)
    Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX
    Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
    Socket
    TR4
    TR4
    Cores / Threads
    16 / 32
    16 / 32
  • bilazaurus
    AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2. Your first choice for encoding!*

    *And nothing else.
  • philipemaciel
    Wow, while the 2990WX is a bit of a letdown, the 2950X is a nice surprise. Plenty of bang for your buck!
  • TEAMSWITCHER
    Avoid the flagship, buy the $900 part. Sounds a lot like Intel.
  • alves.mvc
    Why does Tom's Hardware stopped using the HPC benchmark? It was the most interesting measurement for me that work daily with finite differences and finite elements. Can you return to that?
  • totaldarknessincar
    Seems to me the best of both worlds continue to be Intel's 7900x which sells for $699 at microcenter. You get great gaming performance, and great multithreaded performance, and it's not 12-1800 bucks as some of these mega-threaded cards are.

    Despite all the fan-fare, it seems the 7980xe actually remains the best processor when overclocked overall.

    Lastly for gaming, it's still 8700K or 8086 as best, with the 2700x from AMD being the best when you factor gaming and some multi-threaded stuff, while being very competitive price wise.
  • feelinfroggy777
    Very surprising performance from the 2950x. Almost enough to consider parting ways with my 1950x. Maybe when the pricing comes down some from the 2950x in a few months I will consider.

    The 2990wx on the other hand is a slight let down. Too bad they could not get the scaling down between the dies like they did with Threadripper 1. But I have read that was going to be an issue. Maybe AMD did not want the 2990wx to cannibalize their Epyc market.

    With that being said, the 2990wx is still a modern marvel of technology, even more so when you consider the price. Only couple of years ago a CPU with less than a third of the cores cost just as much.

    Competition sure is grand!
  • basil.thomas
    Looks like Intel has an opportunity to bite AMD when they release their 28-core processor. I have a threadripper 2/x399 system but if I upgrade to the 2990wx, I will also upgrade the motherboard and the power supply as well. I think I may wait until the Intel 28 core comes out and see what kind of performance it delivers as I too notice running custom AI apps on the threadripper is barely faster than my old x99/6850 motherboard overclocked @ 4.3Ghz. I want max performance if I am going to pay over $1800 for the flagship which means core wars is just starting...

    MOD EDIT: watch your profanity
  • ffleader1
    109245 said:
    Seems to me the best of both worlds continue to be Intel's 7900x which sells for $699 at microcenter. You get great gaming performance, and great multithreaded performance, and it's not 12-1800 bucks as some of these mega-threaded cards are. Despite all the fan-fare, it seems the 7980xe actually remains the best processor when overclocked overall. Lastly for gaming, it's still 8700K or 8086 as best, with the 2700x from AMD being the best when you factor gaming and some multi-threaded stuff, while being very competitive price wise.

    Seem to me that you are mistaking best of both work with jack of all trade. No one who takes rendering seriously would want to sacrifice the performance for gaming. For that price, they may as well grab a 1950X. Sure you lose in gaming, but gain a huge jump in rendering. Also, I don't know about Microcenterbut it's still 1k on Amazon while 1950X is $850. 7900X is like a really really bad choice lol.
  • g-unit1111
    Wow, 32 cores for $1,000? I have to say very impressive. Your move, Intel!
  • akamateau
    Chess professionals and Computer Chess enthusiasts are going to eat this up.
  • timf79
    What is the estimated "street" availability of the 2950x
  • Vladimir Iliev
    I'm a bit disappointed again with Toms - why the Intel parts are overclocked where the AMD only on PBO and why this benchmark starts with gaming?!? Is this some kind of a joke or it's intel sponsored article?
  • Jo_7__
    not sure where the guylook when said intel is the best of both world gaming and multithreaded work, is he drunk while reading graph or just jump to comment stright

    dont just look 2990wx,, the TR 2950X is best of all around CPU, if you want compare price to performance, in gaming 2950x is more or less equal 8700k in minimum FPS and only lose 3 to 10 FPS Average FPS,, in Multithreaded work 2950x blow anything in that price range including 7900x,, read again the article
  • redgarl
    The main thing I am noticing is that the actual benchmarking suites is becoming obsolete for these kind of CPUs.

    One thing for sure is the next generation TR on 7nm will really help the 32 cores setup since it will probably use only a single Infinity Fabric Link and direct memory access, but I understand how much more expensive that CPU would have been and not really for that much more performances after all in what the intended field of work is.
  • feelinfroggy777
    2146959 said:
    I'm a bit disappointed again with Toms - why the Intel parts are overclocked where the AMD only on PBO and why this benchmark starts with gaming?!? Is this some kind of a joke or it's intel sponsored article?


    In most cases, PBO will have less than 1% difference in performance than overclocking the CPU to 4.15. They provided Intel overclock information because they already had those OCs from previous reviews. Just like they showed the OCs from 1st gen Threadripper parts.

    It takes a long time to conduct a thorough review, let alone 2 products and it is not like they have had this chip for a month. It probably came in last week when the unboxing videos were released. Then there was also the part where they said that they would have a more in depth article about overclocking performance.
  • TJ Hooker
    From page 9:
    Quote:
    The Ryzen line-up dominates the multi-core Cinebench and POV-Ray tests, but the 2990WX only provides a 35% speed over the 2950X in the POV-Ray benchmark. In light of its 100% increase in cores, that doesn’t represent the best scaling performance. We see better scaling from the 2990WX in the Cinebench test with a 66% performance improvement.

    For POV-Ray lower scores (times) are better. That means that a 100% core increase should theoretically reduce (improve) time by 50%. If we look at the actual time reduction of 35%, we get 0.35/0.5 = 70% of max theoretical scaling. In Cinebench, where higher scores are better, we would expect a 100% improvement in score but only get 66%, meaning we only get 66% of max theoretical scaling. The scaling in POV-Ray is actually slightly better than in Cinebench.
  • vortex240
    Please stop the autoplay videos on this site. Would you like if someone shoved **** in your face repeatedly?

    <Mod Edit- Watch the Language>
  • logainofhades
    I think AMD is a bit ahead of its time with the 32 core part. Software really isn't ready for that kind of horsepower, just yet. Competition is great though. :D
  • Rexer
    Wow. I'm almost finished building an 8700k and now I don't feel like completing it.
  • Giroro
    Man, I've never met anybody who uses Cinebench, nor do I have any idea what it does... But I bet whoever makes that software is super psyched flagship processors are being designed to be amazing at running it, for some reason.

    So where's this 2950x review that is supposed to compare the different modes it runs in?
  • mitch074
    I can't believe someone managed to say that a 7th gen quad core is better than any of these... Now though, the 32-core sees to much diminishing return to really be useful, but the 2950 really is the sweet spot for this platform.
  • mitch074
    If I'm not mistaken, cinebench uses the same engine as Cinema 4D - so it should be a good indicator of how good a CPU is for that software
  • Gillerer
    2146959 said:
    I'm a bit disappointed again with Toms - why the Intel parts are overclocked where the AMD only on PBO and why this benchmark starts with gaming?!? Is this some kind of a joke or it's intel sponsored article?


    Probably because manual overclocking on Zen+ based Ryzen CPUs is pointless unless all your important applications are heavily threaded.

    Since a manual overclock and voltages are decided on a fully threaded workload, it results in comparatively bad performance - lower than stock - in lightly threaded applications (on Zen+ with its advanced boosting). The Threadripper processors have such a high number of cores that the performance deficit is exacerbated.

    Instead of overclocking manually, on Zen+ you should instead enable PBO, then lower the CPU voltage using offset. This lowers temperatures and power use, allowing the CPU to boost even higher.