AMD Ryzen Threadripper 16- And 12-Core CPU Review Roundup
Performance metrics and reviews of AMD's much anticipated high-end desktop (HEDT) processors, known as Threadripper, have flooded tech sites across the internet as it released today. These CPUs pack a crazy number of multithreaded cores relative to their price.
The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X CPUs were put to the test and the results were mostly favorable, meaning there's even more competition in the PC hardware market than we've seen in recent years.
Much like the other Ryzen family of processors, Threadripper beats out its Intel counterparts handily in CPU-heavy tasks like video production and image rendering. However, HEDTs aren't necessarily the best option if for a CPU solely for gaming.
Each outlet included charts and analysis of all their test results, which included gaming benchmarks, productivity simulation tests, and multitasking. We've included the key take away from each review in this roundup.
|Threadripper 1950X||Threadripper 1920X|
|Cores / Threads||16 / 32||12 / 24|
|Base Clock Speed||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|XFR Clock Speed||4.2 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|TDP||180 W||180 W|
"With Ryzen, AMD made the eight core CPU mainstream. It made an increasingly complacent Intel, which had long neglected and exploited its most vocal fans, pay attention to the desktop market again. With Threadripper, AMD hasn't just added more cores compared to Intel, it has changed the entire direction of the HEDT market for the better. It has made breathtaking levels of performance more accessible than ever and won the hearts and minds of the PC market's most vocal of communities.
"For the last decade, the last word in desktop performance has belonged to Intel. Now it belongs to AMD." -- Mark Walton (former GameSpot editor) [full review]
"The [Intel Core i9] 7900X is still a damn good CPU, particularly if a significant amount of a machine’s daily use (alongside “work,” whatever that may be) is actually gaming. It’s just better on that front, as you’d expect and as AMD itself will admit. Now, of course, bottlenecking on the GPU does diminish that lead, but it’s still present. The differences emerge especially in low-end frametimes, where we’d recommend using AMD’s “game mode” to change memory access and core presence for bolstered performance. All that said of the 7900X, though, it’s also slower in thread-limited render tasks (Blender), slower in encoding (Premiere), a bigger consumer of power, about the same temperature, and equal in price (1950X) or $200 more (1920X).
"AMD’s done well, here. We can strongly and confidently recommend Threadripper for the above-outlined applications, given the handful of exceptions." -- Steve Burke [full review]
"In this short-attention-span world, you’re probably looking for the quick answer. Unfortunately, the real answer has three parts, since CPUs fulfill a variety of purposes.
"The first is single-threaded or very lightly-threaded use, such as most photo-editing applications. In that category, the more spry quad-cores outpace Threadripper 1950X, though its relatively high clock speeds keep it very much in contention.
"The second is gaming, where we see the familiar deficit of previous Ryzen launches. AMD argues that in social gaming, such as streaming and recording while gaming, more cores are better—and we’d tend to agree. But in conventional gaming, Intel leads. The good news is that AMD’s new Game Mode can help close that gap to the point that it doesn’t even matter.
"That brings us to the last category: multithreaded performance. In every single multithreaded test we ran (including multitasking multithreaded tests), Threadripper 1950X outpaced all comers by significant margins. It simply destroys any 8-core CPU and makes you question how the 10-core Core i9-7900X can dare to be priced the same as the Threadripper 1950X." -- Gordon Mah Ung [full review]
"We’re sure to see well-heeled enthusiasts work through the settings to find the best combinations, even if most want to use Threadripper the way it ships. Of course, we like to experiment, so we’ll spend the coming weeks working on more stressful use-cases and finding the best combinations for different workloads.
"Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is a solid entrant for AMD, and the company knows it's going after a niche market here. Those who need what Threadripper offers likely already know. And if that's you, we have to imagine you're elated to know there's an alternative to Intel's steep buy-in, particularly now that AMD is winning in benchmarks it hasn't won in a very long time." -- Paul Alcorn [full review]
"The hype is now real. AMD delivers what they promised with Threadripper. With a processor choice of up-to sixteen cores and thirty-two threads combined with acceptable heat and power consumption levels the sky is the limit, and that's what you get for under a thousand USD. Now honestly, I would not label the platform as perfect, but I would label it really good as, hey, this platform is such a crazy multi-threading beast! I am also not going to state that everybody should get a PC like this either, as realistically who really needs 12 or 16 cores, right? And sure, in that respect I also have to state that this is not a gamer's platform in the sense that it offers value for money (specific to gaming though)." -- Hilbert Hagedoom [full review]
"If I were to turn around and say that Threadripper CPUs were not pure gaming CPUs, it would annoy a fair lick of the tech audience. The data is there – it’s not the best gaming CPU. But AMD would spin it like this: it allows the user to game, to stream, to watch and to process all at the same time.
"You need a lot to do in order to fill 16 cores to the max, and for those that do, it’s a potential winner. For anyone that needs hardcore throughput such as transcode, decode, rendering such as Blender, Cinema 4D or ray-tracing, it’s a great CPU to have. For multi-GPUs or multi-storage aficionados or the part of the crowd that wants to cram a bunch of six PCIe 3.0 x8 FPGAs into a system, AMD has you covered." -- Ian Cutress [full review]
"[T]he way you view Threadripper will be largely dependent on what you do with your system. Professionals, prosumers or even gamers who need their system to crunch through other tasks while they frag away will certainly benefit from what’s being offered here, especially with the 1920X. On the other hand, I can’t imagine ever recommending Threadripper for someone who wants to assemble a pure gaming setup. People running a single high-end graphics card will be infinitely better served by Ryzen 7 or even the extremely versatile Ryzen 5 processors.
"And yet Threadripper isn't just about price, performance and processing performance per watt. It also happens to be about the fulfillment of hopes and expectations of countless enthusiasts. Enthusiasts who, regardless of their preference for the blue or green sides, were hoping that in some way AMD would break the cycle of the planned obsolescence, high pricing structures and egregious feature cutting in the high-end desktop market. That’s exactly what happened and the end result is nothing short of spectacular." -- SKYMTL [full review]