AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Review

Power Consumption

We establish the package’s power consumption results by using a special sensor loop. This way, our values represent the exact amount of power that goes into the CPU and then reemerges in the form of power loss, which is to say waste heat dissipated by the cooling subsystem. We check our sensor readings using shunts and measuring overall power consumption directly at the EPS connector (current probe and direct voltage measurement).

The CPU values supplied by the voltage converters on the motherboard via HWinfo64 are sufficiently precise for our purposes, even though the measurement intervals are longer than those of our oscilloscope. We retested Intel’s Core i9-7900X after overclocking it to 4.5 GHz and added its results to the graphs to provide a fair comparison.

We need to note that AMD’s Threadripper CPUs use different partial voltages for the SOC and SMU rails at different clock rates. These partial voltages, which, again, depend on the frequency, do have an influence on the overall package’s power consumption results. AMD recommended that we use the profile included with their 32GB DDR4-3200 kit. If the memory was operated using the standard SPD values for DDR4-2133, then the power consumption would be 15W lower!

Both of AMD’s CPUs are designed for a maximum power consumption of 180W at their default settings. If the memory’s overclocked, then the CPU gets 15W less, which might affect performance in usage scenarios that employ all of the cores and, consequently, get too close to the limit.

Idle Power Consumption

Compared to AMD’s Ryzen 7, the Threadripper’s idle power consumption is just over twice as high. However, Threadripper also hosts two dies instead of one, and it also hits higher clock rates under occasional loads. The overclocked version utilizes higher voltages as well, and we just mentioned the memory’s role in power consumption.

CAD Workload Power Consumption

AutoCAD 2016 rarely uses more than two or three cores for its usual tasks. In fact, most of the time it's limited to a single core. Thus, it's not surprising that the CAD power consumption only adds a maximum of 15W to the idle power numbers, especially since the latter’s not truly idle power consumption to begin with.

The two overclocked versions add another 14W, which makes for an almost 30W difference compared to the idle power consumption. And then there’s the memory, of course.

Gaming Power Consumption

When it comes to gaming, we see an issue where Threadripper’s many cores get in each others' way. Consequently, overall performance ends up lackluster. The power consumption’s on the same level as that of Intel’s Core i9-7900X, even though Skylake-X fares much better in the benchmarks. The results are similar to those we reported for the real-time 3D CAD benchmarks.

Stress Test & Maximum Power Consumption

Power consumption goes through the roof during our stress test. This is especially true for the overclocked configurations.

In the case of a stock Intel Core i9-7900X, the motherboard has to shoulder some of the blame for this. It doesn’t lower the processor’s clock rate in accordance with the rules, but leaves them at a much higher level.

AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper doesn’t have those kinds of issues. The Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme motherboard limits power consumption to exactly 180W, just as it should, when using the default settings. Things look a whole lot different once the processor is manually overclocked to maximize its frequency, though. The 1950X needs 1.35V to achieve 3.9 GHz. At that point, AMD's new processors join Intel's overclocked Core i9-7900X well beyond 300W.

Bottom Line

Depending on the task, Threadripper's two dies sometimes consume more power than other processors’ single dies. This is to be expected when all cores are operating at full load. The high power consumption’s okay if it’s put in the context of correspondingly high application performance, as long as the work that’s being done has been parallelized well and the software is optimized for AMD's architecture.

Unfortunately, Threadripper's efficiency during gaming turns out to be significantly worse than Intel’s. Skylake enjoys notably higher IPC, after all. A large portion of Threadripper's higher power consumption comes simply from a baseline that notches up from Ryzen 7. Even at idle, it draws an additional 15W or so. If those 15W are subtracted from Threadripper's gaming power consumption, then the results look a lot better. It brings their lower power consumption increase compared to idle in line with their lower gaming performance.

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156 comments
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  • I just looked at gaming benchmark and stopped reading there because as i thought Intel CPUs are killing Thread Ripper in gaming. As far as content creation, naturally having 16/32 setup will be faster than Intel 10/20 but again do you really need more than 10/20 cores. I don't and i heavily use PC for gaming, programming, web design, video/audio encoding. Overall Intel 7900x is better value and all around CPU. But if you are just in gaming 7700k is just enough.

    Thanks for review, and hello x299 platform.

    Gaming vs. Content Creation mode through Software is just another big NO NO to me knowing how crappy AMD software is. I assume the most people will keep it in Game Mode and leave it as it is.

    I appreciate that AMD brought this CPU for $999 with so many cores, helps competition but again there is nothing to drool over here in my book. AMD didn't bring any significant performance bump core vs. core basis. In fact AMD single core performance still sucks which means when Intel releases 10+ core CPU it is going to fun to watch.

    Two things i am interested the most is Coffee Lake product and IPC improvement there and possible price adjustment with Core i9.
  • Quaddro
    Hold up breath..
  • Quaddro
    Hold up breath more...
  • Kai Dowin
    I'm truly impressed to see 16 Zen cores consuming as much power as only 10 Skylake-X ones. Bravo, AMD!
  • 1552077 said:
    I'm truly impressed to see 16 Zen cores consuming as much power as only 10 Skylake-X ones. Bravo, AMD!


    I am not knowing that Intel is running higher frequency.
  • JamesSneed
    2164959 said:
    I just looked at gaming benchmark and stopped reading there because as i thought Intel CPUs are killing Thread Ripper in gaming. As far as content creation, naturally having 16/32 setup will be faster than Intel 10/20 but again do you really need more than 10/20 cores. I don't and i heavily use PC for gaming, programming, web design, video/audio encoding. Overall Intel 7900x is better value and all around CPU. But if you are just in gaming 7700k is just enough. Thanks for review, and hello x299 platform. Gaming vs. Content Creation mode through Software is just another big NO NO to me knowing how crappy AMD software is. I love Intel even more...all you have to do pop CPU in and shit works and it works well.


    I guess if gaming is why you were reading the Threadripper review then you are right it isn't as good as Intel's offerings but did you honestly expect any other result? I don't know why reviewers even do gaming tests on any CPU over 8 cores as it is mostly pointless. If you are doing scientific, encoding, professional tasks in just about every use case that is multi threaded it is blowing away every Intel offering. Of course that may change once there are 12-18 core Intel parts. However spending $1000 for a CPU is a bargain for those than can use it and never in history could you get a 16 core consumer part with this type of multi-threaded performance.
  • Lyden
    Thank you for this review. I was seriously considering Threadripper. Looks like the 7700k is still the sensible choice for the price when gaming.
  • Kai Dowin
    @FREAK777POWER And delivering higher multi-threaded performance with these lower clocked cores. Do you know what that's called? Efficiency.
  • redgarl
    This chip is designed for heavy calculation multithreading, it is not made for gaming, however it is working well with 1440p and 2160p.

    By the way, who in their mind will buy a 16 core CPU and play at 1080p with a 1080 TI... seriously, these 1080p bench are a joke and don't represent reality...

    "A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared." Oxford

    1080p with 1080 TI with a 16 core processor is not a point of reference at all.
  • Pompompaihn
    Who are you people that come here and <ModEdit> about gaming performance on these chips??

    Threadripper is the F250 of CPUs. It's not the fastest, but it's plenty fast for 99% of your tasks, and if you need to haul a 12,000 pound trailer it'll do that, too. This is for people who do a lot of WORK on their machine but also game on the side.

    <Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums>
  • JamesSneed
    570858 said:
    Thank you for this review. I was seriously considering Threadripper. Looks like the 7700k is still the sensible choice for the price when gaming.


    You really didn't have to wait to draw that conclusion as it was a given. Course since you did wait Intel will have the i7-8700K coming this year which likely will replace the 7700K as the best gaming CPU and you get 2 more cores.
  • mitch074
    328379 said:
    Who are you people that come here and <ModEdit> about gaming performance on these chips?? Threadripper is the F250 of CPUs. It's not the fastest, but it's plenty fast for 99% of your tasks, and if you need to haul a 12,000 pound trailer it'll do that, too. This is for people who do a lot of WORK on their machine but also game on the side.


    Interesting analogy. Non-US readers won't understand it though.
  • Lyden
    @POMPOMPAIHN - In case you haven't noticed, every showcase involves gaming (yes and rendering) and they tout better performance than Intel. That's why gamers are looking at this bro, calm down. Also, <ModEdit> isn't simply stating your opinion. <ModEdit> would be "OMG, <ModEdit> AMD IS TRASH B/C INTEL IS BETTER AT PEW PEW.". No one is saying that here.

    Also, people have been hyping Threadripper up left and right about gaming performance. Naturally once the truth comes out, people begin to backpedal. :)

    <Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums>
  • JamesSneed
    51666 said:
    328379 said:
    Who are you people that come here and bitch about gaming performance on these chips?? Threadripper is the F250 of CPUs. It's not the fastest, but it's plenty fast for 99% of your tasks, and if you need to haul a 12,000 pound trailer it'll do that, too. This is for people who do a lot of WORK on their machine but also game on the side.
    Interesting analogy. Non-US readers won't understand it though.


    Yeah similarly for someone in the US, gaming tests on this are like taking a 18-Wheeler semi and putting it into a NASCAR race, kind of a given how that is going to work out. Now take that race car and try to move the contents of a large house 1000 miles away and the semi is going to smoke it. Different use cases need different tools.
  • 87433 said:
    2164959 said:
    I just looked at gaming benchmark and stopped reading there because as i thought Intel CPUs are killing Thread Ripper in gaming. As far as content creation, naturally having 16/32 setup will be faster than Intel 10/20 but again do you really need more than 10/20 cores. I don't and i heavily use PC for gaming, programming, web design, video/audio encoding. Overall Intel 7900x is better value and all around CPU. But if you are just in gaming 7700k is just enough. Thanks for review, and hello x299 platform. Gaming vs. Content Creation mode through Software is just another big NO NO to me knowing how crappy AMD software is. I love Intel even more...all you have to do pop CPU in and shit works and it works well.
    I guess if gaming is why you were reading the Threadripper review then you are right it isn't as good as Intel's offerings but did you honestly expect any other result? I don't know why reviewers even do gaming tests on any CPU over 8 cores as it is mostly pointless. If you are doing scientific, encoding, professional tasks in just about every use case that is multi threaded it is blowing away every Intel offering. Of course that may change once there are 12-18 core Intel parts. However spending $1000 for a CPU is a bargain for those than can use it and never in history could you get a 16 core consumer part with this type of multi-threaded performance.


    Why we wouldn't test gaming? So you just said what i said....7900x is better all around CPU, so you get more value for the same amount of money. It is not blowing away Intel offering in multi threaded cases because we are comparing 16/32 setup vs. 10/20 setup and from what i see AMD numbers are not that impressive. I have Xeon 18/36 Broadwell-E based CPU and that thing is faster than Thread Ripper. Funny thing is i got that CPU for $800 on eBay, retail version. And what is even more funny is that Xeon 18/36 Broadwell-E runs games better too.

    All this comes down to $$$$. Anyone would buy Intel 18/36 if they can afford it because it will be the best CPU ever. Most of AMD users are cheap people who cannot afford it and that's fine but least they should stop <ModEdit> about products they cannot afford.

    With what i write here, i want to make a point...

    <Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums>
  • Khaosix
    People seem to think that all CPUs are made explicitly for gaming. I like your analogy, as well.
  • Lyden
    @KHOASIX - Unfortunately, youtube and reddit drives the gaming crowd to believe this. That's the only reason why I'm looking at this. AMD was doing a really good job at marketing towards gaming too.
  • JamesSneed
    2164959 said:
    87433 said:
    2164959 said:
    I just looked at gaming benchmark and stopped reading there because as i thought Intel CPUs are killing Thread Ripper in gaming. As far as content creation, naturally having 16/32 setup will be faster than Intel 10/20 but again do you really need more than 10/20 cores. I don't and i heavily use PC for gaming, programming, web design, video/audio encoding. Overall Intel 7900x is better value and all around CPU. But if you are just in gaming 7700k is just enough. Thanks for review, and hello x299 platform. Gaming vs. Content Creation mode through Software is just another big NO NO to me knowing how crappy AMD software is. I love Intel even more...all you have to do pop CPU in and shit works and it works well.
    I guess if gaming is why you were reading the Threadripper review then you are right it isn't as good as Intel's offerings but did you honestly expect any other result? I don't know why reviewers even do gaming tests on any CPU over 8 cores as it is mostly pointless. If you are doing scientific, encoding, professional tasks in just about every use case that is multi threaded it is blowing away every Intel offering. Of course that may change once there are 12-18 core Intel parts. However spending $1000 for a CPU is a bargain for those than can use it and never in history could you get a 16 core consumer part with this type of multi-threaded performance.
    Why we wouldn't test gaming? So you just said what i said....7900x is better all around CPU, so you get more value for the same amount of money. It is not blowing away Intel offering in multi threaded cases because we are comparing 16/32 setup vs. 10/20 setup and from what i see AMD numbers are not that impressive. I have Xeon 18/36 Broadwell-E based CPU and that thing is faster than Thread Ripper. Funny thing is i got that CPU for $800 on eBay, retail version. And what is even more funny is that Xeon 18/36 Broadwell-E runs games better too. In other words i would not compare it that way....


    Come on it is blowing the 7900x away due to having 6 more cores which you pretty much agree with due to complaining about it. I'm sure I can find some old surplus Power/Sparc boxes that would smoke the Intel Xeon as well but that isn't the point. The point is this is a consumer, non-server focused CPU and it does blow away every one of the Intel ones in multi-threaded tasks. I am completely unbiased on this front with that said the 7820x would be the better value for someone who is gaming and needs some more cores since you pay $75 per core on the 7820x vs $100 per core on the 7900x.
  • Amdlova
    if the 6 core is good for game... the 12 core will smoke the intel. i will get one and run it with air cooler =)
  • James Mason
    Hey Everyone, just a reminder to keep this thread civil. No foul language and no attacking each other.

    Forum/comment rules: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-2083474/read-forum-rules-styling-posts.html
  • braustard
    It is good that you tested the AMD 1950X for gaming, the problem is that it seems that you put a lot of emphasys on it considering that this product is meant for productivity tasks mainly. Some people could think that you just figured it out how to make AMD look not that impressive. Seriously, I mean, you spent 4 pages for gaming review and 75% of the conclusion analysis talking about gaming performance, come on guys!
  • gdmaclew
    51666 said:
    328379 said:
    Who are you people that come here and <ModEdit> about gaming performance on these chips?? Threadripper is the F250 of CPUs. It's not the fastest, but it's plenty fast for 99% of your tasks, and if you need to haul a 12,000 pound trailer it'll do that, too. This is for people who do a lot of WORK on their machine but also game on the side.
    Interesting analogy. Non-US readers won't understand it though.


    People in Canada know what a Ford F250 is.
  • Brian_R170
    Wow, I've never really paid much attention to non-gaming CPU benchmarks, but it's very evident that even highly-threaded software is all over the map in terms of scaling to the number of available cores. I understand that scaling is never perfect, but only a very few applications actually scaled well to 16 cores/32 threads.
  • Altherix
    So like all CPUs, it depends on what you're going to use it for in what you'll get for performance.

    If your PC is pure gaming, Threadripper is not the CPU you're looking for, i7 or Ryzen and depends on 1080p or UHD+ gaming and your budget.

    I'm a little curious on the exotic side, which not even I'll do, a triple Cross-Fire/SLI performs with the PCI-E lanes.

    It's still the same issue though, how much is that 2% more worth to you? Not seeing the, "They're blowing them away!" in benches the fanboys are talking about. (All CPUs available now, not just Threadripper)

    Glad the waterblock makers have been slow though, reading up that certain games refuse to even work with Threadripper means more research is needed if games I have won't run on it. I do rendering/gaming/video on my machine so Threadripper looks good for the price.

    Going to be a kick in the pants for those who preordered it if they have packages that won't work though.

    EDIT: LOL, EK has Threadripper blocks up for preorder now.