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

Loading...

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

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

This thread is closed for comments
156 comments
    Your comment
  • 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.