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Ryzen Threadripper 2 (2990WX and 2950X) Review: AMD Unleashes 32 Cores

Editor's Choice

Office & Productivity

Adobe Creative Cloud

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Even though this suite has a few parallelized workloads, the final score is heavily influenced by the lightly-threaded tasks common in most desktop applications. The Threadripper 2950X outperforms its predecessor handily at stock settings, but the tuned Threadripper 1920X’s 4.0 GHz clock speed steals the show. The 2990WX languishes at the bottom of the overall score chart at stock settings, largely due to its lower frequencies, but tuning boosts it into contention with the Core i9-7980XE.

The Threadripper 2950X generally offers a more balanced profile than the 2990WX in most tests, but the 2990WX’s strength in the Indesign and Photoshop Heavy tests contribute to its overall lead. The tuned 1920X regularly pops up over the 2950X, but we verified the results through extensive retests.

Web Browser

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The Krakken suite tests JavaScript performance using several workloads, including audio, imaging, and cryptography. Like most web browser workloads, single threaded performance reigns supreme here. As such, it’s not surprising to find the Core i7-8700K and the Ryzen 7 2700X
at the top of the pile. 

The MotionMark benchmarks, which emphasize graphics (rather than JavaScript), are also exceedingly sensitive to CPU clock rates. Intel’s processors take the uncontested lead. The same story plays out in the WebXPRT benchmark.

Productivity

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The application start-up metric measures load time snappiness in word processors, GIMP, and Web browsers under warm- and cold-start conditions. Other platform-level considerations affect this test as well, including the storage subsystem. This benchmark remains firmly in Intel’s favor, and once again we notice the Threadripper 1920X’s 4.0 GHz clock speed boosting it above its newer counterparts. 

Our video conferencing suite measures performance in single- and multi-user applications that utilize the Windows Media Foundation for playback and encoding. It also performs facial detection to model real-world usage. Ryzen 7 2700X takes the lead while the 2990WX continues to lag in tests that aren’t heavily parallelized, but tuning brightens the picture somewhat.

The photo editing benchmark measures performance with Futuremark's binaries using the ImageMagick library. Common photo processing workloads also tend to be parallelized and the 2990WX rises to the occasion. The processor easily beats out the rest of the test pool, but
considering its 32 cores, the slight advantage over the tuned 16C Threadripper 1950X reminds us that AMD’s new flagship's performance doesn’t always scale well.

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MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

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

    *And nothing else.
    Reply
  • philipemaciel
    Wow, while the 2990WX is a bit of a letdown, the 2950X is a nice surprise. Plenty of bang for your buck!
    Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER
    Avoid the flagship, buy the $900 part. Sounds a lot like Intel.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • ffleader1
    21228046 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.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Wow, 32 cores for $1,000? I have to say very impressive. Your move, Intel!
    Reply