Overclocking & Test Setup
Overclocking AMD's Ryzen processors is a fairly straightforward process. Most first-gen Threadripper 1950X CPUs tap out between 3.9 and 4.0 GHz. However, our 2950X maintained 4.1 GHz with ease. We didn't run into serious thermal constraints during our testing, but we do recommend water cooling (preferably with a full-contact block) for overclocking. The included Asetek mounting bracket is sufficient, but this partial-coverage solution isn't as robust as our full-coverage Enermax Liqtech 240 TR4 II cooler.
We dialed in a 4.1 GHz overclock by tuning the Vcore to 1.375V and bumping VDD_SoC up to 1.2V. We also increased the memory to DDR4-3466 with 14-14-14-34 timings and assigned the default LLC setting.
We recorded 246W of power consumption during our torture test with Prime95 and the processor at 4.1 GHz in Creator Mode. AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive serves much the same purpose as our manual overclock, but with clock rates that adjust dynamically to meet demand. Our Threadripper 2950X sample sustained an all-core 4.1 GHz with PBO active, drawing a steady 250W under load.
With PBO active, the CPU drops to lower clock rates during idle periods. Our Threadripper 2950X fell to 2.7 GHz, resulting in a ~31W power measurement. In contrast, our all-core overclock drew 36W at idle, illustrating the efficiency benefit of using AMD's automatic overclock feature rather than dialing in a manual adjustment.
We tested the Threadripper 2 models with MSI's MEG X399 Creation motherboard. Due to cooling and power delivery constraints, we ran through our full test suite at stock settings, with PBO activated, and with an all-core 4.1 GHz overclock. Our PBO-enabled configurations did benefit from higher memory transfer rates, as detailed in the table below.
|Test System & Configuration|
|Hardware||Germany AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC 2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466AMD Socket SP3 (TR4)Threadripper 2MSI MEG X399 Creation 4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 RGBIntel LGA 1151 (Z370): Intel Core i7-8700K MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC 2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466Intel LGA 2066 Intel Core i7, Core i9 MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC 4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2666All SystemsGeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition (Gaming) Nvidia Quadro P6000 (Workstation)1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD) 4x 1TB Crucial MX300 (Storage, Images)be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)U.S. AMD Socket SP3 (TR4)Threadripper Gen 1 & 2MSI MEG X399 Creation 4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3466Intel LGA 2066Intel Core i9-7960X, -7980XE, -7900XMSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2666, DDR4-3200AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)AMD Ryzen 7 2700X MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933Intel LGA 1151 (Z370)Intel Core i7-8086K, Core i7-8700K, Core i5-8600K, Core i5-8400, Core i7-8700MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2667All EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE 1TB Samsung PM863SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500WWindows 10 Pro (All Updates)|
|Cooling||GermanyAMD Wraith RipperAlphacool Ice Block XPXEnermax LiqTech 240 TR4Thermal Grizzly KryonautU.S.Wraith RipperCorsair H115iEnermax Liqtech 240 TR4 II|
|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, 500 MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100 kHz, DC) 4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz) 1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function|
|Thermal Measurement||1x Optris PI640 80 Hz 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|
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