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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X Review: Striking The Balance

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Test Notes

Unlike the first-gen Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, AMD aims its 2950X at enthusiasts and gamers. So, for this review, we tested Threadripper 2950X using AMD's Game Mode setting. Just bear in mind that the company also provides toggles that allow you to customize settings for individual applications.

We tested across our gaming suite using a 1920x1080 resolution, minimizing graphics bottlenecks. Of course, as you step up to 2560x1440 or 3840x2160, the difference between processors shrinks.

VRMark, 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

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During the DX11 and DX12 tests, automated overclocking through Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) yields very similar performance to our all-core 4.1 GHz adjustment. Both settings give us a nice boost over stock performance, and there is very little differentiation between the two tuning options. Interestingly, using PBO on the MSI X399 Creation often results in an all-core 4.1 GHz clock rate, albeit with sporadic jumps to 4.2 GHz on a few cores.

UL's VRMark test lets you gauge your system's suitability for use with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, even if you don't currently own an HMD. UL defines a passing score as anything above 109 FPS.

This lightly threaded workload allows Threadripper 2950X's PBO feature to trigger a 4.4 GHz boost frequency, which we'd expect to beat our static 4.1 GHz all-core overclock.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count. PBO allows Threadripper 2950X to stay in its boost states for longer periods of time, though the CPU still down-clocks under some conditions.

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Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.