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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X Review: Striking The Balance

Editor's Choice

Adobe Creative Cloud

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.

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AMD's Threadripper 2950X offers a well-balanced feature set. But the 2990WX’s strength in the heavily threaded InDesign and Photoshop Heavy tests allowed it to capture an overall lead. The tuned 1920X regularly popped up ahead of the 2950X, and we verified the outcome through extensive retesting.

Web Browser

The Krakken suite evaluates JavaScript performance using several workloads, including audio, imaging, and cryptography. Like most web browser workloads, single-threaded performance reigns supreme. These tests expose the trade-offs you make for an all-core overclock.

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AMD's second-gen Threadripper line-up goes a long way to improve the performance of lightly threaded workloads. But the value of its dynamic overclocking feature can't be understated. As we saw in the MotionMark benchmarks, which emphasize graphics (rather than JavaScript) and are also sensitive to CPU clock rates, PBO offered a big performance boost with minimal effort on our part (aside from the investment in a capable cooler).

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.

AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX suffered due to its low clock rates, and PBO did little to help. Unfortunately, manual tuning of the 2990WX really isn't viable given its hefty core count and resulting power consumption. Meanwhile, the Threadripper 2950X chipped away at Intel's application loading prowess, though we don't expect high-end desktop CPUs to usurp mainstream alternatives like the Ryzen 7 2700X and Core i7-8700K in this test.

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. Threadripper 2950X's processing time showed little benefit from one setup to the next, though.

The photo editing benchmark measures performance with Futuremark's binaries using the ImageMagick library. Common photo processing workloads also tend to be parallelized. Nevertheless, Threadripper 2950X suffered tremendously from our 4.1 GHz all-core overclock, demonstrating sensitivity to frequency as well. At least AMD's dynamic overclocking feature boosted performance into the same league as the brawnier 32C/64T 2990WX.

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  • Peter Martin
    nice
    Reply
  • djerinich
    see what are they not telling you is that you can actually run 2 maybe even 3 heavy tasks while getting no performance hit and still use your PC for gaming or whatever, now that's where the time savings and true potential of TR is! basically it replaces 3-4 computers that otherwise you'd need for same tasks. now that's a value.
    Reply
  • Peter Martin
    yeah, that is a very powerful processor. agreed.
    Reply
  • Hupiscratch
    Would love to see a high quality streaming test. With so many streaming channels nowadays, there is definitely people considering using these HEDT platforms for this.
    Reply
  • ElectrO_90
    So we all know what this CPU can do and know its ground breaking, and do some really great things. Even the verdict says its great but expensive?
    Anyway then it gets 4.5/10

    Another weird review with bias' throughout and a conclusion that doesn't make much sense.

    I know, I'm going to buy a F1 race car and compare it to a pickup truck just to prove that the F1 car is shit, because it can't carry my shopping.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    21358431 said:
    So we all know what this CPU can do and know its ground breaking, and do some really great things. Even the verdict says its great but expensive?
    Anyway then it gets 4.5/10

    Another weird review with bias' throughout and a conclusion that doesn't make much sense.

    I know, I'm going to buy a F1 race car and compare it to a pickup truck just to prove that the F1 car is shit, because it can't carry my shopping.

    Hey electrO_90, thanks for sounding off. The rating is actually a 4.5 out of 5 (nearly perfect). Perhaps it isn't displaying correctly in your region, but I see the rating correctly here. Are you reading on the US site?

    Reply
  • ElectrO_90
    If its 4.5/5 then forgive my rant - but it clearly says here
    https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-ryzen-threadripper-2950x-2990wx-cpu,review-34562.html
    4.5/10 which is why I don't understand the answer.

    And under https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-ryzen-threadripper-2950x-2990wx-cpu,5797.html
    it shows 4.5/5

    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    21358450 said:
    If its 4.5/5 then forgive my rant - but it clearly says here
    https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-ryzen-threadripper-2950x-2990wx-cpu,review-34562.html
    4.5/10 which is why I don't understand the answer.

    And under https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-ryzen-threadripper-2950x-2990wx-cpu,5797.html
    it shows 4.5/5

    Thanks for the heads-up, I'll report that to the relevant people.

    Reply
  • michael_732
    21358096 said:
    Ryzen Threadripper 2950X builds on all of the goodness offered by AMD's first-gen Threadripper processors. If you're looking to upgrade to an all-around crowd pleaser, Threadripper 2950X does not disappoint.

    AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X Review: Striking The Balance : Read more


    great review, on point and mirrors my experience. what i love about the 2950x is the fact you now have smaller boards (mATX) with TR4 and beefy vrms. it still isn't cheaper (by much) but you really have to look at each x399 mobo independently, regardless of your inclination, just because the vrm temps vary so widely across all models...even at the very top of the market..
    Reply
  • newsonline5000000
    ThreadRipper needs a ~$200 Motherboard to totally take the market from intel. X299 Motherboards can be found starting from $189

    Reply