AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX Review: 24 Cores on a Budget

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If you really needed to, you could equip the Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX with a potent air cooler, so long as you don't overclock manually or activate Precision Boost Overdrive. However, a large Blender workload would completely overwhelm it. Conventional heat sinks and fans just aren't up to the task.

Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX can hit 450W during everyday operation. That amount of waste heat requires more than air or a compact all-in-one liquid cooler. You need a much more capable thermal solution if you want to unlock the CPU's maximum performance potential.

AMD deserves credit for this processor's finely-tuned protection mechanisms. Even with PBO active, you can easily push Threadripper 2970WX to the limits of a weaker cooler without damaging it. But you have to give up proper performance in return.

XFR2 and PBO both work well on a platform with ample cooling. The chip adjusts its voltages based on telemetry data, and PBO is actually preferable to manual overclocking. While we're not fans of hidden mechanisms, PBO does exactly what you expect.

AMD prioritizes package temperature: all measurements and information are based solely on this Tdie reading. For compatibility reasons, the 27°C-higher Tctl value is used for fan control. AMD sets the upper limit for Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX at 68°C, which translates to a Tctl value of 95°C.

At idle, our cooler keeps Ryzen Threadripper 2920X below 25°C. Under a real-world Blender workload, we average about 43°C with the CPU keeping all cores at 4 GHz. With PBO active, the 2920X accelerates to 4.15 GHz across all of its cores. The average Tdie rises to just over 49°C. This gives us a maximum delta  of less than 30°C for our potent cooling solution.

During a normal Blender workload without PBO, Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX reaches 3.55 GHz on all cores and averages 48°C. With PBO turned on, the all-core clock rate jumps to 4.025 GHz at an average temperature of 62°C.

The CPU does peak at 68°C though, meaning our sample is at its limit for full performance. Any higher and it would need to throttle back a bit.


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

MORE: All CPUs Content

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

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

  • Peter Martin
    Threadripper and Cake or Death!
    I'll have the Threadripper please.
    Very well! Give him Threadripper!

    This would be ideal for me, but it is pricey for now.
  • richardvday
    New = Pricey
    Always going to be that way
  • Peter Martin
    yeah. i can wait... lol, still, I need one.
  • 1_rick
    Basin Falls may be soldered, but considering that the solder in the 9000-series doesn't seem to do as much as people had hoped, we should be prepared for there not to be a lot of OC headroom.
  • kinggremlin
    If you can't afford it, you don't need it. Anyone who can make actual use of this CPU is using it in a business which is generating the money necessary to pay for it.
  • g-unit1111
    21441427 said:
    If you can't afford it, you don't need it. Anyone who can make actual use of this CPU is using it in a business which is generating the money necessary to pay for it.

    Exactly, if I were in a business to generate content I would take the 24 core TR4 CPU over the 18 core Intel equivalent for less money any day of the week. Not everything is made to play games on it.
  • Peter Martin
    who are you to determine my needs?
  • Dorian Kunch
    Why he is the internet IT god, bow to it it it it one one one one
    Give it the Threadripper.
    Give it!
  • mellis
    Looks like the I9-9900K is the best bang for the buck.
  • Peter Martin
    I would be able to make some money with that for sure. fine, now where is that business plan?