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A Look at AMD's Threadripper CPU Hardware Modes

By Steven Bassiri from Sep 20, 2017 @ 17:20 CDT

Handbrake, SuperPI, and ScienceMark


The CPU was tested in five different modes. The first mode is 1950X Legacy Mode SMT ON/NUMA, which results in 8C/16T, uses local memory access (quad channel), and leaves SMT on (Gamer Mode in Ryzen Master).


The second mode is 1950X SMT OFF/UMA, which is 16C/16T with distributed memory access. The third mode is 1950X SMT OFF/NUMA, which is 16C/16T with local memory access. The fourth mode is 1950X SMT ON/NUMA, which is 16C/32T with local memory access.



The fifth mode is 1950X SMT ON/UMA, which is 16C/32T with distributed memory access, and it's also the default mode the CPU operates in (Creator Mode in Ryzen Master).










When I initially tested the 1950X, I noticed that handbrake wasn't taking advantage of all threads and cores as it might on a much lower count CPU. That, of course, differs with what you do in handbrake, whether it be changing from one codec to another, from one resolution to another, or just tuning quality and the like, the performance differences will differ. We test using the "Normal Profile, " and in our UHD tests we take a 4K video and turn it into a 1080P video, and in our 720P tests, we change the codec of a 720P video.


HandBrake in UHD and 720P loves the 1950X with SMT disabled, but with distributed memory mode. Disabling half the CPU cores also doesn't cut performance in half, but rather reduces it by roughly 25%.


ScienceMark did show that SMT OFF/NUMA mode had the best memory performance and overall score in the benchmark, SMT OFF/NUMA is the opposite configuration to what is the default configuration (SMT ON/UMA).


SuperPI 32M did best with NUMA mode (lower latency) and with SMT ON, even better than with SMT OFF in the same NUMA memory mode. However, in UMA memory mode, the CPU did better in SuperPI with SMT OFF.

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