Exactly 1 year and 3 days ago AMD launched their first generation of Ryzen Threadripper processors, the 1950X and 1920X. Today, they officially launch their brand new Threadripper 2990WX and refreshed 2950X CPUs, which offer improvements over their predecessors in both core count and frequency. AMD has even re-branded their 2990WX to let people know that the new monster 32-core 64-thread CPU is designed for content creators and "prosumers" rather than average consumers.
By leveraging the top 5% of Ryzen dies, EPYC's quad-die formation, and lessons learned over the past year, AMD is poised to bring more competition to the high-end consumer CPU market. Let's see how the new CPUs do. We should also mention that the samples used in this review have all been provided to us by AMD and Intel for testing purposes, and that AMD flew us to Italy with the rest of the technical press to brief us on these new processors.
AMD's Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X are both based on the Zen+ architecture, which is just like Zen but with some optimizations made to the process (12nm), which increased top clocks from 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz and reduced vcore by 80-120mv at any clock speed. The 2990WX utilizes all four dies for a total of 32 cores and 64 threads, and it has a base frequency of 3.0GHz with a boost of 4.2GHz.
The 2950X comes in with two active dies for a total of 16 cores and 32 threads, and it has a base clock of 3.5GHz with a boost up to 4.4GHz. Both CPUs have 64 PCI-E 3.0 lanes for PCI-E slots and M.2 slots, quad channel memory support, and both offer XFR2 (temperature based clocking) and Precision Boost 2 (boost scheme). CPU cache scales per core and per die, so the 2950X has a total of 8MB of L2 cache and 32MB of L3 cache, while the 2990WX offers 16MB of L2 cache and 64MB of L3 cache. The 2990WX has a 250W TDP and the 2950X has a 180W TDP.
There is one thing I want to make clear; AMD is not marketing the WX series CPUs at gamers. There is a gamer mode that cuts down to one die with local memory access, but otherwise, the CPU is not marketed toward gamers. The X-series are targeted towards megataskers, while the WX-series is marketed towards professionals and others who can utilize a ton of cores.
The Ryzen Threadripper 2950X will cost $799, and the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX will cost $1799.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Threadripper Technologies]
- Page 3 [The CPU and Test Setup]
- Page 4 [Out of the Box Performance: CINEBENCH, wPrime, and AIDA64]
- Page 5 [Out of the Box Performance: Handbrake, ScienceMark & More]
- Page 6 [Synthetic Gaming Performance: UNIGINE and 3DMark]
- Page 7 [Gaming Performance: Resident Evil, Tomb Raider & More]
- Page 8 [Overclocking and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]