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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X Review

By: Steven Bassiri | AMD CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 13, 2018 1:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: AMD

Threadripper Technologies

 

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The structure on the left shows how the 2950X is configured, and on the right, we have the configuration of the 2990WX. Two things to take away; the 2950X's configuration is the same as the 1950X's configuration (for the most part), and the 2990WX is a new topology specifically designed for the WX-series of CPUs. The 2990WX has two dies that have access to local memory and two dies that don't. AMD calls these IO dies, and compute dies that are kind of like extra calculators with access to main memory (which has to be pooled in this case) through Infinity Fabric connections to the other dies.

 

 

Since each die has a connection to all other dies, we can call this a mesh topology. In the WX configuration, the number of links from each die is lowered, and so is the bi-directional die to die bandwidth. The 2950X's Infinity Fabric runs up to 50GB/s at 3200MHz DDR4 (since Infinity Fabric speed is linked to memory speed) and the 2990WX's Infinity Fabric runs at 25GB/s at 3200MHz DDR4. The difference in connectivity between dies can have an impact on memory dependent configurations. AMD says that they are working with Microsoft to optimize Window's scheduler to handle the compute die cores better.

 

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Browsing Reddit has led me to believe that some might benefit from an explanation of what AMD's boosting mechanisms actually do. For starters, we have XFR2, which now can boost all cores. AMD's XFR2 uses temperature as its main guiding factor, and XFR2 can boost the CPU up as long as you can provide it a low enough operating temperature. We also have Precision Boost, which is AMD's default boost mechanism. However, we also have Precision Boost Overdrive, which basically removes the TDP rating restrictions by alleviating power consumption restrictions, and we saw it greatly improve the performance and power draw of the CPU.

 

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There is a catch with Precision Boost Overdrive; it does void your warranty. It's considered overclocking, but overclocking controlled by the CPU's many internal sensors and AMD's custom developed algorithm. You can manually overclock the CPU. Now, Precision Boost Overdrive works off three pieces of information; the package power target (PPT), thermal design current (TDC), and electrical design current (EDC). The PPT is a limit on the total power that can be delivered to the CPU, the TDC is the sustained current (not total power) that can be delivered by the motherboard's VRM, and the EDC is the peak current that the motherboard's VRM can provide the CPU. These numbers can be found in the new Ryzen Master software application, and a few of them are self-reported by the motherboard...

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