Here is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review and get a quick recap and points on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X.
Highest Core Counts: Three years ago no one would have imagined a 64-core CPU that consumers could easily purchase and toss into a system for consumers and professionals alike. While EPYC features 64-cores as well, AMD says these are not simple bins of EPYC counterparts, that they are tuned differently.
That tells us that AMD picked some of the highest binned CCDs and then put eight of them on a package for this CPU, and picked them for high performance rather than power efficiency as in the data center power is more important than at a workstation.
Crazy Professional Performance: With 64-cores, you would expect the 3990X do anywhere from 15-30% better than its 32-core counterpart, as cores don't always scale. However, we see even more than that in CINEBENCH R20, and in Blender, we see over 100% performance increases. That is ridiculous and makes the CPU shine for those who need it for professional work.
Platform: TRX40 is AMD's most advanced chipset, and the platform itself is one of the most if not the most loaded on the market. You will be able to connect to the latest storage devices easily and network controllers, all the while not stealing lanes meant for GPUs.
Price: The most expensive consumer/workstation CPU is the 3990X, and the motherboards that will adequately support it cost upwards of $800, making this platform one of the most pricey.
The Ryzen 3990X at stock would hit 55C maximum with a 300W power draw, which is cooler than other AMD TRX40 CPUs using the same cooler (3970X around 70C). However, when we enabled PBOD and XMP, we get over 800W of power draw (with some lights flickering in the apartment with total system power draw over 1kW), and the CPU will hit upwards of 95C. That was just running CINEBENCH. The CPU actually runs cool at stock, which was impressive.
AMD achieves this through dropping voltage per core below 1v at stock and relies on high current to get excellent performance. While games aren't what this CPU is made for, we didn't see any downside compared to the 3970X or 3960X when we ran benchmarks.
However, where this CPU shines and what it's meant for is content creation and rendering. It would also be a solid CPU for virtualization, and AMD recommends at least 4GB per core (256GB total) for those purposes, but we were told using 64GB for most use cases is good enough.
Basically, it's a supercharged product, with best in class performance. If we were to make a metaphor, we would say it's some crazy monster truck or a Bugatti; it's made to outrun helicopters or fly 50 feet in the air (metaphor for content production and rendering), and while it can still drive on a street (metaphor for gaming), it's not meant to, but it can.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT
The Bottom Line
The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is a best in class CPU from AMD, and is the most powerful CPU we have ever seen for content production and rendering. It's a perfect high performance workstation CPU, and it can easily overclock if you have the proper infrastructure to support it.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [The CPU and Test Setup]
- Page 3 [CINEBENCH, wPrime, and AIDA64]
- Page 4 [Blender, Handbrake, ScienceMark, and SuperPI]
- Page 5 [UNIGINE and 3DMark]
- Page 6 [Gaming]
- Page 7 [Overclocking and Power Consumption]
- Page 8 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]