AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
Ripper ripper on the wall, who's the sweetest of them all?
You probably just read our 32-core 2990WX review and noticed my recommendation. As a more 'normal' enthusiast end-user, you really should not be looking at 32 cores man. Eight is fine, sixteen is sweet. However, with the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X, AMD brings something special to the table. Sixteen cores and thirty-two threads are not something you'll be using anytime soon unless you are crunching data in extensive workloads. However, over time the CPU ecosystem will evolve, and this is why I think 16-core processors deserve a place in the HEDT PC enthusiast and gaming space.
AMD did well with the 2950X, honestly, it is 100 bucks cheaper compared to the original 1950X and, thanks to the Pinnacle Ridge ZEN+ dies, on some threads this puppy will manage 4.4 GHz. I'll immediately say though, that is an XFR2 frequency, mandatory cooling is required, but any LCS kit will do just fine. Yes, my friends, Ryzen processors have been refreshed, now the turn goes to AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors receiving that Pinnacle Ridge upgrade. In this review, we check out the all-new 16-core / 32 thread update, the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X.
X and WX - So you will have noticed it, two out of the four newly announced Threadripper Generation 2 processors carry a WX suffix. WX is used in AMD's PRO series product line. Basically, anything up to 16 cores will carry the X suffix, with the 24 and 32-core versions having that WX suffix for designers and creators. Realistically though, if you think a 24 or 32-core processor is a proper gaming CPU, think again and get yourself a six-core proc. That many cores are for pure bragging rights or more professional workloads like virtualization, raytracing rendering and video editing and rendering. Nonetheless, the new SKUs are injected into the consumer domain. Based on 12nm ZEN+ Pinnacle Ridge dies, there will be four new generation 2 SKUs, up-to 16 cores for the 2920X (12c/24t) and 2950X (16c/32t). The new WX series, yes, 24 cores and 48 threads for the 2970X and then that beast, the 32-core 2990WX processor with its staggering 64 threads, which is unprecedented in the SOHO and consumer class. Let me quickly add that a drop in compatibility is confirmed, existing X399 motherboards will work with a BIOS firmware update.
The four models will be released gradually over the coming months, today, however, we kick off with the 16-core version, which will become available at the end of the month for 899 USD. So what will AMD be releasing?
- Ryzen Threadripper 2920X
This is a 12-core part with 24 threads. The maximum turbo frequency will be 4.3 GHz, and it has a base frequency of 3.5 GHz. This processor is to be priced at 649 USD. This processor under full stress has a 180 Watt TDP.
- Ryzen Threadripper 2950X
The second gen 16-core part with 32 threads will run a turbo frequency of 4.4 GHz(!) with a base clock of 3.5 GHz, this will go for 899 USD. This processor under full stress has a 180 Watt TDP.
- Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX
Advancing in cores we now reach a 24-core part with 48 threads. Here the maximum turbo frequency will be 4.2 GHz with a base clock of 3.0 GHz, this is a 1299 USD SKU. This processor under full stress has a 250 Watt TDP.
- Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX
You have reached your final destination - the 2990WX has no less than 32 cores and 64 threads. The proc has a 4.2 GHz turbo allowance and runs a 3.0 GHz base clock. This massive manycore product will be sold for 799 USD, which is 56 USD per core. This processor under full stress has a 250 Watt TDP.
As you can see, one product jumps out as really high in its turbo frequency; the 2950X, we predict, is going to be a very popular product with that 4.4 GHz Turbo. For Threadripper 2 AMD did some gauntlet sorting of the dies, Threadripper 2 uses (binned) the best top 5% dies. In combination with Precision Boost and proper cooling, you will achieve such clock frequencies, in a very linear and graceful model governed by core temp, VRM current. In our Ryzen 2000 reviews, we already talked about XFR2. New for Threadripper Gen2 is that it is available now on all CPU cores, rewarding you guys with up-to 15% more boost performance (at 32 Degrees C). Better cooled systems will offer better performance. With water cooling, you are going to see a 16% higher frequency. So there is some leeway in that turbo frequency.
It's now a year after the original Threadripper release. Everybody expected a ZEN+ upgrade, few however expected the new 24 and 32-core versions, amusing stuff really. All processors are SMT, thus ‘hyper-threaded’ to 24, 32, 48 or 64 threads. The advantage for this processor series is that you can house it on the existing X399 platform with its 64-PCIe lanes and quad-channel DDR4 compatibility. Keep in mind that with the ASUS Zenith you will need to purchase a new optional VRM cooling kit if you plan to overclock. The rest of the existing motherboards would be fine. Threadripper generation 2 processors are once again fully unlocked and seat themselves onto the Socket TR4 on an X399 motherboard of your choice. All these processors Turbo over 4.2 GHz and all of them have that extended XFR2 range of ~200 MHz, (when properly cooled). Some cores can reach 4400 MHz on up-to four cores. MSI and Gigabyte will release new X399 motherboards, ASUS the VRM upgrade kit for Zenith. With Threadripper 2 comes some benefits as, combined with that new Socket TR4 (4094 pins!) X399 motherboard platform, you will be able to run your memory in a quad-channel memory configuration. Next to that, you will gain a staggering 64 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3.0.
Eager to see some numbers?! Well, let's start up the review then.