AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Review 24 Cores of Impressive


AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Windows Performance

First, we are going to move through our Windows suite before we proceed to our Linux testing. Instead of focusing on lower-end mainstream products, we are going to focus on higher-end parts.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X AIDA64 Memory Test

AIDA64 memory bandwidth benchmarks (Memory Read, Memory Write, and Memory Copy) measure the maximum achievable memory data transfer bandwidth.

AMD Threadripper 3960X AIDA64 Memory
AMD Threadripper 3960X AIDA64 Memory

Here performance is overall very competitive. One can immediately see the impact of the DDR4-3200.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R15

Here are our Cinebench R15 results:

AMD Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R15
AMD Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is getting to be too small for these large chips. At the same time, we wanted to draw attention to the single-core results. Here, the Threadripper 3960X actually took top marks in our test.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R20

We have started running Cinebench R20 in our workstation reviews as it is a much larger test. We have run these in up to 128 core/ 256 thread systems as you can see in Crushing Cinebench V5 AMD EPYC 7742 World Record Edition.

AMD Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R20
AMD Threadripper 3960X Cinebench R20

Again we see great single-thread performance. AMD has an architectural advantage here which is why they tend to use Cinebench often in their marketing. Still, one can see more performance than the last generation’s 32 core part.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Geekbench 4

Geekbench is a popular Windows benchmark. Soon we will start using Geekbench 5 as well.

AMD Threadripper 3960X Geekbench 4
AMD Threadripper 3960X Geekbench 4

In 2019, STH set a Geekbench 4 2P AMD EPYC 7742 World Record using a cousin to the Threadripper chip. One can see that the AMD chips perform extremely well here.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 3DMark PCI Express Bandwidth

3DMark feature tests are special tests designed to highlight specific techniques, functions or capabilities. The 3DMark PCI Express feature test is designed to measure the bandwidth available to your GPU over your computer’s PCI Express interface.

The test aims to make bandwidth the limiting factor for performance. It does this by uploading a large amount of vertex and texture data to the GPU for each frame. The result of the test is the average bandwidth achieved during the test.

AMD Threadripper 3960X & 3970X PCIe Feature Test
AMD Threadripper 3960X PCIe Feature Test

Again solid performance. We re-tested the system with the PCIe Gen4 XFX AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and saw better numbers here, but not necessarily real-world performance figures. We are going to update the set of reviews with this in the future, but we need bigger AMD GPUs to make that matter beyond the networking and storage use cases we have seen in reviews such as our Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 Review.

Next, we are going to look at Windows system performance benchmarks.


  1. I’m hoping they’ll make RDIMMs available for the higher core count Threadrippers. I believe that the 32GB UDIMMs max out at 2666 mHz, so if you want 3200 you’re limited to 128GB. That’s not a lot to feed 128 vcores.

  2. Ryan, have you encountered SCALEMP?

    They are the OEM of Intel Optane RAM impersonation drivers.

    Grab the most consistently low latency drive you can and go.

  3. Would be great if you can test some of W-22xx family too. I’m most curious if their 165W TDP is a real thing as is in case of TR (which is on 280W these days) or this is just Intel and things go way up over that limit too like i9.

  4. Fully vetted/certified ECC(All Kinds) support is maybe not going to be provided for TR/Consumer parts by AMD/Motherboard makers and most of the Pro Software packages that really need either Epyc/Xeon branded parts.

    If AMD creates a Pro Threadripper/MB True Workstation Branding it’s going to have to cost similar to the 7H02 series parts and AMD’s EEE division that’s currently over Epyc/Professional systems will not want any product segment cannibalization. That said if the TR 3000 series 48 and 64 core parts were limited to say 6 memory channels max and some more limited PCIe 4.0 lane counts compared to Epyc/SP3 then maybe that could be offered, but that’s without the full ECC memory types support where AMD/MB vendors spend extra on the proper CPU/MB certification/vetting process that does not come cheaply.

    In not very many more business quarters AMD’s Epyc CPU/Pro GPU Accelerator sales will begin the process of dwarfing AMD’s consumer divisions in the revenue category and AMD’s golden cow will most certainly come from Professional Compute/AI and Server/HPC market revenues where the margins are there and most will pay and write that expense down on their taxes. AMD will have to be more like Intel in that regard in order for AMD to get the revenue stream going to compete with Intel longer term. So AMD has to push its gross margins ever higher or Intel will eat them on the R&D investment side.

    It’s just too unfeasible for AMD/Pro MB partners to pack the full Professional feature sets into any consumer branded/priced parts and lose that needed gross margin and revenue growth that’s necessary to compete with the giant Intel empire. AMD maybe has another 2 years at most to get its market cap and revenues high enough to fend off Intel after that time frame expires and Intel’s proper reply has been fielded. AMD really needs to remain as active as a garden shrew on the R&D side of things and that’s going to need higher margins to fund.

  5. @DiscoShrewzRevenuez
    With its current product lineup, AMD is leaving a couple of gaps open, for Intel to have SKUs that have no direct competitor.
    The first is the strange decision to not have a 16 core TR 3000 part. AMD claims that TR demand is top heavy, but still. This leaves open a gap for the 14 and 18 core X299 parts to fit in, for those who need more memory capacity, more memory bandwidth or more PCI-E lanes than what AM4 can provide.

    The second, IMO more significant oversight is not competing with the Xeon-W lineup, which brings both high clockspeeds and tons of ECC RAM to the table, *at the same time*.
    EPYC cannot compete with Xeon-W, because there are no frequency-optimized Rome parts.
    TR cannot compete because it does not support ECC (L)RDIMMs.

    Maybe the rumored TRX80 platform will be the Xeon-W competitor? With 8 channels of (L)RDIMMs?

  6. @Anon: I somewhat agree about your first point – I got a TR1920X as a cheap entry into a terrific platform (little did I know that it will taken behind the barn and shot at first chance). But it’s much less important than your second point, that I totally agree with.

    Even if they put out a higher tier TR with 8 channel RDIMM support as is rumored, they are in a tight spot. It’s really disqueting to see how quickly AMD adopts Intel’s artificial segmentation behavior once they are in the lead. In my opinion, the current TR3 platform doesn’t offer substantial advantages over the first TR platform but the price is huge (at least in terms of mindshare) – breaking compatibility. It should have had 96 PCIe lanes and 4 channel RDIMM support. Then it would have covered much wider set of use cases and would have provided real justification for the compatibility break. Now it’s just “meh” (with a lousy fan on top – I’m talking about the chipset obviously) while leaving a big market gap open.

    BTW, I guess it’s not too late for AMD to offer frequency optimized Epyc. That would seal the gap from above.

  7. Would be great if you could run the STH Linux benchmarks, especially the Kernel Builds per Hour.

    Here we’re running lots of cross compilings to build embedded Kernels: Buildroot, Xilinx toolchain, Android toolchain, among others, make intensive use of X86 processors. Android build can last 3 hours on the Skylake family processors, even with a SSD. What can we expect from Threadripper ?

  8. I really was hoping to hear more about the WRX80 Chipset for the TR3 by now. I would love to see a more Workstation oriented Chipset/Motherboard for the TR3. A Motherboard with express support for ECC Ram and also a few more PCIe slots and supports all TR3 chips.


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