AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Review 64 Cores for a Workstation

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 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 3990X AIDA64 Memory Test

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

AMD Threadripper 3990x AIDA64 Memory
AMD Threadripper 3990x AIDA64 Memory

This is actually a bigger deal here than when we saw it on the lower-core count parts. With 64-cores, having only 4-channel memory bandwidth means that the bandwidth per core goes down considerably. More cores may sound great, but effectively these 64-core high-frequency parts have similar memory bandwidth as the AMD EPYC 7002 4-channel optimized parts (8-16 core) at DDR4-3200. We discussed this in an article here, and a video:

For many applications, that is not exactly a balanced look. Intel is offering more bandwidth for fewer cores with the Xeon W-3200 line. In that article/ video, we discuss that there are applications such as in-memory databases and HPC applications such as ANSYS Fluent that are extremely sensitive to memory bandwidth. For those, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is probably not the optimal choice. There are other applications that are fine with this, and a great example is rendering.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Cinebench R15

Here are our Cinebench R15 results:

AMD Threadripper 3990x Cinebench R15
AMD Threadripper 3990x Cinebench R15

With 64 cores, we get a good result.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 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 3990x Cinebench R20
AMD Threadripper 3990x Cinebench R20

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Geekbench 4

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

AMD Threadripper 3990x Geekbench 4
AMD Threadripper 3990x Geekbench 4

Geekbench, especially in Windows, starts to struggle at higher core counts. We saw this in our 128 core Geekbench 4 2P AMD EPYC 7742 Sets World Record piece several months ago. Here, we also see the impact of having to lower the per-core clock speeds to fit 64 cores onboard.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 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.

AMD Threadripper 3990x PCI Express Feature Test
AMD Threadripper 3990x PCI Express Feature Test

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.

Next, we are going to look at our SPECworkstation results before finishing with our Windows performance results and then transitioning to Linux benchmarks.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I know it’s an ad, but the point made in the “Red Digital Cinema gets 64-Core Performance” video is what makes these CPUs so important:

    Jarred Land: When I see this, how fast it is, it lets me get a liiiiiittle bit more aggressive with what we’re going to do next. With what we have on our roadmap, please, keep going, keep going, because we’re gonna need it.

    Everything is connected. You can’t push the boundaries in one field if the technology in another is lacking.

  2. Great review, John.

    Just a thought/suggestion for a future article: It’d be great to see a round up of these workstation CPUs benchmarked with 16, 32, and 64 threads loaded. Particularly given how the higher end models can be quite a lot better binned silicon and how the CPU boosting technologies are implemented. It’d be really interesting to see the power draw and performance to see if the higher end models perform similarly at less power at moderate loads. I know previously it’s sometimes been better and cheaper, TCO wise, to buy the more expensive models for finish quicker then sleep efficiency advantages and also the better silicon – am curious if this might be the case for the 3990X.

  3. According to Anandtech, you need Windows for Workstations to be able to use more than 64 threads effectively. I don’t see this being commented on in this article. Has that Windows version been used for the testing?

  4. @Nikolay
    you can use more than 64t but consumer versions partition it into processor groups thinking they are on separate sockets. However someone had mentioned that his Windows Pro machine only sees one socket in the task manager so I don’t know. Maybe it’s due to firmware or uefi settings? Or a much more recent update/patch or chipset driver package from AMD?

  5. Imagine what it will be like in 3-5 years after Intel and AMD go a few more rounds. Looking forward to purchasing a 256 core 512 threads . Maybe then I can install Oracle Fusion Applications in my home lab.

  6. I have a 3990X machine here that I initially set up with Windows 10 Pro and then for fun decided to “upgrade” to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. Can safely say there was 0% difference between the two OS, zero difference in how thread scheduling works, both have two NUMA nodes for the CPU.

    The only change is that my bank account lost around $150 for the upgrade fee. Every other feature that Win 10 Workstation offers is basically useless far as my purposes.

  7. Is it a do for Short list linked compatible single dual quad socks momo,s for all cpu’n review White Sheets. Thank I Today, Another Good Day With God

  8. How does this New NUMA Node Layout effect something like ESXi and VMs within it? I would think consolidating to One node instead of 4 (2 with direct memory access and 2 without) would be a game changer. I am new to reading up on all this so I was hoping you could provide your opinion

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