Ever since the AMD EPYC 7001 series and Ryzen Threadripper launched in 2017, the big question has been when will AMD finally get into the professional workstation market. While there are many consumer systems that aspire to be workstations as core counts have risen, the workstation market is largely dominated by Lenovo, HP, and Dell. These three vendors have workstations that often are rackmount convertible and are much closer to servers with GPUs than they are traditional desktops. For over a decade, this market has belonged to Intel and today, we are taking a look at the top-end processor powering the first non-Xeon professional workstation system from one of those vendors in a long time. This is our AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX review.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX Overview
As you may expect, since we internally use the term “WEPYC” (short for Workstation EPYC) for the Threadripper PRO line, Patrick did a video on this one as well. These pieces were a team effort with William working on the upcoming Lenovo ThinkStation P620 review and Patrick doing the video.
As always, we suggest opening the video in a new browser for a better viewing experience.
Key stats for the Threadripper PRO 3995X are a 64-core/ 128-thread processor with 256MB of L3 cache. We get a 2.7GHz base and a 4.2GHz boost clock. This is a 280W TDP part. What is perhaps most exciting is that we also get 8-channel DDR4 memory support as well as RDIMM/ 3DS/ LRDIMM support (if enabled by the platform.) Here is the lscpu output for the part:
As a quick note, some documentation calls this the “AMD Threadripper Pro” series with out the Ryzen label. We are using the AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX since that is printed on the CPU and is in the CPU ID model that the chip reports.
Something that we will quickly note here is that although the official specs say 4.2GHz, we did catch a number of screenshots like the below.
Aside from the 8-channel memory, we also get a full PCIe lane configuration although some lanes are used for the chipset that provides workstation I/O connectivity via a PCIe Gen4 link to the CPU. As an example, if we want high-speed USB, we need an external chipset to enable this which is why we do not see a lot of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports it on AMD EPYC servers.
This is the highest-end processor in the segment. AMD also has 12, 16, and 32 core parts. These are more comparable to single-socket Intel Xeon offerings today, however, we only have the higher-end part to test.
Overall, we basically know this configuration. It is effectively a 64 core AMD EPYC “P” series (single-socket) part with clock speed similar to the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X along with a 280W TDP as we also saw with the AMD EPYC 7H12. Hence why we nicknamed it the WEPYC.
Test Configuration: Lenovo ThinkStation P620
Here is the configuration we are using for the system:
- System: Lenovo ThinkStation P620
- CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX
- RAM: 8x 32GB DDR4-3200 (256GB Total) RDIMMs (2x 16GB as configured by Lenovo)
- GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000
- NIC: Onboard 10GbE + NVIDIA ConnectX-6 200GbE PCIe Gen4 single-port add-in
- Storage: Western Digital SN720
- OS SSD: Intel DC P3710 400GB
The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 borrows its design from the P520 designed for chips like the Intel Xeon W-2295. The big difference is that we get AMD EPYC support which means we get PCIe Gen4 in a workstation before Intel is offering the feature.
There are a few nice touches in the system. For example, flanking the CPU on either side are two sets of 4x DIMM slots. Lenovo has actively cooled covers on these DIMM slots to ensure that the DDR4-3200 memory stays cool. At the same time, we do not normally see this attention to cooling in EPYC servers so it looks a bit different versus what we were expecting.
Lenovo also has a massive heatsink for the CPU with two fans and a number of heat pipes. Cooling a 280W CPU can be done on air, but keeping the system relatively quiet while also dealing with the practical limitation of chassis height is impressive.
In our test configuration we had a single NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000, but one can add a second dual-slot GPU as well. We did not have a matching Quadro RTX 6000, so we used a 200GbE NIC. William has our full review of the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 coming, but you can also see more views in the video linked above.
Next, we are going to look at performance and power consumption before getting to our final words.