Ryzen Threadripper Alienware Area-51 Transplant Shows Performance Gains For Retail Silicon

We've been spending quality time with AMD's Ryzen Threadripper in various incarnations, both building our own setups for testing and with OEM systems like the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition beast of a gaming desktop. Initially, with the first chip we received in the system, we saw some strong numbers to be sure. However, yesterday we got our hands on another retail Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor, and after swapping it out with the pre-production chip in the Alienware system, we saw a notable performance jump.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
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If you have not done so already, check out our hands-on coverage of Dell's Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition desktop with a pre-production Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor inside. That sucker was decked out with 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card with 11GB of GDDR5X of onboard memory, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCI Express solid state drive flanked by a 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive for good measure. Woof!

Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Edition Feature Shot

After receiving the system and posting some benchmarks in Cinebench, AMD contacted us and said the scores we posted looked a little low. AMD suspected the Alienware Area-51 was running a pre-production Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU (which it was), so the company sent us a retail chip to re-test with, and we happily obliged. Below is a video of the transplant, which itself is interesting due to the size of the Threadripper and unique way it's installed (compared to legacy consumer CPUs). Check it out:

Notice that AMD includes a torque wrench with its new multi-core chip. AMD's monster sized Threadripper processors come pre-installed in a frame that you slide right into the CPU socket on TR4 motherboards. It makes installation easy, especially when dealing with 4,094 fragile pins inside the socket. The new frame lines things up perfectly, making it next to impossible to screw up installation.

What about the benchmarks? After transplanting the pre-producition silicon for a retail chip, we fired up the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Ed. and re-ran Cinebench.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Cinebench
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Those 16 cores and 32 threads clocked at 3.4GHz to 4GHz pounded Cinebench with a CPU score of 3,022. In our previous test with pre-production silicon, the same setup scored 2.905. While not a monumental jump, bear in mind that Cinebench is a brutal benchmark designed to reflect professional grade workloads, so a jump of more than 100 points is a solid gain.

It's also nice to see that AMD was able to tweak and fine-tune things for added performance, from the time it shipped out engineering samples and pre-production CPUs. That means that all of the early benchmarks that leaked to the web are underselling what AMD's Ryzen Threadripper is capable of.

Good stuff!