Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition Review: Revisiting A Megatasking Beast

Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Megatasking And Overclocking

If there's one notable strength of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper series of processors (though there are many), it would be in an application use case known as "megatasking." That is to say, taxing a machine with numerous multithreaded workloads, such that a 16-core, 32-thread processor like we have in our Alienware Area-51 system here is pushed to its limits.

Specifically, one use case for megatasking would be that of a pro-streamer and gamer. Often times, in an effort to push a quality video HD video stream, deliver simultaneous smooth game play, while also simultaneously capturing the stream, game streamers will setup multiple PC systems to handle the load. With an AMD Threadripper-based system like the Area-51 Threadripper Edition, that's likely no longer necessary, so we setup a stress test scenario to prove this out.

Area 51 Threadripper Megatasking

In the screen shot above, you'll see we setup an instance of Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) at 4K Ultra image quality settings. At the same time we're streaming that game play over Xsplit Broadcaster to our YouTube channel, while also rendering a 4K60 high bitrate video, as well as capturing this entire megatasking session at 1080p60 from the 4K desktop resolution. As you can see, the machine really isn't breaking a sweat at just over 60% CPU utilization across all cores at 3.6GHz. The Area-51 did ramp up fan speeds a little, but remained composed, while its Threadripper CPU peaked at a 50 - 60ºC Tdie temperature. Check out the mayhem in the quick video clip here and note that frame rates in the game oscillate at a silky-smooth 70 to 100 FPS.  

Of course we're going to overclock this thing...

We didn't spend a ton of time overclocking the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition, though the machine's BIOS setup does offer some fairly good options for fine tuning performance of its many-core brain, so we couldn't resist.
Area 51 Threadripper BIOS Overclocking
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition System BIOS Overclocking Menu

Area 51 Threadripper OC 4GHz

Above you can see, we topped out at the 4GHz even mark, which is a pretty common stability threshold for AMD Threadripper chips. We achieved this by simply dialing up the vCore voltage to 1.425 Volts and setting the multiplier to 40X across all cores. Here you can see, in multiple Cinebench R15 runs, the CPU is getting a bit toasty at 83ºC, though we do have a nice gain in CPU performance with Cinebench, to the tune of a 3333 cb score, or about 10 percent over our stock scores.

Let's look at power and thermals, then we'll wrap it up...

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