AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 2950X And 2990WX Review: Beastly Zen+ Many-Core CPUs

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X & 2990WX: Physics, Gaming, And Graphics

For our next series of tests, we moved on to some game-related metrics with 3DMark, specifically the physics benchmark that's part of the Fire Strike test, along with a couple of actual games. For the 3DMark Physics test, we simply create a custom 3DMark run consisting solely of the physics test, which is CPU dependent, and report the results...

Gaming: 3DMark Physics
Taking the GPU out of the Equation

physics
*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration

Despite its multi-threaded nature, the 3DMark Physics CPU benchmark really didn't like the Threadripper 2990WX when running in its default configuration. In fact, the 2990WX finished dead last here when all cores were enabled and a NUMA memory configuration was used, though we should point out there was significant variability in the results - to the tune of 20% or so. The Threadripper 2950X took the top spot, because it doesn't have to contend with the higher latency associated with cores that don't have memory attached. Disabling cores in the 2990WX using Ryzen Master results in a massive jump in performance that bested the Core i9-7980XE.

High Resolution Gaming And Graphics Tests
1080P and 4K Gaming With GeForce GTX 1080

We also ran some high-resolution game and graphics tests on our test rigs 3DMark, Middle Earth: Shadow Of War and Rise Of The Tomb Raider. We used 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme preset, and both of the games were run in two different configurations -- either 1080p with Medium details, or 4K with High/Very High details. The lower resolution tests are more CPU bound, while the higher resolution tests are more GPU bound.

sow 1080
*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration


tomb 1080
*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration

Our 1080p / medium quality game tests somewhat mirror the 3DMark Physics benchmark above. Once again, we see the Threadripper 2990WX falter with all-cores enabled and the 2950X finishing near the top of the charts. Disable those cores without memory attached and switch the memory mode, however, and the Threadripper 2990WX's performance shoots right up into the thick of things.

sow 4k


tomb 4k

Cranking the resolution and image quality up in the games, and shifting the bottleneck to the GPU shows a completely different trend. Here, all of the systems finish right on top of each other and effectively tie -- both of these benchmarks typically have a margin of error of 1 - 2 FPS between runs.

3dm1
*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration


3dm2
*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme mimics our 1080p games tests. Here, the Threadripper 2990WX's overall performance is dragged down when running in its default all-core / NUMA configuration -- framerates are lower than all of the other systems and we can't forget about that Physics score from the top of the page, which drags the overall result down. With 1/2 of its cores disabled, however, the 2990WX's performance shoots right up into the upper echelon of results, alongside the Threadripper 2950X which kicked some butt here.

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