AMD Threadripper 3970X And 3960X Review: Multi-Threaded Domination

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Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X - SANDRA, PCMark, And Geekbench

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first made sure all firmwares were up to date, then we entered each system's respective BIOS / UEFI and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance" defaults. We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform (without overclocking). The SSDs were then formatted, and the latest build of Windows 10 Pro x64 was installed and fully updated.

threadripper 3000 installed
AMD Threadripper 3000 Up And Running

When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers necessary for our components, disabled Auto-Updating and Windows Defender, and installed all of our benchmarking software. When that process was done, we performed a disk clean-up, cleared any temp and prefetch data, and optimized all of the SSDs using Windows' built-in utility. Finally, we enabled Windows Focus Assist to minimize any potential interruptions and let the systems reach an idle state before invoking any tests.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head
system specs
Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2020
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with the latest version of SiSoftware's SANDRA 2020, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in sub-system tests that partially comprise the suite with the Core i9-9900KS (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cache and Memory, and Memory Bandwidth). All of the scores reported below were taken with the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors running at default settings, with 32GB of DDR4 RAM running at 3,200MHz, in quad-channel mode, on the MSI Creator TRX40 motherboard.

3960x san cpu 3960x san mm
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Processor Arithmetic
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Multi-Media

3960x san mem 3960x san cache
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Memory Bandwidth
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Cache And Memory

3970x san cpu 3970x san mm
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Processor Arithmetic
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Multi-Media

3970x san mem 3970x san cache
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Memory Bandwidth
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Cache And Memory

The 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and 3970X put up some big numbers in the various SiSoft SANDRA tests we ran. The 3970X broke the 1.12TOPS mark in the Arithmetic test, while the 24-core 3960X hovered around 864GOPs -- those 8 additional cores in the 3970X have a significant impact, obviously. In the Multi-Media benchmarks, the 3970X breaks the 3.46GPix/s mark and the 3960X hits 2.67GPix/s. Memory Bandwidth is similar between the two at around 67GB/s and the Cache & Memory tests shows both with the same latency across the board, which is what you'd expect considering they're both using identical memory, at the same speed, which is tied to the Infinity Fabric clock as well.


Geekbench
Synthetic CPU Testing

In the GeekBench test, we're stressing only the CPU cores in a system (not graphics or GPU architecture), with both single and multi-threaded workloads. The tests are comprised of encryption processing, image compression, HTML5 parsing, physics calculations and other general purpose compute processing workloads.

geekbench

Geekbench foreshadows the total domination the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadrippers will show across an array of multi-threaded workloads. Here, the single-threaded tests shows the Zen 2-based 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadrippers sneaking past the Core i9-10980XE (Cascade Lake-X), but the multi-threaded test is a different story altogether. Those massive core counts propel the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadrippers way out in front, crushing everything else we tested.
PCMark 10
System Level Benchmark
Next, up we have some full-system testing with PCMark. We're reporting all test results from the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, including the Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation and and total PCMark score. The Essentials test covers workloads like web browsing, video conferencing and app start-up times, while Productivity tests everyday office apps from spreadsheets to word processing. Finally, the Digital Content Creation test evaluates performance of a machine with respect to photo and video editing, as well as rendering and visualization.

pcmark10

PCMark10 doesn't always play nice with many-core processors beyond 8 - 16 cores, hence some of the higher-end, many-core chips landing toward the bottom of the stack here. Regardless, the 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadrippers show a marked improvement over the previous generations, no doubt thanks to their massive cache and new topology that eliminates the unpredictable performance of WX-series with similar core counts.

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