AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X And 1920X Review: Unleashing The Multi-Threaded Beast

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AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper Overclocking And Power Consumption

AMD has a new version of its Ryzen Master tool coming to support Threadripper. At its core, the utility remains largely unchanged over the version designed for the Ryzen 7 series. The Threadripper-optimized version of Ryzen Master gives users the ability to alter multipliers and voltages from within Windows, monitor temperatures and clocks, and save settings to different profiles. The software also gives users the ability to disable cores, if they'd like to push a fewer number of cores as high as possible. Although there are individual sliders per core, they all work in tandem at this time, just like the original Ryzen Master. We had initially thought per-core overclocking would come to Ryzen Threadripper, but it’s not likely to happen with this rev of the chip.

Overclocking Ryzen ThreadRipper
Pushing Them To The Limit

In addition to the overclocking related tools, Ryzen Master for Threadripper also has toggles for enabling or disabling the legacy compatibility mode we covered on the architecture page, and it also had a couple of presets for “Creator” or “Game” modes. Creator mode is the default profile, which leaves all cores enabled and the memory controllers configured for UMA mode, while game mode switches the memory configuration to NUMA mode.

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper Overclocked With LN2

Due to time constraints, we didn’t have a chance to test the latest version of Ryzen Master, but we did see it action at AMD’s Threadripper Tech day. Even better, we got to see it in action with an LN2 cooled chip overclocked to over 5GHz, which also happened to break a Cinebench world record at the time.

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Ryzen Threadripper 1920X Overclocked To 4.1GHz

For our overclocking endeavors, we dove into the BIOS on the Gigabyte motherboard we used for testing, and did a little tuning. With both the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X, we set the memory voltage to 1.38v, increased the SoC voltage by .1v, the CPU core voltage to 1.475, and then ratcheted up the all-core multiplier until the system was no longer stable. In the end, we ended up hitting a stable 4.1GHz with both processors, which is right in-line with other Ryzen processors we've tested previously.

For cooling, we stuck with the triple-fan Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 while overclocking and didn’t encounter any thermal issues. Temperatures at idle remained in the 40’C range and jumped into the 80’s under load. At stock speeds, however, temperatures with a triple-fan, premium AIO-cooler at a non-issue. We rarely saw temperatures approach the 70’C range at default clocks and voltages.

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While we had the Threadripper processors overclocked, we ran a couple of benchmarks and saw some significant performance gains. The Threadripper 1950X pulled ahead of the Core i9-7900X by about 1100 points in Cinebench and almost 12 FPS in 3DMark's Physics test

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

Before wrapping things up, we'd also like to talk a bit about power consumption. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our Threadripper-based test system was consuming with a power meter to compare it to the other test systems we used for testing. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling at the Windows desktop and while under a heavy CPU workload. Keep in mind, this is total system power consumption being measured at the outlet with only the processor loaded and not the the individual power of the CPUs alone.

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Power consumption was relatively high with Threadripper. Idle power was over 100W, which was significantly higher than any other platform. We approached AMD with these numbers and got confirmation that they were in-line. The reason for the relatively high idle power is two fold -- first, there are more cores to keep powered up versus the other processors and second, Threadripper's clocks never dropped below their base frequency. Under load, power consumption was also higher than the other platforms, but they are not completely out of line with the multi-threaded performance advantages Threadripper offers. And in comparison to AMD's previous-gen, flagship 8-core chip, Threadripper's peak power consumption is downright impressive. 8 Bulldozer cores actually consume more energy than 16 Zen cores.

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We also monitored power consumption while overclocked. And although we didn't hit excessively high clock speeds, power jumped up dramatically while overclocked, with the test system peaking over 400 watts with either Threadripper chip installed. Moral of the story -- if you're planning to overclock a Threadripper, make sure you've got a beefy PSU and a powerful cooler capable of handling the load.


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