AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper - The Verdict
Performance Summary: AMD Threadripper performance is impressive on a number of levels. In multi-threaded workloads, the Threadripper 1950X’s and 1920’s relatively high core counts versus existing desktop processors, in addition to their strong SMT scaling, result in the best multi-threaded benchmark scores we’ve seen from any single CPU to date. Threadripper also offers massive amounts of memory bandwidth and more IO than other processors. Though absolute power consumption is somewhat high, Threadrippers are significantly more efficient than AMD’s previous-generation processors, and in their default configuration, the 16-core Threadripper 1950X and 12-core 1920X-powered test system consumed only 31-45 more watts. In lightly-threaded workloads, Threadripper trails Intel’s latest processors, however, which translates to lower performance in applications and games that can’t leverage all of the additional compute resources Threadripper has at its disposal.
Whether it sells in big numbers or not (we think it will), Threadripper is going to be a disruptive product. For creative professionals that need massive amounts of compute performance, Threadripper is a beast. Although the landscape is going to change when higher-core count Core X processors like the Core i9-7980X hit the market, for now, there is nothing else that can touch Threadripper. Even when the Core i9-7980X comes out, it’s currently slated to arrive at almost double the price, and we’d bet it won’t offer double the performance.
At this moment in time, the AMD Threadripper 1950X is priced at $999, while Threadripper 1920X is priced at $799. For now, that means AMD’s $999 processor offers significantly more performance in multithreaded workloads than Intel’s similarly priced 10-core Core i9-7900X. There were even a couple of instances where AMD’s $799 processor was faster than Intel’s $999 part. For the kind of workloads and users these processors were designed for, AMD’s pricing is far more attractive and makes it tougher to justify similarly-priced Intel Skylake-X processors. Of course, Core-X does have its advantages, thanks to Intel’s higher IPC and typically higher clocks, but we don’t think anyone should be considering a 10, 12, or 16-core processor if their primary use case revolves around lightly-threaded workloads.
AMD’s Threadripper processors and X399 chipset are not perfect. But they are bad-ass, and despite their somewhat lofty price-tags, they are still aggressively priced in the current high-end desktop processor landscape. If you’re the type of user that will leverage the beastly amount of compute performance that 12 or 16 Zen cores have to offer, you should absolutely consider Threadripper. These processors are multi-threaded powerhouses that offer performance previously unheard of with a single desktop CPU from any generation yet.