Exclusive: Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Performance First Look With Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Performance In Alienware's Beastly Area-51 Threadripper Edition

AMD's Ryzen series of next generation desktop processors have garnered a lot of buzz and praise around the web, but among the family of chips, none have created quite the stir as the company's Threadripper models of 16-core and 12-core processors.  While Ryzen helped propel AMD back to essentially performance parity with Intel Core series processors, Ryzen Threadripper offers the hope of surpassing even Intel's latest Core i9 Skylake-X family, with more core resources and PCIe connectivity at its disposal.

As it turns out, our first hands-on experience with AMD Ryzen Threadripper wasn't afforded to us by the usual manufacturer press kit, but rather an OEM desktop system from Dell's Alienware Gaming PC division. 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper vs Intel Core 9 7900X 1920
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Ed. - AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Vs Intel Core i9-7900X

And today we're able to give you an early preview look at the performance of AMD's 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor, courtesy of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition beastly gaming desktop system.

However, we want to underscore the fact that this is a very early prototype system from Alienware, and while the Threadripper 1950X performance metrics you'll see on the pages ahead won't change much when the chips officially launch in a matter of days now, literally anything within the Dell system itself could change and very likely at least a few aspects of it will. As such, we're going to reserve passing on any final assessments of Alienware's early prototype Area-51 Threadripper Edition system, and rather spend our resources here primarily on the performance of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-core processor that is the "brains of the operation," so to speak. 

With that in mind, if you haven't seen it yet, here's our quick guided tour of the Dell-Alienware machine, and then we'll get into some juicy early preview benchmark numbers...

Our test systems for this performance quick-take were setup with the top-end chips from the current and previous generation high-end Intel desktop platforms, versus the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition and its X399 / Ryzen Threadripper 1950X setup.
Alienware Area 51 Threadripper CPU Socket

Test Systems: 

Compute And Rendering - Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Cinebench And Blender Benchmarks

Cinebench R15 is a combination CPU and OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers, like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and can utilize any number of threads, which make is an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. 

Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Cinebench Score

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Cinebench Vs Intel Core i9 7900X

When it comes to raw compute throughput, Cinebench is an excellent, consistent gauge of system resources and horsepower. Here the Alienware system and AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-core processor puts a beat down on Intel's 10-core Core i9-7900X to the tune of over a 37 percent performance advantage, and it's over 60 percent faster than the previous gen 10-core Intel Core i7-6950X. At similar price points of $999, for either a Core i9-7900X (actually currently street for ~ $1059) or a Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, this shows a big value proposition for AMD's new monster chip. 

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, to rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. It has a built-in benchmarking tool that tracks the time it takes to complete rendering a particular model. We used a CPU-focused BMW model for the tests that follow.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Blender CPU Benchmark2

Here Ryzen Threadripper 1950X in the Alienware Area-51 completes its render over a half minute faster than the Core i9-7900X. In longer, heavier-duty workloads, this sort of performance delta can save significant time and resources for a complex rendering job.  

Alienware Area-51 With Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 3DMark Time Spy Benchmarks

3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 graphics benchmark test. Futuremark notes that Time Spy is "built from the ground up to support new features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading. While Time Spy is a primarily a graphics card and gaming performance test, it also portrays general system performance under gaming workloads and has a specific CPU benchmark module as well.
Ryzen Theadripper 1950X 3DMark Time Spy Total Score

Threadripper 1950X 3DMark Time Spy CPU Score

Here we get the first look of gaming performance with Ryzen Threadripper and as you can see, its 6-core advantage over Intel's Skylake-X processor, doesn't afford it any performance gain. In the CPU test, 3DMark shows roughly a 10 percent edge for Skylake-X, however. In multi-GPU setups, with powerful pair of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards at play, the overall performance profile is about the same as the single card spread. That is to say, not much if any and within the margin of variability of this benchmark.

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