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

Alienware Area-51 Threadripper 1950X Edition Benchmarks Continued

We have a few more performance data points to share but before we do, let's talk about noise levels with the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition.

Before We Continue, A Note On Acoustics

Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Gaming Acoustics
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition Acoustic Output While Gaming With GTX 1080 Ti SLI

As you can see in the shot above, with the decibel meter sitting roughly 6 inches from the front of the chassis, we're looking at roughly 44db that is emanating from the Dell system while under a gaming load. We should underscore that this is with a dual-GPU setup of two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI. Dell sent a single-card config, but we wanted to hear what the system sounded like with a bit more thermal and acoustic stress under load. The noise in this area of the chassis is driven primarily from the front intake fan, as well as the graphics cards. The rear of the chassis puts out about the same, maybe closer to something like 46db, but that's driven primarily from that pair of GTX 1080 Ti GPUs.

At idle, the front and back sides of the chassis drops down to about 40 - 41db. A heavy-duty Blender benchmark run on the CPU will take the system up to about 52db, but we did not hear this noise level when gaming, even with an SLI setup. We have heard reports from other members of the press that the Area-51 Threadripper Edition is "loud." However, considering the horsepower of a 16-core CPU with a pair of beastly GPUs under its hood, it is our opinion that the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition's acoustic signature is quite reasonable, relatively speaking, for a powerful gaming desktop.

Alienware Area-51 Threadripper 1950X 3DMark Fire Strike Benchmarks

Back to the benchmarks with Futuremark's 3DMark Fire Strike, looking at both physics computation and high-end DX11 gaming performance with the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark preset. 

Ryzen Threadripper 3DMark Fire Strike Physics Scores

Ryzen Threadripper 3DMark FireStrike Ultra 4K

Ryzen Threadripper 3DMark FireStrike Ultra 4K Graphics Tests

Again, we see AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X in a virtual dead heat versus Intel's 10-core Core series processors, when it comes to this synthetic gaming and graphics benchmark. 3DMark's Physics test does show about an 8 percent performance edge for Threadripper, however. 

Alienware Area-51 Threadripper 1950X Rise Of The Tomb Raider Benchmarks

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a sequel to the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, which took protagonist Lara Croft back to her exploratory “tomb raiding” roots in a deep origin story line. The game, however, was updated and enhanced with new gameplay and combat mechanics, as well as DirectX 12 support and new stunning visuals. The benchmark outputs results from a number of maps; we’re reporting numbers from the average score of all the maps and the minimum score from any single map. 

Here we're testing both at 4K resolution with the Very High image quality preset, as well as 1080p with Medium quality. We'll look at high fidelity gaming performance with single- and multi-GPU setups, as well as medium fidelity high frame rate performance for gamers that want the latest in high refresh rate panel technology. 
Ryzen Threadripper Rise of The Tomb Raider 4K

Ryzen Threadripper Rise Of The Tomb Raider 1080p

Rise Of The Tomb Raider shows negligible performance variance between any of the systems with a single powerful GPU like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti pushing the pixels. Strap in another GTX 1080 Ti in SLI and we do see some small margin of performance edge for the Intel Core i9-7900X versus Threadripper 1950X. Drop down to lower resolution, medium quality gaming where frame rates are north of 150 FPS, and Ryzen Threadripper shows its notable drop-off in lower res gaming at about a 23 percent shortfall. With a single GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, however, you're still north of a 144Hz panel's refresh rate. 

Area-51 Threadripper Edition Thermals And First Impressions

One final aspect of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition and Ryzen Threadripper 1950X that we're sure you're all interested in, is thermals. Here's a look at Ryzen Threadripper at idle on the desktop and under a heavy, full load in Blender. 

Ryzen Threadripper Idle Temps
Ryzen Threadripper Blender Temps

Take note that the traditional Ryzen Tctl temperature offset for fan profiles is at play here, as usual. No, Ryzen Threadripper in the Area-51 is not running at 93ºC under load. It operates at more like 66 - 67ºC fully loaded and idles somewhere around 32 - 35ºC in this test config.

Update, 8/7/17 - 1:57PM
- AMD has offered an official statement on Threadripper temperature readings: "The AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processor also employs a temperature offset on the Tctl sensor for automatic fan policies. This offset is +27°C. "

Again, reports of the Alienware Area-51's AIO cooling system not being up to the task of chilling Threadripper 1950X are totally unfounded as far as we're concerned. We're used to seeing Intel's Skylake-X processors operate in this range with standard single-fan AIO coolers as well, by the way. The Area-51's radiator is very thick and though it's also only a single fan setup, the surface area of the rad is deceivingly larger than it looks. We're still testing, but we're pretty confident in the Alienware Area-51's cooling system and the ability for standard off-the-shelf AIO coolers to keep a beastly Ryzen Threadripper CPU in check, thermally. 

Speaking of which, if you want a closer look at a Threadripper chip in the flesh, as it's being installed in the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition, just hit the play button above.

And be sure to stay tuned here as we bring you continuing coverage and our full review of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processor family in the days ahead. 

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