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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X
Join the community - in the OCAU Forums!
Date 26th November 2019
Author booj
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer AMD

For system testing we’ve included the stock 3960X results plus some results with the CPU clocked at a flat 4.2GHz for all cores. This removes the default turbo clocking for lightly threaded loads, meaning the single thread results at 4.2GHz are actually slower than they would be at default. Thanks to Intel and AMD launching new products for review at the same time, we just didn’t have time to do anything but the most basic overclocking. If nothing else the results show that 4.2GHz+ is possible on all 24 cores which is nice to see.

Our test setup is as follows:

Let’s start off with Cinebench R20. It supports up to 256 threads and shines with high core count processors. The 3960X is way out in front here.

Blender is tailor made for high core count processors and the results speak for themselves. Again the 3960X dominates. Don’t forget that this is the entry level Threadripper 3 CPU. Even a heavily overclocked 10980XE is left well behind.

7Zip is a file compression application that scales well with memory bandwidth as well as high core counts. This graph really illustrates the way an application could be handicapped by the quirks of the Threadripper 2 memory and cache subsystem. The 3960X is close to twice as fast as its 2970WX predecessor.

CPUZ includes a handy little benchmark that actually provides a good reference with its decent single and multi-threaded workloads. Once again the AMD processors excel at the multi-threaded test while Intel’s strength is its single threading capabilities.

Geekbench uses a mix of lightly and highly threaded workloads to measure overall CPU performance. How will a 3990X perform in this broad based workload? Hmm…

Handbrake is a popular video transcoding tool. The 3960X performs well but it’s clear that consumer video encoders are not at their most efficient when run on very high core count processors.

POV Ray is a popular ray tracing benchmark. The 3960X thrives with its high core count and really shows how a professional workload can benefit when given the right hardware to run on.

3DMark’s Time Spy Extreme test scales well with higher core counts. The 3960X again dominates.

Unlike the workloads above, most games are simply not coded to take advantage of very high core count CPUs. Other games downright struggle. Bear in mind that the majority of gamers are still using dual and quad core CPUs. Nevertheless, there’s nothing stopping anyone gaming on a Threadripper CPU. Some of the results are interesting. Also, apologies for omitting the overclocked 3960X results from the game tests - it simply slipped my mind in the rush to get to print.

The 3960X falls right back into the pack in 3DMark Time Spy. It’s the first indicator that pure gamers should go for one of the mainstream platforms.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is still a very demanding game but it’s one that doesn’t seem to mind high core counts. The Intel chips are out in front, but when you crank up the game detail, the differences are quite small.

Metro Exodus is an example of a game that doesn’t work well with high core counts. The 3960X trails significantly, even when the GPU-taxing RTX preset is enabled, it still takes a significant hit.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War seems to favour the Intel processors. The 3960X again trails but not by too much of a margin when the eye candy is turned up.

Finally we tested Counter-Strike: Global Offensive using a test map. For such an old game you’d expect high core count CPUs to really struggle here but they all compete well enough, a bit of a surprise really. Credit to Valve for keeping the Source engine updated.

Page 1: Introduction, Ryzen Rebuilt, A New Socket
Page 2: System Benchmarks, Gaming Benchmarks
Page 3: Performance Summary, Heat and Power, Conclusions


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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