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Ryzen Threadripper 3970X: Is AMD aiming at taking over the Workstation Arena?

AMD launched two of it's 3rd Generation desktop processors, Ryzen 3960X & Ryzen 3970X, both being in the threadripper category, on 25th of November.

The thing is, only after a few days of launch (It’s been only 5 days, as of the time of this writing), the whole internet is going crazy about the amazing performance stats of the 3970X model.

Let’s look at the 3970X’s spec sheet first. With 32 cores & 64 threads, 144MB cache with 88 PCIe Gen 4 lanes, it’s definitely packing a punch. It’s base clockspeed is 3.7GHz, which can be boosted up to 4.5Ghz (According to the AMD website).

First, a breakthrough. The 3970X set a new world record by achieving 5.752Ghz via overclocking the processor just after one day of its launch. This was done by legendary Taiwanese overclocker TSAIK, who pushed the chip to the said OC frequency on an MSI TRX40 Creator motherboard, using LN2 cooling system and a voltage supply of 1.1V.

The Threadripper 3970X also hit several world records during the ongoing overclocking spree. Some of the achievements include the following:

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X HwBot's World Records:

  • WPRIME – 1024M – 14sec 154ms @ 5559 MHz (By Overclocker RSANNINO of Italy)
  • Cinebench R11.5 – MT – 110.28 Points @ 5450 MHz (By Overclocker LUCKY_NOOB of Indonesia)
  • GPUPI – 1B – 31sec 67ms @ 5625.5 MHz (By Overclocker SAFEDISK of South Korea)
  • Cinebench R20 – MT – 23081 Points @ 5375 MHz (By Overclocker ALEX@RO of Romania)
  • Cinebench R15 – MT – 10672 Points @ 5525 MHz (By Overclocker SAFEDISK of South Korea)
  • Cinebench R15 – Extreme – 2362 Points @ 4468 MHz (By Overclocker KEEPH8N of USA)
  • Cinebench R11.5 – MT – 81.04 Points @ 5199 MHz (By Overclocker KEEPH8N of USA)
  • Geekbench 3 – Multi-Core – 185114 Points @ 5525 MHz (By Overclocker SAFEDISK of South Korea)

There are some pictures from JIM SALTER’s tests on 3970X, along with Intel’s new Core i9-10980XE processor, which was released on the same day as the 3rd Gen Threadripper duo-

Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

Ryzen Threadripper 3970X review

Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

As you can see, the power consumption of 3970X is 100 more watts than the i9-10980XE, even in the idle mode. It can be caused by the higher core and thread counts, but it’s not enough to explain the ‘LeafBlower’ modes of the fans on the AMD setup.

However, AMD compensates with almost double performances in Passmark Multi-Core CPU test and CINEBENCH R20 CPU test. It shows off the potential power of the multi core superiority of the Ryzen CPU.
However, when it comes to AI, the Threadripper’s performance drastically drops to almost one-third, compared to the Cascade Lake 10980XE. It is not surprising though, as Intel has been investing a lot of their engineering efforts into the AI workload optimization, and the i9-10980XE features its Deep Learning Boost x86 extension instructions. With compilers that can take advantage of the new instruction set, Intel has been telling us that AI workloads can easily double their throughput.

Now, if you look at rendering power, 3970X easily beats the i9-10980XE.

Here are some pictures of Michael Larabel test on Linux settings:

Michael Larabel test on Linux settings

Michael Larabel test on Linux settings

Michael Larabel test on Linux settings

Michael Larabel test on Linux settings

some pictures of Michael Larabel test on Linux settings

As you see, LuxCoreRender was the lone CPU rendering case where the Core i9-10980XE could actually compete with the Threadripper parts, but then again, with this renderer the 3960X outperformed the 3970X. So, it can be said without doubt, the 3970X is going to excel i9-10980XE at all the rendering benchmark tests, with a rare exception of one or two.

The gaming section is not included in this article, because the 3rd gen Threadripper is not actually built for gaming, rather than rendering and workstation jobs for the high-end users. No need to worry though, with competent GPU, it can run all the AAA games with flying colors.

Now, let’s talk about price points. That’s where the biggest surprise comes, because this time, Intel is the side who cut the cost on the new processor. The i9-10980XE is being sold at the price of 979$, whereas the price of the Threadripper 3970X is 1999$, which is more than double. So, for the value for money usage, Intel wins undoubtedly.
But then again, it’s questionable if Intel can deliver the customers with same level of components at the same price range. More ever, the massive power of 32 cores, the bigger thread and PCIe lane count, it’s really impressive from AMD to produce such workstation grade CPU (Which is less expensive from The Intel Xeon W-3175X, which is currently priced at 3000+$).

So, by the look of the advancing of Gen 3 Threadrippers, we can count on AMD to take on Intel on the workstation section. Lets keep our hopes high and fingers crossed.

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