AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper TR 3960X Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper TR 3960X Review


It is probably fair to say that for a long time Intel held all the aces when it came to processors. They had the fastest gaming performance, the fastest creation performance, and they used their utterly dominant market position to keep prices at a certain level.

The introduction of the hugely successful AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, and indeed the plain Ryzen CPUs, changed all that. Not only did AMD retain their supremely attractive price points that have been a feature of their product range since the days of the Thunderbird CPUs, but they managed to smash the performance out of the park. The Threadripper had more cores and in those heavy creative tasks - video and photo editing as well as rendering workflows – those cores had a significant effect. Even if you’re such an Intel fanboy that you can’t even consider an AMD system, you’ll reap the rewards anyway as you can see from the heavily reduced pricing Intel have had to adopt.

If we had to choose one element that particularly stood out to us, price and performance aside, it was the user-friendly nature. For the longest time if you wished to have eye-popping core counts you had to invest in the Xeon architecture which was many things, but desktop friendly was never one. The Threadripper was just as happy on the end of your desk as a gaming machine as it was converting your gaming into a streamable format.

There are two new entries into the Threadripper lineup. First we have the model in for review today, the TR 3960X. A 24 core, 48 thread beast that can turbo up to 4.5 GHz. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for enormous productivity scores then the TR 3970X has 32C/64T. It’s a times like this that you have to take a step back and think how far we’ve come. Quad cores are still the norm, although hexcore and octacore processors are available. These beasts have the kind of numbers usually associated with enterprise level solutions. For the desktop. Under £2000.

You still get the 7nm process of the latest 3rd Generation Zen 2 architecture. You still get the improved single threaded performance that we’ve seen from the latest Agesa updates. It threatens to be the ultimate HEDT setup. Of course that’s what we’re here to find out.

Technical Specifications

Naturally the core count and clock speed are the headline items, but the Threadripper has a couple of other aces up its sleeve which helps to impress. Like the 3rd Generation Ryzen CPUs the TRX40 platform has the PCI Express 4.0 specification. In this particular configuration that means 56 PCIe 4.0 lanes from the CPU as well as 16 from the chipset itself. Very nearly three times the concurrent bandwidth of the PCI Express 3.0 PCH from Intel. Given the environment that the Threadripper is likely to work uses masses of storage that really makes a difference as you increase the number of connected devices, without taking into account how much more bandwidth is available to your GPU and M.2 drives out of the gate. Anyone who has tried to populate all their SATA and M.2 ports as well as a GPU or two will understand how quickly the PCI Express 3.0 runs out of puff.

 AMD Threadripper 3960XAMD Threadripper 3970X
Boost/Base4.5 GHz / 3.8 GHz4.5 GHz / 3.7 GHz
Cache140MB L2+L3144MB L2+L3
CCD Configuration4x 6 core CCD4x 8 Core CCD
Transistor Count3.9 billion CCD/8.34 billion IOD3.9 billion CCD/8.34 billion IOD
Die Size74mm2 per CCD74mm2 per CCD
SocketsTRX4 (LGA 4094)sTRX4 (LGA 4094)
ArchitectureAMD Zen 2AMD Zen 2
Power Infrastructure280W PPT, 300A EDC, 215A TDC280W PPT, 300A EDC, 215A TDC
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Most Recent Comments

25-11-2019, 16:40:44


27-11-2019, 21:39:39

It's absurd how CPUs are now at the stage where many programs and workloads can't leverage the potential fully. Obviously games are a big one, but it seems other programs and tasks may need to catch up. Intel is so far behind. It's amazing how a company so much bigger can fall so far behind.Quote

28-11-2019, 06:22:51

If they could have only priced it exactly the same as the 10980xe then it would have been the ultimate intel killer !Quote

28-11-2019, 08:20:39

Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
It's absurd how CPUs are now at the stage where many programs and workloads can't leverage the potential fully. Obviously games are a big one, but it seems other programs and tasks may need to catch up. Intel is so far behind. It's amazing how a company so much bigger can fall so far behind.
Well, go back some years and AMD dominated the CPU market while Intel were stuck sucking their thumbs. Then Sandy Bridge came along and boom. flipped control!

Intel could have stayed ahead from the get go. Their issue is greed, how they tried to milk the consumer and business segment with minuscule increases in performance and (in my eyes) major price increases. Couple that with immature short handed tactics, like their demo of the 28core CPU at 5ghz on all cores, being WATERCOOLED, or the CPU vulnerabilities. Their image is very hurt. Consumer might not care much for spectre, but enterprise and business units will.

AMD were working hard towards Zen, but of course, when you are stuck in the RnD phase with nothing to compete with, Intel got complacent. Zen exploded on the scene and put a serious dent in dominance.

By the way TTL,

Is there any way to present the numerical values on your graphs a little clearer? For me its not very easy on the eyes to extrapolate. Could it be embedded in the bars themselves perhaps?Quote

28-11-2019, 10:26:43

Intel are behind because they havn't really released a new product for years, not from complacency but because they were too aggressive with 10nm and their expectations of EUV development, and have been stuck waiting for physicists to catch up. If Intel had actually been complacent and not set such crazy targets for 10nm they wouldn't be in this mess strangely.Quote

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