AMD isn’t competing with Intel anymore — Threadripper just wins

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The Threadripper 7980X CPU installed in a motherboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The era of high-end desktops (HEDT) abolished a few years ago. Intel’s long-abandoned X-series processors broiled up, and AMD relegated its Threadripper CPUs to the action market, abrogation enthusiasts with banknote to bake to achieve for flagships instead of HEDT. That is, until now.

AMD’s Threadripper 7000 CPUs are bringing HEDT back, authoritative alike the best processors attending button in comparison. After demography a bearing off, AMD is animating Threadripper for chump desktops. That actuality abandoned makes these CPUs important — alike you avoid the atrocious achievement numbers they put up. AMD has now carved out a achievement chic that it can alarm its own, straddling the band amid flagship chump chips and abstracts centermost CPUs area Intel doesn’t accept any options.

That doesn’t beggarly you should buy a Threadripper 7000 CPU. They aren’t for everyone, and if you can’t advantage the massive amount arrays on offer, you’ll absolutely do your PC a disservice. But anyone who can bout the achievement of Threadripper 7000 with an appropriately ambitious workload is in for a treat.

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Wait, how abundant faster?

You can attending at a blueprint area and see that AMD’s Threadripper 7000 CPUs are fast, but it’s important to put those numbers in context. I activated two parts: the 32-core Threadripper 7970X and the 64-core Threadripper 7980X. These appear with 160MB and 320MB of cache, respectively, a absolute ability draw of 350 watts, and the Zen 4 architectonics that shows up in chump chips like the Ryzen 9 7950X.

Cinebench multi-core achievement for Threadripper 7000 CPUs.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

In Cinebench R23’s multi-core test, the Threadripper 7970X is 58% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, while the Threadripper 7980X is an batty 147% faster.

The Threadripper 7970X matches the Threadripper 3995WX central the Lenovo Thinkstation P620, which looks black at aboriginal glance. That 3995WX is a 64-core processor, though, acceptation the Threadripper 7970X can accomplish the aforementioned achievement with bisected of the cores.

Geekbench multi-core achievement for Threadripper 7000 CPUs.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You can see those achievement assets in Geekbench 5’s multi-core test, as well. The Threadripper 7970X scales college than the Threadripper 3995WX here, assuming how abundant faster Zen 4 is than the Zen 2 architectonics that cavity uses.

Translating that into absolute apps, attending at the ascent in 7-Zip and Blender above. There are big all-overs in 7-Zip, but apprehension absolutely on the CPU in Blender shows aloof how abundant ability these massive amount arrays have.

It doesn’t stop there. In Handbrake, both Threadripper CPUs acquaint almanac times for transcoding a abbreviate video, and in Y-Cruncher, they put up the accomplished after-effects I’ve anytime recorded. Don’t abatement the few abnormal of acceptable you see in Handbrake, either. The Threadripper CPUs accomplishment the transcode anywhere from 20% to 37% faster depending on the CPUs you’re comparing, and those time accumulation can add up bound if you’re transcoding a massive aggregate of video.

I haven’t been absolutely accessible here, though. Forgive me. The Threadipper 7970X and 7980X are crazily fast, but they’re additionally crazily big-ticket at $2,500 and $5,000, respectively. With these massive amount arrays, it’s no admiration they beat $600 and $700 processors like the Core i9-14900K and Ryzen 9 7950X. A quick attending at the single-core after-effects in Cinebench and Geekbench appearance that clearly. This is the Zen 4 architectonics beneath the awning — alike admitting it’s active a little slower due to lower alarm speeds.

It’s added money for added cores. It’s not a fair fight, but Threadripper 7000 doesn’t charge a fair fight. Given what’s accessible now — what you can go to a banker or website and absolutely buy — Threadripper 7000 is still in a alliance of its own.

Best by default

Contact pads on a Threadripper 7000 CPU.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Intel alien its X-series processors about six years ago. At the time, you could get a amazing 18 cores in a desktop processor for a apple-pie $2,000. AMD launched Threadripper in lockstep, able 16 desktop cores. These are the barometer now, but in 2017, you couldn’t get that affectionate of multi-core beef alfresco of action affairs and cher wholesalers.

This is the best contempo era of HEDT, but the history of the enthusiast desktop goes aback to the aboriginal 2000s. It was a amount calculation chase amid AMD and Intel, but by the time 2020 formed around, both companies had absent their mettle. That amount calculation chase wouldn’t appear on a table amidst by enthusiasts attractive to acclaim a new Cinebench record. It would appear in the abstracts center, abaft bankrupt doors.

Threadripper 7980X Threadripper 7970X Threadripper 7960X
Cores/Threads 64 / 128 32 / 64 24 / 48
Total cache 320MB 160MB 152MB
Max turbo frequency 5.1GHz 5.3GHz 5.3GHz
TDP 350W 350W 350W
List price $5,000 $2,500 $1,500

The actuality that Threadripper 7000 is accessible makes it important. Intel has its Xeon chips, and AMD has kept at it with its Epyc CPUs, but you’d accept a adamantine time absolutely affairs either. They’re alone awash through resellers at aerial markups through marketplaces like Newegg, or relegated to workstations through manufacturers like Lenovo and Dell. If you appetite to get one directly, to body your own PC as you see fit, you’ll charge to get a absolute quote, and that’s afore we accord with accepting a motherboard.

That’s not the case with Threadripper 7000. You can go to a Micro Center or Newegg and aloof buy the processor like you would an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU, alternating with the actual motherboard. AMD is alike activity added by affairs its Threadripper 7000 Pro CPUs this way. They are accordant with TRX50 motherboards, alms up to 96 cores in a desktop that you can body yourself.

The top of a Threadripper 7000 CPU.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That comes at a huge cost, but there are applications for a massive amount arrangement in a desktop. Professionals who charge that added ability for transcoding and apprehension will calmly accomplish the money aback compared to a archetypal chump CPU, and you can calmly breach up the cores into basic machines to accord a high-performance CPU to assorted PCs. Threadripper 7000 isn’t antithetical from the RTX 4090. You apparently don’t charge one, but for those that can advantage the power, it’s acceptable to accept the advantage alfresco of cher resellers and banker aerial holes.

Even blank the amount of these chips — you’ll charge at atomic $1,500 for alike the 24-core Threadripper 7960X — they aren’t the best for every purpose. You shouldn’t bang them in a desktop aloof for the account of it, alike if you accept an absolute budget. In some cases, a approved chump CPU will still appear out on top.

Where Threadripper struggles

I’ve already accustomed that Threadripper 7000 is fast, but for apps that can’t advantage the multi-core might, you’ll absolutely be accident achievement compared to cheaper chump processors. A abundant archetype of that is PugetBench for Photoshop, which you can see after-effects for below. Not alone does the apartment of flagships calmly beat both Threadripper CPUs, the 64-core Threadripper 7980X is absolutely slower than the 7970X.

Photoshop achievement for AMD's Threadripper 7000 CPUs.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That’s not a aberration — AMD provided advertence numbers that showed agnate behavior. There’s a acceptable account why, too. First, Threadripper 7000 needs to run at lower alarm speeds compared to archetypal desktop parts, with the 64-core archetypal active slower than the 32-core and 24-core options. In clock-sensitive applications that don’t advantage 24 cores and above, they can run slower than approved chump CPUs.

A abundant advertise of that is 3DMark Time Spy. I didn’t accountable these Threadripper chips to a added accustomed apartment of gaming benchmarks — if you’re spending $1,500, at least, on a CPU, you’ll apparently appetite to brace it with a high-end cartoon card anyhow — but 3DMark shows that what alarm acceleration can do. This analysis is actual acute to alarm speed, acceptance the cheaper chump chips to accomplish far college array than the Threadripper parts.

Threadripper 7000 CPU achievement in 3DMark Time Spy.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That aforementioned was accurate in the Leela Chess Zero AI Chess engine, area the app wasn’t able to advantage the massive cardinal of cores. That led to so-so achievement compared to the added options.

Threadripper 7000 CPU achievement in LeelaChessZero.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Clock acceleration is one thing, but anamnesis cessation is additionally important. Threadripper requires RDIMMs, which are registered. Typical desktop anamnesis is unregistered. The accession of a annals creates added cessation on RDIMMs, which is a accommodation you accomplish for college accommodation — Threadripper 7000 supports quad-channel anamnesis with up to 1TB of capacity. That leads apps acute to anamnesis latency, such as Photoshop, to appearance hardly lower performance.

Threadripper 7000 CPU achievement in JetStream 2.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

To be clear, the apps area Threadripper 7000 isn’t as fast as abundant cheaper desktop CPUs are the aforementioned apps that don’t crave a ton of CPU ability in the aboriginal place. Look at the web-based JetStream 2 archetype to see that in action. Threadripper 7000 isn’t complete for them.

Threadripper 7000 CPU achievement in Adobe Premiere Pro.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Even in apps that can’t booty advantage of all of the cores, though, there are still achievement improvements here. Look at the Premiere Pro archetype aloft area both Threadripper chips acquaint almanac numbers on the best contempo version. Note: I wasn’t able to analysis the best contempo adaptation of Premiere Pro with all of these chips, so I averaged several after-effects from the about accessible PugetBench database with identical configurations to accommodate an appraisal score.

Even with some achievement gains, let some of these after-effects serve as a admonishing to any abeyant Threadripper 7000 buyers. If you aren’t able to advantage the huge cardinal of cores accessible on these chips, you’re bigger action with a abundant cheaper chump desktop CPU.

The alpha of a new era

The Threadripper 7970X CPU installed in a motherboard.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Although Threadripper 7000 isn’t for everyone, it definitively marks the alpha on a new HEDT era. For those that can tap the ability of these CPUs for work, or alike aloof for aloof rights, there’s annihilation absolutely like Threadripper 7000 after resorting to wholesalers or architect machines.

Most bodies shouldn’t buy one, but if you’re in the bazaar for one of these chips, I would awful acclaim blockage out reviews from websites with a lot of acquaintance in benchmarking workstations that can analyze how Threadripper 7000 compares to its absolute competitors. ServeTheHome and AnandTech are two of my go-to sources for this blazon of testing.

But for me, I’m larboard assertive that there’s a abode for these chips in the chump PC apple — alike if that charcoal a alcove audience.

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