The Big Gun: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Workstation Performance Review

AMD Third-gen Ryzen Threadripper Packaging
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by Rob Williams on February 7, 2020 in Processors

AMD’s newest Ryzen Threadripper processor is an absolute beast, and because of that, it’s not for everyone. If you’ve got an insatiable need for more cores than even the 24- or 32-core Threadrippers can offer, then the 64-core 3990X may be right up your alley. Let’s see how it fares across our usual range of workstation workloads.

Page 2 – Test Methodology & Systems

Benchmarking a CPU may sound like a simple enough task, but in order to deliver accurate, repeatable results, strict guidelines need to be adhered to. This makes for rigorous, time-consuming testing, but we feel that the effort is worth it.

This page exists so that we can be open about how we test, and give those who care about testing procedures an opportunity to review our methodology before flaming us in the comments. Here, you can see a breakdown of all of our test machines, specifics about the tests themselves, and other general information that might be useful.

Let’s start with a look at the test platforms, for AMD’s TRX40 (ASUS Zenith II Extreme), and AM4 (Aorus X570 MASTER), along with Intel’s LGA2011-v3 (ASUS’ ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING), and LGA1151 (ASUS’ ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING).

On our Intel platforms that use ASUS motherboards, we disable the “MultiCore Enhancement” feature, which effectively operates the CPU beyond stock speeds. The same feature doesn’t exist on our AMD platforms. We validated our configuration with AMD, Intel, and ASUS before settling on it.

On the mitigation front, nothing is explicitly done outside of having the most up-to-date EFI and chipset driver installed on every motherboard. Systems are effectively default, and whichever security mitigations are applied will be automatic ones applied by the motherboard firmware or driver vendor. All platforms are run with 64GB DDR4-3600 (16-18-18) memory configurations.

Here’s the full breakdown of the test rigs:

Techgage’s CPU Testing Platforms

AMD AM4 Test Platform
ProcessorsAMD Ryzen 9 3950X (3.5GHz, 16C/32T)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (3.8GHz, 12C/24T)
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (3.6GHz, 8C/16T)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (3.8GHz, 6C/12T)
MotherboardAorus X570 MASTER
CPUs tested with BIOS F11 (December 6, 2019)
MemoryCorsair VENGEANCE (CMT64GX4M4Z3600C16) 16GB x4
Operates at DDR4-3600 16-18-18 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (12GB; GeForce 441.66)
StorageWD Blue 3D NAND 1TB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyEVGA Bronze 600B1 (600W)
ChassisFractal Design Define C
CoolingCorsair Hydro H115i PRO RGB (280mm)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (1909, Build 18363)

AMD TRX40 Test Platform
ProcessorAMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X (2.9GHz, 64C/128T)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X (3.7GHz, 24C/48T)
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X (3.8GHz, 32C/64T)
MotherboardASUS Zenith II Extreme
3970X/3960X tested with BIOS 0702 (December 12, 2019)
3990X tested with BIOS 0021 beta (December 30, 2019)
MemoryCorsair VENGEANCE (CMT64GX4M4Z3600C16) 16GB x4
Operates at DDR4-3600 16-18-18 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (12GB; GeForce 441.66)
StorageWD Blue 3D NAND 1TB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid (1300W)
ChassisCooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh
CoolingNZXT Kraken X62 AIO (280mm)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (1909, Build 18363)

Intel LGA1151 Test Platform
ProcessorsIntel Core i9-9900KS (4.0GHz, 8C/16T)
Intel Core i7-8700K (3.70GHz, 8C/16T)
MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING
CPUs tested with BIOS 1401 (November 26, 2019)
MemoryCorsair VENGEANCE (CMT64GX4M4Z3600C16) 16GB x4
Operates at DDR4-3600 16-18-18 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (12GB; GeForce 441.66)
StorageWD Blue 3D NAND 1TB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCorsair RM650X (1200W)
ChassisNZXT S340 Elite Mid-tower
CoolingCorsair Hydro H100i V2 AIO Liquid Cooler (240mm)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (1909, Build 18363)

Intel LGA2011-3 Test Platform
ProcessorsIntel Core i9-10980XE (3.0GHz, 18C/36T)
MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING
CPU tested with BIOS 2002 (September 25, 2019)
MemoryCorsair VENGEANCE (CMT64GX4M4Z3600C16) 16GB x4
Operates at DDR4-3600 16-18-18 (1.35V)
GraphicsNVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (12GB; GeForce 441.66)
StorageWD Blue 3D NAND 1TB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCorsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 (1200W)
ChassisCorsair Carbide 600C
CoolingNZXT Kraken X62 AIO (280mm)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (1909, Build 18363)

Testing Considerations

For our testing, we use Windows 10 build 18363 (1909) with full updates. Here are some basic guidelines we follow:

  • Disruptive services are disabled; eg: Search, Cortana, User Account Control, Defender, etc.
  • Overlays and / or other extras are not installed with the graphics driver.
  • Vsync is disabled at the driver level.
  • Power profiles used: High / Ultimate Performance for Intel, Ryzen Balanced for AMD.
  • OSes are never transplanted from one machine to another.
  • We validate system configurations before kicking off any test run.
  • Testing doesn’t begin until the PC is idle (keeps a steady minimum wattage).
  • All tests are repeated until there is a high degree of confidence in the results.
  • Benchmarks of modern workloads matter, so we always try to use up-to-date software.

Encoding Tests

Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Encoding: Adobe Lightroom
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Encoding: Adobe Premiere Pro
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Encoding: Blackmagic RAW Speed Test
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Photogrammetry: Agisoft Metashape
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Music Encoding: LameXP
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)

Adobe Lightroom Classic
Adobe Premiere Pro
Agisoft Metashape
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test
HandBrake
LameXP

(You can click each name to go straight to that result.)


Rendering Tests

Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: Autodesk Arnold in Maya
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: Blender
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: Chaos Czech Corona Renderer in 3ds Max
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3 dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Rendering: Chaos Group V-Ray Next in 3ds Max
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: MAXON Cinebench
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: MAXON Cinema 4D
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Rendering: POV-Ray
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Rendering: V-Ray Next Benchmark
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)


Arnold (Maya 2019) (Also relevant to: 3ds Max, C4D, Houdini, Katana, Softimage)
Blender
Cinebench
Corona (3ds Max 2019) (Also relevant to: C4D)
KeyShot (Also relevant to: 3ds Max, Maya, Creo, SketchUp, SolidWorks, NX, Rhino)
POV-Ray
V-Ray Next (3ds Max 2019) (Also relevant to: C4D, Houdini, Maya, Rhino, SketchUp)
V-Ray Benchmark
SiSoftware Sandra 2020

(You can click each name to go straight to that result.)


If you think there’s some information lacking on this page, or you simply want clarification on anything in particular, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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