A Real HEDT CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X & 3970X Workstation Performance Review

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Chip Shot Thumbnail
by Rob Williams on November 29, 2019 in Processors

We’ve already put AMD’s newest Ryzen Threadripper chips through our Linux test gauntlet, so it’s now time to shift our focus back to Windows, where we have an even more daunting number of tests to cover. It won’t take long to notice a trend: AMD’s 24-core 3960X and 32-core 3970X are ridiculously fast processors.

Page 7 – System: SiSoftware Sandra

While this article has no lack of synthetic benchmarks, SiSoftware’s Sandra makes it very easy to get reliable performance information on key metrics, such as arithmetic, multimedia, cryptography, and memory. Sandra is designed in such a way that it takes the best advantage of any architecture it’s given, so each CPU always has its best chance to shine.

That means a couple of things. This is definitely the “best” possible performance outlook for any chip, and doesn’t necessary correlate with real-world performance in other tests. It’s best used as a gauge of what’s possible, and to see where one architecture obviously differs from another.

SiSoftware Sandra 2020


SiSoftware Sandra 2020 - Multi-media Performance (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X)

Core count matters a lot with all of the tests on this page, but the result with multimedia is pretty impressive for AMD’s new Threadrippers. This test can take advantage of AVX-512 acceleration, which is why the 18-cores keep so far ahead of the 16-core 3950X. With all of their might, the new 24- and 32-core chips negate their lack of AVX-512 pretty easily. Now just imagine if Intel could churn out a 32-core Core X real quick, then things would get interesting again.


SiSoftware Sandra 2020 - Arithmetic Performance (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X)

Oh. My. GOPS. The 3970X manages to become the first CPU we’ve tested to hit the 1,000 GOPS (1 TOPS) milestone in the arithmetic test. This is one test that actually bodes really well for the last-gen 32-core chip, as well.


SiSoftware Sandra 2020 - Cryptography (High) Performance (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X)
SiSoftware Sandra 2020 - Cryptography (Higher) Performance (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X)

We see some shake-ups with the cryptography tests, with the first one being the fact that the new 24-core managed to beat out the 32-core, something we can’t actually recollect if we were able to sanity check the 24-core, but did the 32. In the higher security test, the 32-core redeemed itself, delivering more expected scaling. Meanwhile, AVX-512 comes to Intel’s rescue here, allowing it to charge past AMD.

Memory Bandwidth

SiSoftware Sandra 2020 - Memory Bandwidth (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X & 3960X)

Memory bandwidth tests can vary a fair bit depending on how they were designed, and we plan to evaluate adding AIDA64’s to our suite in the future, as a bit of a second opinion. In Sandra’s take, which uses Stream as the base of the test, Intel exhibited some super-strong performance – a result not tied to AVX-512. AMD’s new Threadrippers placed just behind Intel’s 18-cores, with the 24-core somehow delivering a better result than the 32-core here.

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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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