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Intro

The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is one of the first CPUs from AMD for the HEDT (High-End Desktop) segment, with 16 cores, 32 threads, 3.4 GHz base clock, 3.7 GHz turbo clock and 32 MiB L3 cache. Let’s see how does it perform compared to its direct competitor, the Core i9-7900X.

For many years Intel had no competitors in the HEDT market, which is aimed on professional users that do image and video rendering, video encoding, scientific computing, among other applications that demand high computational power. However, a few days ago AMD launched a new lineup of CPUs for this segment, called Ryzen Threadripper.

Until now, there were two models launched: the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (16 cores, 32 threads, 3.4 GHz base clock and 3.7 GHz turbo clock) and the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X (12 cores, 24 threads, 3.5 GHz base clock, 3.7 GHz turbo clock.) These CPUs use the new TR4 socket and support four memory channels, 64 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, 512 kiB of L2 cache per core and 16 MiB of L3 cache for each die.

Internally, the Ryzen Threadripper CPU is made with two dies (or chips), each one similar to a Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 5 CPU. Each die has two CCX (core complex), and each CCX has up to four processing cores.

The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X uses two dies, each one with 4+4 configuration, for a total of 16 cores. Thanks to the SMT (simultaneous multi-threading) technology, each core is seen by the operating system as two logical cores (threads), what results on the impressive 32 threads.

The first TR4 motherboards for Ryzen Threadripper CPUs use the X399 chipset and offer four DDR4 memory channels (officially up to 2,666 MHz) and, usually, four PCI Express 3.0 x16 for video cards, which is possible thanks to the 64 PCI Express lanes provided by the CPU. Typical slot configuration is x16/x8/x16/x8, since some lanes are used by M.2 slots.

The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X has a TDP of 180 W. Besides its 3.4 GHz base clock and 3.7 GHz turbo clock on all cores, there is a 4.0 GHz boost clock when there are up to four active cores and a XFR clock of 4.2 GHz, activated when there are up to four active cores and the processor sensors detect that there is more thermal room to boost the CPU.

Costing USD 999, the Threadripper 1950X is a direct competitor of the Core i9-7900X from Intel (click here to read the review), that costs the same. So, in our tests we compared these two CPUs. We also included in the comparison the Core i7-7740X (review), the Ryzen 7 1700X (read review here), and the Core i7-7700K (review here). Keep in mind, however, that these three models cost a lot less, and are not competitors to the Threadripper.

Figure 1 shows the package of the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, next to the 1920X’s. It’s a big foam package.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 1: Ryzen Threadripper package

Figure 2 shows the package open, unveiling the content: a second package (plastic) that holds the CPU, a liquid cooling solution adapter frame, a Torx screwdriver, two case stickers and a small manual.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 2: box contents

Twisting a cover begind the plastic package, we has another package, shown in Figure 3, where is the CPU itself.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 3: another package

Opening this package, we get the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU. Notice that the orange frame must not be removed, since it is necessary to install the processor (details on the next page).

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 4: the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

Figure 5 shows the bottom of the CPU. On this processor, AMD adopted the LGA system (like used by Intel), where the pins are located on the socket, not on the CPU.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 5: underside of the Threadripper 1950X

The size of the CPU is quite impressive. In Figure 6, you see the Threadripper 1950X next to the Ryzen 7 1700X.

Ryzen Threadripper 1950XFigure 6: the Core i7-7740X (left) and the Core i9-7900X (right)

We used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on all tests.

On the next page, we will see how to install this CPU on the motherboard.