Test Setup and Comparison Points

In our review kit from AMD, we were supplied with almost complete systems for testing. Inside the box of goods, AMD included:

  • AMD Threadripper 2990WX (32C, 250W, $1799)
  • AMD Threadripper 2950X (16C, 180W, $899)
  • ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme motherboard, rev 2
  • MSI X399 MEG Creation motherboard
  • 4x8 GB of G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 14-14-14
  • Wraith Ripper Cooler, co-developed with Cooler Master
  • Enermax Liqtech 240 TR4 Liquid Cooler, rated to 500W

For our usual testing, we stick to the same power supplies, the same storage, ideally the same motherboard within a range of processors, and always use the latest BIOS. Despite AMD shipping us some reasonably fast memory, our standard policy is to test these systems at the maximum supported frequency as promoted by the processor manufacturer, or in this case DDR4-2933 for the new Threadripper 2000-series processors.

For our testing we compared the first generation Threadripper processors with the second generation parts. We also have the Intel 18-core Core i9-7980XE, some results from the Core i7-7900X (10-core), and also two mainstream processors, one Intel and one AMD. This is due to our new CPU testing suite, which takes effect today.

Due to an industry event occuring in the middle of our testing, we had to split some of the testing up and take 30 kg of kit half-way around the world to test in a hotel room during Flash Memory Summit. On the downside, it means there is some discontinuity in our testing, although not that much - on the plus side, the hardware tested in the hotel room had a good amount of air-conditioning to keep cool.

AMD Test Setup
CPUs TR 2990WX ASUS ROG Zenith 0078 Liqtech TR4 4x8GB DDR4-2933
  TR 2950X ASUS ROG Zenith 0078 Liqtech TR4 4x8GB DDR4-2933
  TR 1950X ASUS X399-A Prime 0806 TRUE Cu 4x4GB DDR4-2666
  TR 1920X ASUS ROG Zenith 0078 Liqtech TR4 4x8GB DDR4-2666
  TR 1900X ASUS X399-A Prime 0806 TRUE Cu 4x4GB DDR4-2666
  R7 2700X ASUS Crosshair VI Hero 0508 Wraith Max 4x8GB DDR4-2933
  EPYC 7601 GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0   Fryzen 8x128GB DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX300 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched

The memory for our test suites was mostly G.Skill, with some Crucial. For the EPYC system, Micron sent us some LRDIMMs, so we fired up 1TB of memory to get all eight channels working.

On the Intel side, we are still getting up to speed on our testing.

Intel Test Setup
CPUs i9-7980XE ASRock X299 OC Formula P1.40 TRUE Cu 4x8GB DDR4-2666
  i9-7900X ASRock X299 OC Formula P1.40 TRUE Cu 4x8GB DDR4-2666
  i7-8700K ASRock Z370 Gaming i7 P1.70 AR10-115XS 4x4GB DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX300 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched

Over time we will be adding to our Intel CPUs tested.

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX200 SSDs and to Micron for LRDIMMs. Crucial stepped up to the plate as our benchmark list grows larger with newer benchmarks and titles, and the 1TB MX200 units are strong performers. Based on Marvell's 88SS9189 controller and using Micron's 16nm 128Gbit MLC flash, these are 7mm high, 2.5-inch drives rated for 100K random read IOPs and 555/500 MB/s sequential read and write speeds. The 1TB models we are using here support TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 (eDrive) encryption and have a 320TB rated endurance with a three-year warranty.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Crucial MX200 (250 GB, 500 GB & 1TB) Review

Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU. The AX1200i was the first power supply to offer digital control and management via Corsair's Link system, but under the hood it commands a 1200W rating at 50C with 80 PLUS Platinum certification. This allows for a minimum 89-92% efficiency at 115V and 90-94% at 230V. The AX1200i is completely modular, running the larger 200mm design, with a dual ball bearing 140mm fan to assist high-performance use. The AX1200i is designed to be a workhorse, with up to 8 PCIe connectors for suitable four-way GPU setups. The AX1200i also comes with a Zero RPM mode for the fan, which due to the design allows the fan to be switched off when the power supply is under 30% load.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Corsair AX1500i Power Supply Review

Thank you to G.Skill for providing us with memory. G.Skill has been a long-time supporter of AnandTech over the years, for testing beyond our CPU and motherboard memory reviews. We've reported on their high capacity and high-frequency kits, and every year at Computex G.Skill holds a world overclocking tournament with liquid nitrogen right on the show floor.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Memory Scaling on Haswell Review, with G.Skill DDR3-3000

Feed Me: Infinity Fabric Requires More Power Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019: Spectre and Meltdown Hardened
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  • HStewart - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    "I highly highly doubt that Intel would postpone 10nm just to “shut down AMD""

    Probably right - AMD is not that big of threat in the real world - just go in to BestBuy - yes they have some game machines. a very few laptops including older generations
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    That is some impressive goalpost moving that you just did *on your own claim*.

    Intel's issues have nothing to do with AMD, but they will allow a resurgent AMD to become more competitive over time. Pointing to how little of a threat AMD are *right now* and/or making up weird conspiracy theories that place Intel as the only mover and shaker in the entire industry won't change that.
    Reply
  • Relic74 - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Consumer based computers is but a small portion of the market. Servers, millions of them needed every year to fill the demand needed by, well, everyone who hosts a site, government, networking farms a mile long, etc. The server market is huge and is growing almost faster than tech companies can provide. It's why I always thought Apple getting out if the server market was kind of a stupid ideal. All of the servers they ever created were sold before they were even created. I guess the margains were to small for them, greedy bastards. Why only make double the profits when you make 5x with consumer products. Seriously, an iPhone X costs less than $200 to make now, it used to be $250 but now its $200, greedy bastards. Oh, did you know it costs Apple less than $3 to go from 64GB to 128GB, ugh. Reply
  • Ozymankos - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    it matters what you consider as costs
    do you calculate the shipping costs,the marketing costs,the salaries of everyone involved,the making of new facilities?
    Reply
  • Eastman - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    Intel isn't finished. They are still king of single thread performance. We will see if Zen 2 will surpass Intel's single thread performance. Reply
  • seanlivingstone - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    Do you know that Jensen Huang is Lisa Su's uncle? Intel is done. Reply
  • f1nalpr1m3 - Thursday, October 25, 2018 - link

    Expected Results vs Actual:
    Stats Expected Q3 2018 Results Actual Q3 2018 Results
    Revenue($B) $18.1 $19.2
    EPS $1.15 $1.40
    Reply
  • UnNameless - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    Sadly this is true. AMD tries hard and in the most part succeeds. Intel frankly showed some kind of panic for the niche market of top end processors with that chilled fiasco of a 5 GHz CPU. This means AMD puts quite some pressure onto them Reply
  • Outlander_04 - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    AMD have bounced back very quickly . Mostly because people are starting to accept how over priced intel have been
    https://wccftech.com/intel-coffee-lake-amd-ryzen-c...
    Reply
  • twtech - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - link

    I don't think branding issues is going to stop purchases of AMD chips when they are the best fit for a particular use-case, but the lack of direct access to memory for half of the cores in the 2990wx is going to keep it from being the knockout punch for HEDT that it could have been.

    Looking at these benchmark results, that has seriously gimped the performance of the 32-core TR to the point where it is slower than the 16 core in some threaded workloads.

    Sure, you can just go ahead and buy the 16-core 2950x instead, but then you're reduced back to being in 7980xe territory - albeit at a cheaper price point - but the point is, it's not the clear win that a relatively high clocked 32-core CPU probably could have been without the memory access issue.
    Reply

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