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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  • Ian Cutress - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    It looks like the 2950X are reversed (C++ should be OpenCL), but I checked the raw data and that's what came out of the benchmark. I need to put the 2950X back on to test, I'll do it in a bit Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    Thanks for getting this up Ian! An awesome read per usual :) Reply
  • deathBOB - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    The interconnect analysis was very interesting, glad you spent time on that. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    Yes, that was good. I had flashbacks to reading SGI Origin technical reports 20 years ago. :D

    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/origin/isca.pdf
    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/origin/hypercube.pdf

    Index: http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/origin/

    I see a great many similarities, though the emphasis is different (SGI was all about bandwidth rather than latency, for extreme I/O and huge datasets in shared memory, though they greatly improved the latency behaviour with the 2nd-gen design). Fascinating to see many of the same issues play out in the consumer space, but for rather different tasks, though I bet a lot of researchers in industry and academia will be taking keen interest in what AMD has released.
    Reply
  • close - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    "They will enable four cores per complex (8+8+8+8) and three cores per complex (6+6+6+6)"

    3/4 cores per complex or 6/8 cores?
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    The 8 cores per die are distributed over 2 CCX core complexes with 4 cores each, as in Ryzen 1. Reply
  • FreckledTrout - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    LOL You actually ran tests with the plastic on? That is just funny. Did the plastic melt? Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link

    It ran fine, though the numbers suggest the thermals reduced PB2/XFR2 turbo by a fair bit. Some tests look a bit down. Still writing it up :) Reply
  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - link

    Hilarious. That does sound like something I would do in a hurry. I see you have a whole section awaiting for plastic vs no plastic thermals. I bet that will be an Anandtech only talking point. :) Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Thursday, August 16, 2018 - link

    A coredom? Reply

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