Test Bed

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. 

Test Setup
Processor AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (16C/32T, 3.4G, 180W) $999
Motherboards ASUS X399 ROG Zenith Extreme $549
Cooling AMD's FX-9590 Bundled Liquid Cooler (220W) ~$80
Power Supply Corsair AX860i $198
Memory G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3200 C14 4x8GB $440
Settings DDR4-2400 C15 (2DPC Support)
DDR4-3200 C14 (Overclock)
Video Cards MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8GB
ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB
Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury 4GB
Sapphire Nitro RX 480 8GB
Sapphire Nitro RX 460 4GB (CPU Tests)
ASUS GTX 950 2GB 75W (SYSmark)
Hard Drive Crucial MX200 1TB
Crucial MX300 1TB (SYSmark)
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50  
Case Open Test Bed  
OS Windows 10 Pro 64-bit $126

Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

All Ryzen 7 1800X numbers in this review were redone on AGESA 1006 for an upcoming article.

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 Sapphire for providing us with several of their AMD GPUs. We met with Sapphire back at Computex 2016 and discussed a platform for our future testing on AMD GPUs with their hardware for several upcoming projects. As a result, they were able to sample us the latest silicon that AMD has to offer. At the top of the list was a pair of Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury 4GB GPUs, based on the first generation of HBM technology and AMD’s Fiji platform. As the first consumer GPU to use HDM, the R9 Fury is a key moment in graphics history, and this Nitro cards come with 3584 SPs running at 1050 MHz on the GPU with 4GB of 4096-bit HBM memory at 1000 MHz.

Further Reading: AnandTech’s Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury Review

Following the Fury, Sapphire also supplied a pair of their latest Nitro RX 480 8GB cards to represent AMD’s current performance silicon on 14nm (as of March 2017). The move to 14nm yielded significant power consumption improvements for AMD, which combined with the latest version of GCN helped bring the target of a VR-ready graphics card as close to $200 as possible. The Sapphire Nitro RX 480 8GB OC graphics card is designed to be a premium member of the RX 480 family, having a full set of 8GB of GDDR5 memory at 6 Gbps with 2304 SPs at 1208/1342 MHz engine clocks.

Further Reading: AnandTech’s AMD RX 480 Review

With the R9 Fury and RX 480 assigned to our gaming tests, Sapphire also passed on a pair of RX 460s to be used as our CPU testing cards. The amount of GPU power available can have a direct effect on CPU performance, especially if the CPU has to spend all its time dealing with the GPU display. The RX 460 is a nice card to have here, as it is powerful yet low on power consumption and does not require any additional power connectors. The Sapphire Nitro RX 460 2GB still follows on from the Nitro philosophy, and in this case is designed to provide power at a low price point. Its 896 SPs run at 1090/1216 MHz frequencies, and it is paired with 2GB of GDDR5 at an effective 7000 MHz.

We must also say thank you to MSI for providing us with their GTX 1080 Gaming X 8GB GPUs. Despite the size of AnandTech, securing high-end graphics cards for CPU gaming tests is rather difficult. MSI stepped up to the plate in good fashion and high spirits with a pair of their high-end graphics. The MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8GB graphics card is their premium air cooled product, sitting below the water cooled Seahawk but above the Aero and Armor versions. The card is large with twin Torx fans, a custom PCB design, Zero-Frozr technology, enhanced PWM and a big backplate to assist with cooling.  The card uses a GP104-400 silicon die from a 16nm TSMC process, contains 2560 CUDA cores, and can run up to 1847 MHz in OC mode (or 1607-1733 MHz in Silent mode). The memory interface is 8GB of GDDR5X, running at 10010 MHz. For a good amount of time, the GTX 1080 was the card at the king of the hill.

Further Reading: AnandTech’s NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review

Thank you to ASUS for providing us with their GTX 1060 6GB Strix GPU. To complete the high/low cases for both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, we looked towards the GTX 1060 6GB cards to balance price and performance while giving a hefty crack at >1080p gaming in a single graphics card. ASUS lended a hand here, supplying a Strix variant of the GTX 1060. This card is even longer than our GTX 1080, with three fans and LEDs crammed under the hood. STRIX is now ASUS’ lower cost gaming brand behind ROG, and the Strix 1060 sits at nearly half a 1080, with 1280 CUDA cores but running at 1506 MHz base frequency up to 1746 MHz in OC mode. The 6 GB of GDDR5 runs at a healthy 8008 MHz across a 192-bit memory interface.

Further Reading: AnandTech’s ASUS GTX 1060 6GB STRIX Review

Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX200 SSDs. 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

Retesting AMD Ryzen Threadripper’s Game Mode The 2017 Benchmark Suite
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  • ddriver - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Why not? We've had 16 core CPUs long before W10 was launched, and it has allegedly been heavily updated since then.

    But it is NOT the "coder"'s responsibility. Programmers don't get any say, they are paid workers, paid to do as they are told. Not that I don't have the impression that a lot of the code that's being written is below the standard, but the actual decision making is not a product of software programmers but that of software architects, and the latter are even more atrocious than the actual programmers.
  • HollyDOL - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Sadly, the reality is much worse... those architects are ordered by managers, economic persons etc. who, sadly often, don't know more about computer than where's power button. And they want products with minimal cost and 'yesterday was late'.
  • ddriver - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Well, yeah, the higher you go up the latter the grosser the incompetence level.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    Interesting test results. I think they demonstrate pretty clearly why Threadripper isn't really a very good option for pure gaming workloads. The big takeaway is that there are more affordable processors with lower TDPs offer comparable or better performance without adding additional settings that few people will realize exist and even fewer people will fiddle with enough to determine which settings actually improve performance in their particular software library. The Ryzen 7 series is probably a much better overall choice than TR right now if you don't have specific tasks that require all those cores and threads.
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    "I think they demonstrate pretty clearly why Threadripper isn't really a very good option for pure gaming workloads."

    wow.... what a surprise.
    thanks for pointing that out mr. obvious. :-)
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    These are single GPU tests. Threadripper has enough PCIe lanes to do large multi GPU systems. More GPU usually trumps better CPU in the high end gaming scene, especially with 4k resolution.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Yes, but multi-GPU setups are generally not used for gaming-centric operations. There's been tacit acknowledgement of this as the state of things by NV since the release of the 10x0 series. Features like Crossfire and SLI support are barely a bullet point in marketing materials these days. With good reason since game support is waning as well and DX12 is positioned to pretty nail the multi-GPU coffin shut entirely except in corner cases where it MIGHT be possible to leverage an iGPU alongside a dGPU if a game engine developer bothers to invest time into banging out code to support it. That places TR's generous PCIe lane count and the potential multi-GPU usage in the domain of professional workloads that need GPU compute power.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    I agree with ddriver

    We should not have to fiddle with the settings and reboot to game mode on these things

    Windows should handle the hardware seamlessly in the background for whatever end use we put these systems to

    The problem is getting Microsoft to let the end users use the full potential of our hardware

    If the framework for the hardware is not fully implemented in the O.S., every "FIX" looks a bit like the one AMD is using here

    I think gaming on anything over 4 cores might require a "proper" update from Microsoft working with the hardware manufacturers

    Sometimes it might be nice to use the full potential of the systems we have instead of Microsoft deciding that all of our problems can be fixed with another cloud service
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    but but.. what about linux.

    i mean linux is the savior, not?
    it has not won a 2.2% marketshare on teh desktop for nothing.

    sarcasm off....
  • HomeworldFound - Thursday, August 17, 2017 - link

    What can we expect Microsoft to do prior to a product like this launching. If a processor operates in a manner that requires the operating system to be adjusted, the company selling it needs to approach Microsoft and provide an implementation, and it should be ready for launch. If that isn't possible then why manufacture something that doesn't work correctly and requires hacky fixes to run.

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