Home / Component / CPU / AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (16C32T) & 1920X (12C24T) CPU Review

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (16C32T) & 1920X (12C24T) CPU Review

We leave the system to idle on the Windows 10 desktop for 5 minutes before taking a power draw reading. For CPU load results, we read the power draw while producing five runs of the Cinebench multi-threaded test. We also run 5 minutes of AIDA64 stress test to validate data and because Cinebench runs on high core count CPUs are completed very quickly.

The power consumption of our entire test system (at the wall) is shown in the chart. The same test parameters were used for temperature readings.

Power Consumption

Power draw readings are accurate to around +/-5-10W under heavy load due to instantaneous fluctuations in the value. We use a Platinum-rated Seasonic 760W PSU (with 8-pin plus 4-pin or 8-pin power connectors where possible) and install a GTX 1070 video card that uses very little power.

Power usage from the Ryzen Threadripper CPUs is very high even at stock. Even with the 16-core chip reducing its Precision Boost clock speed to around 3.475GHz under heavy Cinebench and AIDA64 loading, the 1950X system still commands over 330W from the wall. The 1920X isn’t far behind at around 320W load usage thanks to its ability to maintain Precision Boost clocks of 3.7GHz on all cores.

Factor in an overclock to around 4GHz with 1.4V on either Threadripper CPU and power draw jumps even higher. The 12-core 1920X crept deep into the 400W range under the sustained battering from AIDA64, while the 16-core 1950X pushed past 520W when being stressed (and even higher in some of our earlier testing with 1.42V).

This really is a very simple equation; if you want the performance offered by Ryzen Threadripper, you have no choice but to invest in a high-quality, high-capacity power supply. 850W is a good starting point for an overclocked 1920X and a single graphics card such as the GTX 1080 Ti. 1000W would be my recommendation to users looking to overclock the 1950X alongside their one GTX 1080 Ti-like GPU. An overclocked 1950X combined with a couple of Vega cards may start to make 1300W+ PSUs look like a smart buy for long-term use.

The high power draw of both Threadripper CPUs looks far more justifiable when interpreted on a performance-per-Watt basis. The stock-clocked 1950X puts in a very strong efficiency result in Cinebench, only being beaten by the superb Ryzen 7 1700. The 12-core 1920X sits slightly Intel Core i7-6950X and slightly above the Core i9-7900X on the efficiency chart.

Shifting the focus to overclocked numbers, Ryzen Threadripper continues to show strong performance-per-Watt numbers. The 16-core 1950X offers the joint best result, matching the 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X that practically forms one of the Threadripper dies. Not far behind on the efficiency spectrum is the 12-core 1920X. Both Threadripper chips outdo the efficiency of Intel’s competing overclocked parts in our testing.

Of course, this chart is comprised only of Cinebench results – a benchmark that is known to scale very well with thread count. However, it does give an insight that Ryzen Threadripper can be performance-efficient processor despite its high TDP rating and actual power draw. If time is money for your heavily multi-threaded workloads and efficiency is an important factor, Ryzen Threadripper looks like a competitive solution.

Temperatures

Temperature recordings were taken using a 360mm Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 Asetek-based all-in-one liquid cooler with its three fans running in ‘Performance’ mode (up to 1600 RPM). Unfortunately, the Corsair H110i GT AIO used for comparison CPUs is currently incompatible with the TR4 socket. As such, direct comparisons to other processors’ thermal performance cannot be made. Ambient temperatures were held around 23°C (and normalised to 23°C where there were slight fluctuations).

We read the Tdie reading for Ryzen Threadripper which accounts for the 27°C offset. The same Tdie temperature for Ryzen accounts for the 20°C temperature offset.  The charted temperatures are without the 20°C/27°C offset added on (making them ‘real’ Tdie readings). Some Ryzen idle temperatures are omitted due to inaccurate readings caused by sensor drift. Ryzen 7 1700 temperature data is omitted as the numbers are incorrect (sometimes sub-ambient).

Note: The asterisk denotes the use of a different CPU cooler for Ryzen Threadripper CPUs compared to other CPUs.

Thermal performance from the Ryzen Threadripper CPUs is good given the power draw and performance offered. However, there’s no denying that the actual CPU temperatures are high. Using a 360mm AIO cooler with 1600 RPM fans, both chips hovered around 60°C when loaded at stock clocks. The 1950X would reduce its all-core frequency from 3.7GHz to around 3.475GHz under heavy Cinebench and AIDA64 loading, though this did not look to be temperature-induced.

Overclocking the chips to around 4GHz using 1.4V will push temperatures into the 70°C and 80°C range. Surprisingly, our overclocked 1950X ran a little cooler under AIDA64 load than the 1920X, despite consuming more power. This may be a chip-to-chip variation or it could be tied to thermal paste application or frequency differences. Intel’s overclocked Core i9-7900X still ran hotter than both Threadripper CPUs but that chip was tested with a 280mm AIO and 2300 RPM fans as opposed to the 360mm AIO with 1600 RPM fans.

The results show that a 360mm cooler should be capable of taking the Threadripper CPUs to around 4GHz (depending on the silicon lottery). If you want to try for higher than 4GHz or need to put more than 1.4V through the CPUs to hit your overclocking targets, custom liquid cooling is the next logical progression. AMD’s soldered heatspreader and proficient thermal packaging design should mean that custom liquid cooling will extract the heat effectively from the Ryzen Threadripper CPU (as opposed to thermal barriers created by Intel’s TIM approach).

Check Also

The first Intel Core i9-7980XE benchmarks have leaked

In a move meant to combat AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper launch, earlier this year Intel announced …

  • Bryan Fury

    So it’s a beast for productivity [if it’s capable of delivering reliability in the long run], and it’s just fine for gaming, but not as cool as Intel. Not bad, not that great either. No reason to go away from X299 for now. I wonder how will the 12 – 18core Intel fare, both with performance and prices. Great review, proving my point in many discussions, thank You 🙂

  • Raptor

    so single core comparation is done with intel set at 4.5-5GHz and AMDs at 4.0GHz, and you’re surprised of that Intel’s is better 😐

  • Steven Morrison

    So to test the maximum overclocked speeds of each you want Luke to achieve a 4.5ghz overclock on the Ryzen even though its just not possible. Perhaps Gandalf can help him with some magical powers.

  • Luke

    Yes. All testing is done at stock and the realistic achievable overclocks on each CPU. Throttling Intel back to X GHz would be unfair if the Intel chips can OC further. Just as it would be unfair to throttle back Ryzen CPUs if they have faster clock speeds than their competitors.

    Stock and realistic OC frequency is what we always test on all CPUs. Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake CPUs tend to OC higher than AMD’s Ryzen chips so that’s what people run their frequencies at and that’s what we test with.

    Luke

  • Raptor

    Ok, i get that but …
    1. Same cooling was used for both?
    2. Is TR restricted, or why can’t it go pass the boosted clocks?

  • KVragec

    So, considering that AMD again gives 50 and 60 percent more cores for a same or the similar price those CPUs are a beasts for people who need productivity and content creation CPU

  • Lelisevis

    Who games at 1080p with a £1000 CPU and a GTX1080 ti? Wasn’t Ryzen equal to its intel equivalent at higher resolutions, Is this the same with ThreadRipper?

  • George Janiashvili

    “Cons” in the review are so depraved you can not even imagine, and lacking 1 star out of 10…. For what? For not being available for free?

    Oxymorons

  • Robert Johnson

    I have to slightly disagree with the gaming analysis. Many times the reason RYZEN doesn’t perform well in gaming is that game developers still haven’t had enough time to optimize the RYZEN platform. Game developers haven’t had enough time with the AMD RYZEN hardware development kits as of yet.

  • Luke

    The same cooling was used for all CPUs (280mm AIO) except Threadripper which used a 360mm Asetek AIO due to mounting compatibility.

    The frequency limits for Ryzen look to be related to the manufacturing process technology used by AMD. At its own fabs, Intel looks to have the ability to manufacture dies that can operate at a higher frequency in general.

  • Luke

    1080P and a fast GPU helps isolate CPU performance by ensuring no resolution- or GPU-induced bottlenecks are introduced. Our 4K testing shows Ryzen to be far more competitive against Intel when the performance onus is planted more firmly on the GPU.

  • Raptor

    Ok, thank you. Maybe Threadripper will be able to get higher OCs with some bios updates, how it happened to Ryzen 🙂

  • roadkill612

    Are you confident its not a fabric/zeppelin die limitation rather than the zen core or the ccx?

    If that hasnt been eliminated, perhaps raven ridge can shed some light eventually? As i understand it, and given it must be low power for mobile, it will be a single 4 core zen ccx & a single vega gpu on a die like ryzens zeppelin die. Point being, maybe it can clock better in that die form.

  • Hossein Almet

    Agreed. Irrespective of the amount cooling available, no multi cores CPU would survive a Prime95 stress test on all cores for 30 minutes, let alone 1 hour or more. Prime95 should be taken off the web.

  • Current rumors predict $1,700 for the 16-core, and $2,000 for the 18-core.

  • Hey Luke. May I ask how you obtained the all-core turbo frequencies of the 1920X and 1950X? And how confident are you that they are correct? I ask, only because other sources have consistently stated 3.60 GHz for the 1950X. Thank you very much for this in-depth review.

  • John Godfrey

    Those are not rumors, they are official Intel pricing, confirmed by multiple outlets and reviewers.

    18 core Intel i9 will be $1999.99 (USD)
    16 Core Intel i9 will be $1799.99 (USD)

    Price v Performance is going AMD’s route, they will end up taking a good portion of the HEDT market with their aggressive pricing and their performance.

    “But muh i9 is faster”..

    It also has less PCI-E lanes, uses more energy, when overlocked Intel’s 10 core gets hotter than the 16 core AMD, and dollar per dollar is less of a value. This again has been confirmed in testing via many respected hardware outlets/reviewers.

    I only have 12 years as an IT professional in hardware management systems, what would I know.

  • John Godfrey

    They got the 16 core 1950X to 5.2Ghz on LN2 (Liquid Nitrogen), while that was obviously not representative of real world operations, it did show what can be done.

    The issue Intel faces is the technology change that is currently happening where we are switching software from single core/thread ops to multicore and having code recognize the maximum amount of cores possible.

    How is this a problem for Intel?

    Despite having an immense about of capital to work with an state-of-the-art R&D facilities, Intel’s latest chips have issues with overclocking all cores and remaining efficient. In fact if you look at Intel’s turbo boosts they downclock heavily after 4 cores to keep TDP and energy consumption manageable and competitive. Intel’s biggest weakness is their ability to maximize silicon yields, this is one of the reasons they charge so much for their CPU’s, while AMD’s current approach allows them to scale as they need to with less transistors required on a single die, maximizing yield.

    At this current rate I fully expect AMD to release their Zen 2 7nm CPU before Intel gets Cannon Lake (10nm) CPU’s out as AMD is already reporting over 80% yields with 14nm silicon, and anything above 60% yield allows for very competitive prices.

  • Okay, thanks John. And for the record, yes, I am fully supportive of Threadripper. Intel has been screwing people over for too long.

    I only have 12 years as an IT professional in hardware management systems, what would I know.

    I’m not sure why you decided to say this, however.

  • Darth Vader

    Intel chips are NOT cool. Not even the 91w i5’s. Unless if you think 80c on watercooling for a STOCK i5 Skylake is cool.