Frequency, Temperature, and Power

A lot of questions will be asked about the frequency, temperature, and power of this chip: splitting 280W across all the cores might result in a low all-core frequency and require a super high current draw, or given recent reports of AMD CPUs not meeting their rated turbo frequencies. We wanted to put our data right here in the front half of the review to address this straight away.

We kept this test simple – we used our new NAMD benchmark, a molecular dynamics compute solver, which is an example workload for a system with this many cores. It’s a heavy all-core load that continually cycles around the ApoA1 test simulating as many picoseconds of molecular movement as possible. We run a frequency and thermal logger, left the system idle for 30 seconds to reach an idle steady state, and then fired up the benchmark until a steady state was reached.

For the frequencies we saw an ‘idle’ of ~3600 MHz, which then spiked to 4167 MHz when the test began, and average 3463 MHz across all cores over the first 6 minutes or so of the test. We saw a frequency low point of 2935 MHz, however in this context it’s the average that matters.

For thermals on the same benchmark, using our Thermaltake Riing 360 closed loop liquid cooler, we saw 35ºC reported on the CPU at idle, which rose to 64ºC after 90 seconds or so, and a steady state after five minutes at 68ºC. This is an ideal scenario, due to the system being on an open test bed, but the thing to note here is that despite the high overall power of the CPU, the power per core is not that high.

Click to zoom

This is our usual test suite for per-core power, however I’ve condensed it horizontally as having all 64 cores is a bit much. At the low loads, we’re seeing the first few cores take 8-10W of power each, for 4.35 GHz, however at the other end of the scale, the CPUs are barely touching 3.0 W each, for 3.45 GHz. At this end of the spectrum, we’re definitely seeing AMD’s Zen 2 cores perform at a very efficient point, and that’s even without all 280 W, given that around 80-90W is required for the chipset and inter-chip infinity fabric: all 64 cores, running at almost 3.5 GHz, for around 200W. From this data, we need at least 20 cores active in order to hit the full 280W of the processor.

We can compare these values to other AMD Threadripper processors, as well as the high-end Ryzens:

AMD Power/Frequency Comparison
AnandTech Cores CPU TDP   1-Core
Full Load
Full Load
3990X 64 280 W   10.4 W 4350 3.0 W 3450
3970X 32 280 W   13.0 W 4310 7.0 W 3810
3960X 24 280 W   13.5 W 4400 8.6 W 3950
3950X 16 105 W   18.3 W 4450 7.1 W 3885

The 3990X exhibits a much lower power-per-core value than any of the other CPUs, which means a lower per-core frequency, but it isn’t all that far off at all: less than half the power for only 400 MHz less. This is where the real efficiency of these CPUs comes into play.

The 64 Core Threadripper 3990X CPU Review The Windows and Multithreading Problem (A Must Read)
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  • tuxRoller - Saturday, February 15, 2020 - link


    "WINDOWS 10 ENTERPRISE for this renderer was also performing much better than WINDOWS 10 PROFESSIONAL up until hitting 128 threads."

    My question is why didn't you at least click on the link?
  • Korguz - Saturday, February 15, 2020 - link

    then something has changed, as farther up, another poster made a post, and posted the SAME link as you did, and at the time, it looks like Mr Larabel didnt use anything other then win 10pro, as Sandtitz posted in reply to another that posted the SAME link then :
    Well, that's where the Win10 Pro Enterprise/Workstations comes to play.

    Had you read this Anandtech article you'd see how much faster it is than the plain Win10Pro.

    Mr. Larabel didn't use the Enterprise version for testing. This is quite understandable since Microsoft doesn't make it clear that there is a tremendous performance boost.

    as i had read the link when jospoortvliet posted it, it didnt state that the review used anything other then win 10 pro.

    so maybe the original review was updated since then.
  • tuxRoller - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    I don't believe anything changed. The earlier poster linked to an older article ( linked to )
  • tuxRoller - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    Eek, sorry, I prematurely posted:)

    The link texts are pretty much identical save "3990x" vs "2990wx".

    The last thing I wanted to mention was that Enterprise didn't perform significantly better than pro (this might be due to it having been patched).
  • tuxRoller - Monday, February 17, 2020 - link

    This article was just posted and compares W10 pro & Enterprise vs a number of different distros. Again W10P ≈W10E
  • Thanny - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    You don't need to reboot a Linux server to patch it.

    It's a consequence of how the file systems work. In Linux, the name and location of the file are distinct from its contents. You can unlike an open file from the directory, create a new one with the same name, and the open file will continue functioning until it's closed. You can update everything in Linux outside the kernel without rebooting (and even that with a bit of prep work).

    So you're using a weakness of Windows as an excuse for the inferior stability of Windows mattering less.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    There is some argument for an occasional restart in the case of long-lived processes that retain older, unpatched binaries in memory due to in-flight workloads. A periodic restart will address that, but in general it is absolutely true that Linux does not really require reboots in order for patches to take effect.
  • clsmithj - Thursday, February 13, 2020 - link

    Linux IS more stable and it runs my Ryzen Threadripper 2990wx much better than Windows 10 Pro for Workstation I have it dual booting to with Fedora 31.
  • baka_toroi - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    If you get out of your bubble you'd realize most of them. What a useless comment.
  • rrinker - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Oh I dunno, our not very large consulting firm has thousands of clients who all run Windows infrastructure.... Though the #1 use of servers with > 32 cores is running VMWare hypervisor with Windows servers as guests on top of that.

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