AMD does it again with a phenomenal new workstation processor that combines high frequencies with buckets of cores. And with nine models spanning Pro and high-end desktop (HEDT) families, there’s something for everyone, writes Greg Corke
The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series processors, based on AMD’s ‘Zen 4’ architecture, launched in October 2023 with specifications that were nothing short of breath-taking. The combination of high core counts (up to 96), high clock speeds (up to 5.3 GHz), support for multiple GPUs and lots of high-bandwidth memory, makes them extremely well suited to a variety of demanding pro workflows including visualisation, simulation, reality modelling, AI, and lots more.
Workstations based on these powerful multi-core processors are now starting to come to market. And there are plenty to choose from.
The big news is that all the major OEMs now offer a Threadripper workstation. Following the lead of Lenovo in 2020 and Dell in 2022, HP is finally on board. Considering that AMD had virtually no presence in the OEM workstation market three years ago, this is a major breakthrough.
There are also workstations from specialist system builders like Armari, BOXX, Puget Systems, Scan, and Workstation Specialists, some of which are overclocked to squeeze even more performance out of the multi-core chip.
The other big development is that the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series comes in two variants: the ‘Pro’ range (AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7000 WXSeries) and ‘High-End Desktop (HEDT)’ range (AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series). This is a change from the previous generation ‘Zen 3’ Threadripper 5000 Series processors which were ‘Pro’ only and marks a return to the dual product family approach of ‘Zen 2’.
Splitting out Threadripper into two product families gives users more choice and makes the Threadripper platform more accessible in terms of price. While the Pro and HEDT versions are very similar in terms of clock speed and cache, Pro offers more cores (up to 96 versus up to 64), more memory bandwidth (8-channels versus 4-channels of DDR5), more PCIe lanes, and comes with AMD Pro Security and Manageability.
Management and security are critical for enterprises, which is why the major OEMs only offer workstations with Threadripper Pro. Meanwhile, specialist systems builders can offer both, although we suspect most of their workstations will be sold with HEDT processors. The platform is not only cheaper, but there are only select workflows that will benefit from the additional memory bandwidth of Pro. Some engineering simulation solvers, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), will. Many visualisation workflows, including rendering, will not.
The ‘Zen 4’ generation
AMD hasn’t released an HEDT Threadripper since 2020, so it’s fair to say that both new ‘Zen 4’ Threadrippers are the natural successors to the ‘Zen 3’ Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000 WXSeries, which launched in 2022. Let’s look at where things have improved.
Core count: Threadripper Pro 5000 WXSeries maxed out at 64-cores, but the new Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series goes all the way up to 96-cores. This alone will deliver a substantial performance improvement in highly multi-threaded workflows such as ray trace rendering and engineering simulation. Meanwhile, the ‘HEDT’ Threadripper 7000 Series peaks at 64-cores.
Higher frequencies: Base and boost frequencies on all Threadripper 7000 Series chips are significantly higher than the Threadripper 5000 WX-Series. This benefits everyone – those with highly multi-threaded workflows such as rendering and those with single threaded workflows such as CAD.
Both the 64-core Threadripper Pro 7985WX and Threadripper 7980X processors, for example, deliver 3.2 GHz base and 5.1 GHz boost, which is 0.5 GHz and 0.6 GHz faster than their ‘Zen 3’ equivalent, the Threadripper Pro 5995WX.
Even the top-end 96-core Threadripper Pro 7995WX delivers a whopping 5.1 GHz boost, which is only 0.6 GHz behind AMD’s top-end consumer processor, the 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. These significant frequency gains are in part down to an increase in Thermal Design Power (TDP), going from 280W in the previous generation to 350W for all new Threadripper 7000 Series chips.
Higher IPC: All Threadripper 7000 Series chips get a significant boost simply because they are built on AMD’s newer Zen 4 architecture. Compared to Zen 3, AMD quotes a 13% uplift in Instructions Per Clock (IPC), the number of instructions a CPU can execute in a single clock cycle. This should benefit all multicore and single core workflows.
DDR5 memory: Both Threadripper 7000 Series chips support 5,200 MHz server-class DDR5 RDIMM memory, compared to 3,200 MHz DDR4 with the 5000 WX-Series. DDR5 memory delivers significantly more bandwidth, which will benefit some memory intensive workflows such as engineering simulation. Memory bandwidth is also dependent on the number of memory channels. Here the Threadripper Pro 7000 WXSeries has an advantage over the ‘HEDT’ Threadripper 7000 Series as it supports eight channels versus four, although all RDIMM slots need to be populated in order to benefit.
The previous gen Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series also supports 8-channels, but consumer processors including the AMD Ryzen 7000 Series and 14th Gen Intel Core, support dualchannel DDR5.
Incidentally, AMD decided not to go for 12-channel memory, a hallmark of its Zen 4 EPYC server processors. According to AMD, this is partly to tailor the platform to a workstation audience and partly because there is simply no room for more RDIMM slots in a standard workstation chassis.
PCIe Gen 5: The new Threadripper 7000 Series supports PCIe Gen 5, which doubles the PCI bandwidth to any slot on the board compared to the previous generation with PCIe Gen 4. According to AMD, this should deliver real benefits to multi-GPU AI workflows. But this is more for the future, as current pro GPUs, including the Nvidia RTX 6000 Ada and AMD Radeon Pro W7900, are still on PCIe Gen 4.
With 148 PCIe lanes (128 of which are PCIe Gen 5.0), the Threadripper Pro 7000 WX Series platform can, in theory, support eight double slot GPUs. In reality, this number is less, as it’s decided by the motherboard manufacturers. Most of the major workstation OEMs support two or three double slot GPUs on their new Threadripper Pro machines, but we could see boards from specialist manufacturers that support more. This could be an interesting proposition for manufacturers of virtual workstations who want to assign a powerful dedicated GPU to each virtual machine.
Meanwhile, the ‘HEDT’ Threadripper 7000 Series supports 92 PCIe lanes (48 PCIe of which are 5.0). PCIe lanes can also be used for high-performance storage and network cards.
AVX-512 instructions: The new ‘Zen 4’ Threadrippers support AVX-512, a set of extensions to the x86 instruction set that are used to boost performance in a variety of software tools. AVX-512 is especially prevalent in simulation software, with supported applications including Altair Radioss, Simulia Abaqus and Ansys Mechanical. AVX-512 was originally developed by Intel and is supported on Xeon processors, so this is a big step up for AMD. It is not supported on Intel Core processors with a hybrid P-Core / E-Core architecture.
The new chips The new ‘Zen 4’ Threadrippers present users with more choice than ever. There are six models in the Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series chips with 12, 16, 24, 32, 64 or 96 cores, and three models in the ‘HEDT’ Threadripper 7000 Series with 24, 36 or 64 cores.
All eyes are on the flagship AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7995WX. With 96-cores and a boost frequency up to 5.1 GHz this monster chip is head and shoulders above AMD’s previous flagship workstation processor, the 64- core Threadripper Pro 5995WX, and indeed the competition. Intel’s top-end workstation chip, the 56-core Intel Xeon w9-3495X, lags behind in both single threaded and multi-threaded workflows.
Of course, for unrivalled performance, AMD can charge a big premium, and many firms will find the 96-core chip’s price tag of £8,250+VAT hard to swallow, especially considering the performance uplift over the 64-core model is not always that big (see later).
Better value can be found with the lower core-count models, especially with the HEDT Threadrippers. At £4,125+VAT, for example, the 64-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X costs around 50% less than the 64-core Threadripper Pro 7985WX.
In terms of price per core, the 24-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7960X looks best value. And at £1,242+VAT it’s nearly half the price of its Pro equivalent, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7965WX.
The challenge for these lower end Threadripper 7000 Series processors is demonstrating enough value when compared to the AMD Ryzen 9 7000 Series. These consumer-focused processors, which peak at 16-cores with the Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 9 7950X3D, are significantly cheaper, as are the motherboards that support them.
While the jump from 16 to 24 cores is not that big, the Threadripper 7000 Series offers much more than just more cores. There’s more memory capacity, more memory bandwidth, and more PCIe lanes, which will be important for some customers.
All about the power
All AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series processors are rated at 350W Thermal Design Power (TDP). TDP is a measure of the maximum power a chip will consume under the maximum theoretical load. This is 70W higher than the previous generation Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series, so presents some significant thermal challenges for workstation manufacturers.
To keep the processor within its thermal limits and stop it from overheating (and therefore throttling) workstation manufacturers have two options: air cooling or liquid cooling.
Air cooling uses fans to blow cool air over a heatsink that is attached directly to the CPU via a conductive baseplate and heat pipes. This method is preferred by the major workstation OEMs as it’s considered to be the most reliable.
Liquid cooling uses a liquid coolant, which flows from the baseplate through a tube to a large heat exchanger cooled by fans. It’s a more efficient way of removing heat from the CPU, but because there are more points of failure (and liquid involved), it’s considered to be more of a specialist solution. It is not offered by the major OEMs.
Liquid cooling has two potential benefits: first, the workstations can sometimes be quieter as fans don’t have to work as hard, and second, the best liquid coolers allow more power to be pumped into the CPU so boost clock speeds can remain higher for longer.
With the AMD Threadripper 7000 Series processors (HEDT and Pro) more power can be applied through a technology called Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO). It isn’t the same as traditional overclocking, where specialists manually tweak CPU frequency and voltage. With PBO, the boost is essentially automated without losing stability. By simply changing a setting in the motherboard BIOS or AMD Ryzen Master software, the CPU can be fed more power as long as the cooler can handle it.
PBO is not enabled on any workstation from the major OEMs, so 350W is the maximum power that is ever pumped into the CPU, regardless of the number of cores. As all Threadripper 7000 Series processors have the same TDP, it means the higher core count CPUs have lower all core frequencies.
This presents an opportunity for specialist system builders like Armari to take power and performance beyond the standard levels. Using a custom All-In-One (AIO) cooler, Armari raises the sustained PBO to around 700W, delivering higher clock speeds over a longer period of time to get significantly more performance out of the same silicon, all while keeping within thermal limits so the processor is not throttled.
Overclocking with PBO uses significantly more power. This means a larger carbon footprint and higher electricity bills. Performance is one metric, but firms also need to assess new technologies in different ways
The conundrum for specialist system builders is that of warranty. While AMD makes overclocking easy and safe with PBO, and actively promotes the practice with a crack team that uses liquid nitrogen to break world records, the official stance is that AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking.
When you are talking about processors that costs thousands of pounds this is a big exposure for a specialist system builder. In the case of Armari, it has a tonne of experience in boosting workstations while keeping machines running within safe limits. It has stated that PBO tuning will be a ‘supported and fully warrantied feature’ of its flagship Magnetar M64T7 workstation.
This article is part of DEVELOP3D’S Workstation Special Report
What about AMD 3D V-Cache?
A lot of what we see in the Threadripper 7000 Series is inherited from AMD’s ‘Zen 4’ EPYC server processors. Some of the more recent models from the EPYC 9004 Series come with 3D V-Cache, a special type of L3 cache that is stacked vertically instead of horizontally, so more cache can be placed on the CPU. The 96-core AMD EPYC 9684X, for example, boasts a whopping 1,152 MB compared to its non 3D V-Cache equivalent, the AMD EPYC 9654 which has 384 MB.
The benefit of having more cache is that the CPU has a greater chance of being able to fetch the data it needs from faster cache instead of from slower system memory (RAM). And in some memory intensive workflows, such as CFD, where large amounts of data need to be fetched regularly, this can deliver a performance benefit, as demonstrated in DEVELOP3D’s review of the consumer-focused AMD Ryzen 7000 X3D processor, and in this blog post about CFD software Siemens Simcenter STAR-CCM+.
None of the new Threadripper 7000 Series processors support 3D V-Cache. Instead, chips come with standard L3 cache, up to 384 MB on the 96-core model. On a core-to-core basis this is the same as the previous generation.
AMD said that it experimented with 3D V-Cache on Threadripper but found that there are ‘very few applications that show a material performance uplift’. Enabling 3D V-Cache also means a small drop in frequency which would reduce performance in workflows that do not benefit from additional cache.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series workstations
For our AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series review, we tested three different Threadripper 7000 Series processors (two from the Pro range and one HEDT) in three different workstations.
HP Z6 G5A
• AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7975WX (32-core Pro)
• 128 GB (8 x 16 GB) DDR5-5600 MHz RDIMM memory
• HP motherboard (WRX50)
• 1 TB HP Z Turbo G2 2280 PCle x2 SSD
• Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 22621 (Read our review)
Lenovo ThinkStation P8
• AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 7995WX (96-core Pro)
• 512 GB (4 x 128 GB) 4,800MT/sec DDR5 RDIMM memory
• Lenovo motherboard (WRX50)
• 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 5.0 SSD
• Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 22621 (Read our review)
Armari Magnetar M64T7
• AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X (64-core HEDT)
• 128GB (4 x 32GB) G.SKILL Z5 Neo DDR5 RDIMM 6,400MT/sec memory
• ASUS Pro WS TRX50-SAFE WIFI motherboard (TRX50)
• 2TB Crucial T700 PCIe Gen 5 SSD
• Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 22631 (Read our review)
The new chips
Each machine is different, so there are many other variables, including motherboard, memory, storage and cooling. Furthermore, as tested, the HP Z6 G5A was the only workstation that’s a full shipping product. The Lenovo ThinkStation P8 is a pre-production unit and the Armari Magnetar M64T7 is a pre-production unit/technology demonstration.
With this in mind, our benchmark results should not be treated as gospel. This is not a definitive comparison of Threadripper 7000 Series processors, although it should give a good idea of relative performance.
There are some other caveats. Both the HP and Lenovo machines run their Threadripper Pro processors within a strict power limit of 350W, which is standard on all Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series OEM systems. Both machines are air cooled.
Meanwhile, Armari shipped its HEDT Threadripper workstation with Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) enabled and a custom All-In-One (AIO) liquid cooler with a contact plate that covers the entire chip.
In the BIOS of the ASUS Pro WS TRX50-SAFE WIFI motherboard there are three PBO settings which the customer can choose from. The machine came with ‘Level 2’ enabled, which limits the temperature of the processor to 80°C and raises the sustained PBO to around 600W. For comparison, we also tested with ‘Level 3’ (70°C – around 500W), ‘Level 1’ 90°C (around 700W) and with PBO off (350W). To put these temperatures into perspective, AMD considers 95°C to be safe ‘with no detriment to longevity or reliability’. For reference, when rendering in Cinebench 23 for one hour, the HP Z6 G5A hit 95°C and the Lenovo ThinkStation P8 hit 83°C, although it mostly hovered around 75°C.
There are also some differences in memory. For the ‘Zen 4’ Threadrippers, memory officially goes up to 5,200MT/ sec. The HP Z6 G5A uses eight 16 GB RDIMMs of 5,200MT/sec memory, making full use of Threadripper Pro’s eight memory channels. It topped the charts in the SiSoft Sandra benchmark with a score of 206.1 GB/sec.
Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkStation P8 only came with four 128 GB RDIMMs of 4,800MT/s memory, so the memory bandwidth was much lower – 113.9 GB/sec.
HEDT Threadripper only has four memory channels but the Armari Magnetar M64T7 got the very best out of it with 128 GB (4 x 32 GB) of G.SKILL Z5 Neo DDR5 memory that runs at 6,400MT/sec, delivering a score of 152.1 GB/sec. Compared to standard 5,200MT/ sec memory, this may give a boost in certain memory intensive applications like CFD, but memory this fast currently comes at a huge premium. Armari knows this isn’t for everyone, so will typically ship machines with more cost effective 5,200MT/sec DDR5 memory.
For comparison, we also included results from workstations featuring AMD’s previous generation Threadripper Pro 5995WX (64-cores) (Scan 3XS GWPME A1128T), Intel’s closest competitive Sapphire Rapids’ processors, the Intel Xeon w9-3495X (56-cores) (Lenovo ThinkStation P7) and dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8490H (60-cores) (Lenovo ThinkStation PX), plus three of the best consumer desktop processors, the Intel Core i9-14900K (8 P-Cores + 16 E-Cores) (Workstation Specialists WS IC-Z7900), AMD Ryzen 9 7950X (16-cores) (Scan 3XS GWP-ME A132R) and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D (16-cores) (Armari).
For processors with an exceptionally high number of cores, ray trace rendering is always a good place to start for testing, simply because performance tends to scale very well.
We first tested with PBO off on the Armari machine and a strict TDP of 350W. The 96- core Threadripper Pro 7995WX topped all our benchmark charts. However, despite having 50% more cores than the 64- core Threadripper 7980X, the chip did not deliver anywhere near 50% more performance. This can largely be attributed to the sustained all-core frequencies.
In Cinebench 23, the 96-core 7995WX maintained 3.13 GHz for the duration of the ten-minute test, while the 64- core 7980X sustained 3.56 GHz, only resulting in a 22% performance uplift. In V-Ray the uplift was bigger (24%). In KeyShot it was smaller (15%). In Cinebench 2024 it was only single digit (6%). As Cinebench 2024 is a new benchmark, we have very little experience of using it, but we guess the smaller gap could be down to the superior memory bandwidth of the 64-core Armari workstation. Memory bandwidth is almost certainly the reason why the 96-core 7995WX loses out to the 64-core 7980X in our Unreal Engine test for recompiling shaders.
For pure rendering, the performance uplift from the 32-core 7970WX to 64- core 7980X was larger: V-Ray (63%), KeyShot (56%), Cinebench 23 (52%), Cinebench 2024 (58%). Despite having 100% more cores, you don’t get double the performance, as the 32-core 7970WX can sustain a higher all-core frequency (4.39 GHz vs 3.56 GHz in Cinebench 23).
Interestingly, the 32-core 7970WX edges out the 56-core Intel Xeon w9- 3495X and the 96-core 7995WX edges out the dual 60-core Intel Xeon Platinum 8490H. It looks like Intel will find it very hard to compete with AMD, although Intel could go hard on price/performance.
When you need lots of cores or lots of high-bandwidth memory in a personal workstation, there’s nothing else out there that comes close
Next, we brought PBO into mix with the Armari Magnetar M64T7. This massively upped the power consumed by the 64-core 7980X processor but yielded some very fast results.
The maximum ‘Level 1’ 90°C profile pushed peak power consumption to around 700W but saw performance rise by as much as 28% with both V-Ray and KeyShot. Remarkably, when drawing up to 700W, the 64-core 7980X even outpaced the 96-core 7995WX with the standard 350W TDP.
It’s important to note that there are diminishing returns as you pump more power into the processor. With this in mind, it looks like the 70°C profile, which ‘only’ raises the power draw by 150W, might deliver the best balance.
CAD / BIM CAD and BIM software is largely single threaded or lightly threaded so is wasted on a multi-core behemoth like Threadripper. However, it still forms an important part of many design, engineering and architecture workflows.
In years gone by the trade-off of having lots of cores, meant low frequencies and limited performance in tools like Revit, Solidworks and Inventor, when compared to mainstream desktop processors with far fewer cores. This started to change with first generation Threadripper and now the Threadripper 7000 Series takes single threaded performance to new levels.
The 32-core 7970WX and 64-core 7980X hit 5.0 to 5.1GHz, while the 96- core 7995WX reached 4.7 GHz, delivering impressive scores in the SPECapc for Solidworks 2022 benchmark. This is a fair bit ahead of the previous generation AMD Threadripper Pro 5995WX (64 C) and not that far behind the best consumer processors – 14th Gen Intel Core and AMD Ryzen 7950X. PBO made no difference to performance.
Engineering simulation includes Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). FEA can help predict how a product reacts to real-world forces or temperatures. CFD can be used to optimise aerodynamics in cars or predict the impact of wind on buildings. Both types of software are extremely demanding computationally.
There are many different types of ‘solvers’ used in FEA and CFD and each behaves differently, as does each dataset. In general, CFD scales very well and studies should solve much quicker with more CPU cores. Importantly, CFD can also benefit greatly from memory bandwidth, as each CPU core can be fed data quicker. This is one area in which Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series has a potential advantage over the ‘HEDT’ Threadripper 7000 Series as it supports 8-channel memory compared to 4-channel.
For testing we used three select workloads from the SPECworkstation 3.1 benchmark. These included two CFD benchmarks (Rodinia, which represents compressible flow, and WPCcfd, which models combustion and turbulence) and one FEA benchmark (CalculiX, which models a jet engine turbine’s internal temperature). We decided not to publish any results from Rodinia benchmark as they were very inconsistent with the 64-core and 96-core Threadripper processors. However, one thing that remained clear is that the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8490H (2 x 60 cores) had a considerable lead.
As we’ve seen before, the WPCcfd benchmark is very sensitive to memory bandwidth. With the 32-core HP workstation having almost double the memory bandwidth of the 96-core 7995WX Lenovo workstation, it came out top in this test. Lenovo shared some internal lab results from the WPCcfd benchmark which put the 96-core 7995WX with 8 x 32 GB RDIMMs in at 22.43. While this would give it top spot, it’s not a convincing argument for spending so much more on a 96-core processor.
On the flip side, memory bandwidth has very little impact in the Calculix (FEA) benchmark, so the 96-core Threadripper won out. The 32-core 7970WX beat the 56-core Intel Xeon w9-3495X in both tests. Surprisingly, any benefit from PBO was negligible. This is because the benchmarks don’t appear to stress the CPU anywhere near as much as ray trace rendering, which takes full advantage of AMD’s Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT), allowing each CPU core to handle two tasks (threads) at the same time – CPU resources that would otherwise be idle.
In the WPCcfd test for example, even with the maximum ‘Level 1’ 90 C profile and all 64-cores running flat out, the temperature of the CPU never went above 81 C, drawing 447 Watts at peak, and maintaining a phenomenal 4.73 GHz on all 64 cores for the duration of the 48-minute test.
When PBO was disabled and power draw went down to 350W, frequency fluctuated between 4.32 GHz and 4.52 GHz. However, this drop in clock speed appears to have little impact on performance. In short, when overclocking in these simulation workloads, you could simply be wasting power.
High core counts historically meant a huge drop in frequency. But when AMD first introduced Threadripper, workstation users could finally have their cake and it too. At least in small portions.
First gen Threadripper is to blueberry muffins, as the Threadripper 7000 Series is to black forest gateaux. With up to 96-cores and extremely high boost frequencies the new processors take workstation performance to phenomenal new levels. On a performance-per-core basis, Intel simply can’t compete with its single socket workstation equivalents, the Intel Xeon W-2400 Series and W-3400 Series.
But the new chips bring some tough choices. Users must now decide between HEDT and Pro variants. For some, this will be an easy decision. Many large engineering and manufacturing firms only buy from Dell, HP or Lenovo, because of global availability, global support, certification, single source IT, and many other reasons. For others, there’s a complex matrix of cores, memory bandwidth, PBO, and of course value for money.
From a performance perspective alone, the HEDT series looks to offer best value for design visualisation. Most workflows that centre on ray trace rendering are not that memory bandwidth intensive, so Pro’s 8-channel architecture should not deliver a major benefit.
What’s more, with appropriate liquid cooling, specialist system builders like Armari are pushing these chips way beyond their stock settings and with PBO enabled the 64-core 7980X can even outpace the 96-core Pro 7995WX. We expect Armari will also apply PBO to the 96-core chip, pushing multi-threaded performance to entirely new levels.
Of course, enabling PBO uses significantly more power. This means a larger carbon footprint and higher electricity bills. Performance is one metric, but firms also need to assess new technologies in different ways. Putting more power into the chip also means more heat is produced and more cooling is required – both inside the computer and in the general office environment. Running the CPU at 700W was a welcome heat source this winter, not so much in summer.
Beyond visualisation, the Threadripper 7000 Series is ideal for simulation thanks to high core counts, high-memory bandwidth, and high memory capacity. This gives both HEDT and Pro variants a distinct advantage over consumer Intel Core and AMD Ryzen CPUs. What’s more, the new Threadrippers will also outperform the Intel Xeon W-2400 and W-3400 Series on a core-by-core basis. Against the Threadripper 5000 WXSeries, Intel had an advantage. Now, with the Threadripper 7000 Series, and its higher IPC and faster DDR5 memory, this lead has gone.
But users of FEA and CFD software need to spend their money wisely. In some workflows, instead of throwing more cores at a problem, it’s more important to maximise memory bandwidth. Here, the 12, 16, or 24 core Pro chips could have an important role to play, particularly in CAD-centric simulation workflows, where the software is often limited to a certain number of cores. For others, memory bandwidth is not that critical, giving the HEDT Threadrippers a clear price/performance advantage.
Users also need to consider the wider cost of software. Some simulation software providers charge extra to run their solvers on more cores, so any potential performance increases need to be weighed up against increased licensing costs. Of course, with so much variance between applications, solvers and datasets, we would always recommend in-house benchmarking to get the most out of your budget.
Furthermore, beyond the desktop, the Threadripper 7000 Series could have an important role to play in virtual workstations. With high clock speeds and a dedicated single slot or dual slot GPU for each virtual machine, there’s huge potential here.
In summary, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series is a phenomenal workstation processor. With nine models spanning Pro and HEDT variants, it covers many different workflows, and now with the all the major OEMs on board, many different routes to market.
Users of CAD and BIM software are still best served by the consumer-focused AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, but when you need lots of cores or lots of high-bandwidth memory in a personal workstation, there’s nothing else out there that comes close.
This article is part of DEVELOP3D’s Workstation Special report
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- Power to the people: the importance of power in performance
- Know your workstation – From GPU to CPU, memory to storage
- Beyond performance: from power and warranty to chassis and bottlenecks
- Review: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series
- Review: HP Z6 G5 A (Threadripper Pro)
- Review: Lenovo ThinkStation P8 (Threadripper Pro)
- Review: Armari Magnetar M64T7 (Threadripper HEDT)
- Review: Workstation Specialists WS IC-Z7900 (14th Gen Intel Core)
- Review: AMD Radeon Pro W7500, W7600 & W7700 workstation GPUs
- Review: Nvidia RTX 4000 Ada Generation workstation GPU
- Remote possibilities: Lenovo targets the cloud
- Inevidesk: flexible virtual workstations