AMD has unleashed its Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX onto the world, and in the hands of one intrepid overclocker this mighty processor has been pushed to a new record with a boost to a hair's breadth away from 6GHz across all of its 32 cores.

Since they were announced earlier this year, everyone's attention has been fixed firmly on the 32-core/64-thread 2nd Gen Threadripper part, now known as the 2990WX, coming in at $1800. There will be two models in the WX series and for those wondering the ‘W' signifies that this is a workstation series and the ‘X' the usual xtreme nonsense we suppose. Along with the 2990WX there will also be a 24-core/48-thread model known as the 2970WX, though that model won't be available until October.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

As was the case with the 2nd Gen Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 models, these new Threadripper parts feature reduced cache and DRAM latency with support for slightly faster memory. So they are based on the Zen+ architecture which uses the 12PL process from GlobalFoundries.

What is Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX?

If you're wondering just how AMD went from an 8-core Ryzen 7 1800X to a 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X to a 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX in the space of 16 months, while it took Intel three years just to go from a 6-core Core i7 to a 10-core Core i7, the magic is in the design.

The original 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X joined two 8-core chips together. With the 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX AMD joins four 8-core chips together.| On Threadripper, that essentially means that of the four dies in the 2990WX, two are pure compute-only dies, without direct access to memory and to PCIe. Those two compute dies must talk through an I/O die that has PCIe and access to the memory. This design means an I/O die with memory access has 64ns of latency to memory, while a compute-only die has a latency of 105ns.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Overclocked To 6 GHz Across All 32 Cores With LN2 Cooling

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

Indonesian overclocker, Ivan Cupa, achieved a clock frequency of 5955.4 MHz across all 32 cores and 64 threads that the 2990WX has to offer. The feat was achieved on an MSI MEG X399 Creation motherboard along with a Corsair 1500W power supply and tons of liquid nitrogen to keep temps under control. A CPU voltage of 1.45V was reported within the Ryzen Master utility but we aren't sure if that is correct since CPU-Z and Ryzen Master utility are reporting different numbers.

The biggest of these limitations being that there are still just four memory controllers. Although there are two more Zeppelin dies, the additional two dies are compute dies, in AMD's words. This means they have no local PCIe or DRAM access, for that they must travel via the Infinity Fabric to the IO dies. As there are twice as many dies, the Infinity Fabric bandwidth is also halved, so now the throughput between dies is just 25GBps, assuming you're using DDR4-3200 memory.


With the 2nd gen Threadripper, there was much hand-wringing that the CPUs might not work with the existing X399 motherboards. AMD has said every single X399 board available today will work once you've updated the UEFI/BIOS to support the newer chip. All of the X399 motherboards support “BIOS Back” features, which let you update a board's BIOS via USB without requiring an older CPU.

AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper Performance Benchmarks Detailed – 2990WX Crushes The i9-7980XE, 2950X Blazes Past The i9-7900X For Less Than Intel's Offerings

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

In the new slides, we get some more information regarding the 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors. First of all, we get a clear aim of this high-performance, high core-count processor. While AMD's ‘X' series Threadripper chips are said to be aimed at enthusiast and high-end gaming systems, they are still very capable of workstation and developer-grade content creation system environments. All 16, 24, 32 core models are designed for complex workflows which include a range of different tasks such as Media Editing, Visual Effects, Modeling, Rigging, Animation, Data Science, Code Compiling and Machine Learning/Rendering

Encoding Performance

When encoding with Adobe Premiere we find a similar situation, the 2990WX took 35% longer to complete the workload when compared to the 2950X. The good here though is that the 2950X was 7% quicker than the 1950X and that made it just 7% slower than the Core i9-7960X. So a pretty great result for the 2950X and an disastrous result for the 2990WX.


Thermals and boost performance

The top-end 32-core Threadripper 2990WX has a rated Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 250 watts, which is the maximum heat it will dissipate before hitting a wall. The 2990WX also has a total socket power of 250 watts, which it'll hit a few milliseconds after doing any heavy multi-threaded loads. What this means is that you need to keep the CPU well fed with power and generally pretty cool.

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