AMD Threadripper 3990X CPU Review | Code Compile, Render, & Compression

We threw together a 3990X review in the last few hours before leaving for factory tours in Taiwan. We’ve got more numbers we want to publish later, but started with this.
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Find the Threadripper 3990X on Amazon:
Threadripper 3970X on Amazon:
AMD R9 3950X on Amazon:
Intel 9900K on Amazon:

Won’t have the article up for this one due to active travel in Taiwan for the factory tours. In this video, we’re reviewing the AMD Threadripper 3990X CPU vs. the 3970X, 3960X, Intel Xeon W-3175X, Intel 10980XE, and more. Benchmarks include programming/code compile of Chromium, Adobe Premiere, Blender, V-Ray, Adobe Photoshop, Compression, and Decompression. We also have additional benchmarks for gaming and power, but didn’t include them for sake of timing. We’ll try to produce additional content around this CPU later.

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Editorial, Testing: Steve Burke
Testing: Patrick Lathan
Video: Andrew Coleman, Keegan Gallick


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  • We have a few other tests we still want to do with this CPU, but those will have to wait until we get home. We threw this one together just before leaving for Taiwan (in the final hours!) for factory tours, but it's still pretty complete. New code compile stuff will be fun as we expand it.
    If you want to watch us lap/sand a Threadripper 3970X CPU, check out this video:

    Gamers Nexus July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Can we see how 3990X works in games ? not looking for great gaming performance, just it works ok as primary job of the CPU will be video encoding/rendering

    ixxeon July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • 14:56

    AR极乐世界 July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Again you did it – At least clean your CPUs from thermal paste if your going to do rolling camera shots – very unprofessional otherwise in the intro

    Hypecorvette July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Steve when compiling anything memory is king.

    In a perfect world, a 3990x would use 128gb for compilers alone.

    This is important – 1 THREAD 1 Gig of memory.

    When compiling code, 2 things are key beyond the CPU Itself, one is rapid disks, you will (depending on the build) do a lot of disk thrashing, so SSD / NVMe, the second is
    enough RAM to back it all, and even then from what i have learned so far, the 3990x is so heavily memory-constrained in workload using all 128 threads results in a slower build, using make -j 96 or equivalent gives a faster compile and uses just 96 gigs of ram.

    If you have less than 1 gig per thread you'll find the system starts swapping to disk, and as soon as that shit starts its game over for performance, match the build commands to the system being used, and then a week it.

    If like me you can afford it, strap 256 gigs of ram with it. Then go nuts on your benchmarking compiles.

    Youll be amazed how hardcore the memory constraints are on the 3990, you simply cant feed it large amounts of data fast enough, as evidenced by

    make -j 96 being about 20% faster than make -j 128

    Mark J July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • @Gamers Nexus

    could you please run the following test also?

    Application : Handbrake

    Video Transcoding
    Source profile :

    H264 / VP9 10bit 60FPS 4K video

    Target profile:
    H265 10-bit 4K 60 FPS PSNR
    LOGARITHMIC SCALE VALUE : anywhere between 15 to 19

    Could you please do that?

    Amit Dev July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Good on you for mentioning Phoronix. Michael does great work on testing Linux distros for performance with recent hardware.

    Sina Madani July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • I currently have the 1950x, bought it at launch. The IPC is amazing on the 3960x and 3970x. That said, i use it mainly for video editing and gaming from time to time.
    $1399 vs $1899. Which would you do? Serious question.

    Joeteck July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • I'd wish Phoronix made YouTube videos. Would you consider doing a collab with him? Make sure to have some Bavarian beer at hand 😉

    Mattia_98 July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Well done and informed video. The rap up at the end, will help a lot of people choosing savely what to buy. Thanks for your passion

    TGDxDrakoon July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Freelance 3d animator here, with 20+ years in the medical device industry. I'll be harvesting some of my organs to pay for a 3990x plus 256GB of RAM. This will solve some major pain points I've been enduring for years!

    TheAnimator July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Specific workloads like 8 VMs running GIS applications would work well for this processor. They would need to max ram. Has a comparison between the 3990x and 3970x been done? Wait this isnt for server use?

    Eric Howard July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • @ 11:22 "intel's more commonly available "10980XE" what? Maybe to you reviewers. LMAO. Read the /r/intel subreddit or ask scan in the UK. June availability and that was BEFORE corona. That CPU is not more commonly available by any stretch of the imagination. It is in major shortage.

    Nothinglastsforever July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Stay safe.

    Cody Jones July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • 5:16 = Compile Benchmark

    7:11 = Max Frequency 1T @ Cinebench R20
    7:40 = Blender MultiThreaded Frequency
    9:02 = Blender NT Thermals on TR4 360 CLC
    10:10 = Blender GN CPU Benchmark (GN Logo)
    12:01 = Blender GN CPU Benchmark (Monkey Head)
    12:44 = Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 (1080p60)
    13:47 = Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 (2160p60)
    14:46 = 7-Zip 1806 x64 Compression
    15:46 = 7-Zip 1806 x64 Decompression

    Hacked by Ununpentium July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Just 1 thing. Why is it so, that noone does a mutlitasking test? :-O

    Theworthsearcher July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • That cat case and kitten gpu had me cracking the F up

    Eric Owens July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • For code compiles you 100% need at lest 1gb per core, if you look at AMD advice on threadripper code compiles. gpuopen .com has all the info, its a bit old but was super useful when setting up my build box at home an dat work.

    Justin Bryant July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Talking about travelling right now, to Taiwan no less, is beyond irresponsible and borderline evil. That on top of the cringeworthy cat shit … JFC people.

    Earnest Williams July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Great video and analysis. Even though these CPUs are best suited for corporate (Cloud computing) environments, where virtualization is the key, for this they offer great value and support through PCI-E lanes, cores, core cache, thermal and power consumption and also value in terms cores vs price. Thanks GN for these benchmarks since they give a lot of insight when compared to regular home or HDT processors.

    Mario Pavlakovic July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • is it me or his voice sounds shit

    Guwahati Mountain Biking Club July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • what do you think, about the future of cpu's

    is it core count or core speed.

    TheDjoli4 July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • You need to start including cfd applications fluent in your benchmark tests, am sure the benefits will be more visible

    Farzin Irani July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Please start using the linux to compile for benchmarks. I'd suggest the kernel for short tests, llvm for long ones. Windows inefficiences are most of what you will be testing, not actual performance. Linux crushes IO compared to Windows. Most of your tests that are "memory bandwidth" limited aren't actually memory bandwidth, it's windows IO bandwidth limited.

    Aaron Bottegal July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Pretty good review for a lady.

    Welcome to the internets.

    DikoMan July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • I wonder if E-on Vue can use all of those cores. It is tiled rendering and designed to render across many computers so I think it might.

    Rick LeRoy July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • i WANT A i9 10980xe….

    harrison owen July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • jeez, how big is the CPU thermal paste industry anyway? hope it can cover your plane tickets to Taiwan.

    perf b July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Compilation tasks usually require up to 2GB RAM per _thread_. So, 64GB RAM for 64 cores worked for Chromium, but can be too low for other C++ projects. Hopefully, 128 threads is too much for those many C++ projects in the wild because they just don't have so many independent compilation units to load all those threads at the same time. If some arbitrary compilation task "don't scale from 32 to 64 core", this probably not because hardware does not scale, but because the project itself just don't have enough number of independent compilation units to feed increased number of cores.

    Victor Smirnov July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Man you still traveling????

    Philslaya July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • You don't do Server benchmarks, but the multi core CPUs all ask for virtualization, containerisations and multi-user use. That would be hard to benchmark but I think it is what all users of those chips are interested.

    Bernd Eckenfels July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Any hydraulic engineers out there? I’m very interested in how 2D HEC-RAS would scale to this many cores!

    playthebassorama July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • You should probably skip Workstation testing because the loads you have for them aren't shit. Without having demanding tasks, or figuring out how to multitask workloads, you can't even begin to show what something like a 64 core processor can do.

    And all the overclocking stuff?????????????

    I don't see many businesses buying a $4000 CPU for a system and then allowing it to be overclocked when these systems are typically having to be RELIABLE, and running for hours on end pushing heavy workloads.

    It's just so unrealistic it's not worth the bother.

    James Smith July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • 1:17 Don't go to Taiwan

    IMadeYouReadThisComment . July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • I know you guys might not see this but something to consider for rendering benchmarks is bucket/tile size. too big and you dont take enough advantage of many cores, too little and you create alot of bucket overhead, you might want to do some testing around this and find a sweet spot for your new methodology.
    Also I know blender is free but its not exactly the most robust 3D app on the market, testing in 3ds max with vray might prove to use the resources better. The stand alone benchmark is a bit outdated at this point.
    Keep up the good work guys,!

    Kenetor July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • 18:45 Said something similar to my dad, buying a i7 8800 to browse and check mails, already coming from a i7 3770, which itself was overqualified. Of course he bought it anyway…

    Akkordinator July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • 18:12 Summary

    uglyduckling81 July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • The 3990X is very power efficient as Steve pointed out in some previous video. I think.

    Arturo Tabera July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • I just got a r3 1200 because my old laptop died and I cried a little watching this video.

    Greek Dude July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • This is awesome. So technical. I assume the compiler is MSVC?

    oraz July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Wait. So compiling Chromium takes three hours, 20 minutes?

    Lars Gottlieb July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • OK OK! Sheesh! just shoosh. I am at "workloads"

    Zeluth July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • this is for rich people only

    anth pham July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • If you locked down 2 cores out of each CCX and 'shut down' the rest, could you OC and game the bejesus out of the 64core behemoth? Think of all that 'gaming' cache!

    Giovanni P. July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Would switching cores off bring it closer to 3970X in the core-capped applications?

    tokkyuuressha July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • But does it run Crysis?

    Doc Dat July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Wendel also had a good video for linux on this chip.

    Steve Fox July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Another 3990x review as i said about the Phantom x4 965 Black Edition, this CPU is similar, fake cores fake threads im waiting for intel to catch up

    Steven Charette July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • God used this CPU to create the universe.

    G July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply
  • Why is Adobe even being used in benchmark tests when it's no secret that they have specifically worked with Intel to give their CPUs a boost in performance on their platform??

    Gurvinder Parmar July 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply

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