Simulated AMD Threadripper 2990X 32-Core Benchmarks Using An Overclocked EPYC 7601

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Jul 16, 2018

Something pretty interesting has popped up at der8auer’s Youtube channel (linked below) and gives us a first look at what to expect from AMD’s upcoming 32-core HEDT processor: the Threadripper 2990X. The overclocker used an EPYC 7601 overclocked to 3.4 GHz (which is the expected base clock speed of the Threadripper 2990X) with 4 DIMMs to simulate the upcoming CPU.

EPYC 7601 overclocked to 3.4 GHz base clock to simulate AMD Threadripper 2990X benchmarks

Let’s start with the basic test bench. Der8auer was using the standard EPYC server setup along with some quirky modifications. The PSU was upgraded to a high quality Seasonic platinum variant and the cooling solution in question was a water chiller (ahem ahem) that should be able to tackle just about any level of TDP. The server motherboards are equipped with 8-channel DIMM slots and Crucial supplied him with 2400 MHz memory (dual rank).

The major bottleneck in the overclocking equation here is the power circuitry of the motherboard, which was not designed to handle any kind of overclocking and will have overcurrent and power limitations built in. The motherboard had a 6-phase design which while not exactly ideal for an OC solution wasn’t too bad either. To start off with, he equipped the motherboard only with 4 DIMMs to simulate the Threadripper 2 platform (EPYC has octa channel ram, Threadripper only supports quad) and fired up the first Cinebench:

Simulated Threadripper 2990X benchmark with quad-channel ram @3.4GHz.

Unfortunately, the memory bottleneck of the server-grade RAM and the fact that the platform is designed for octa channel RAM is very clear here and showed up in a somewhat lacking score of 3867 points. This is less than what the real Threadripper 2990X should score considering the memory optimizations that will go into the platform – not to mention gaming grade RAM that is clocked much higher with tighter latency.

Simulated Threadripper 2990X benchmark with octa-channel ram @3.4 GHz.

Plugging in all 8 DIMMs into the motherboard yields a much more appetizing and HEDT-esque result. The simulated Threadripper 2990X scores 5224 points in Cinebench which is a great score for a 32-core considering how whimsical core scaling is in these things. Since this benchmark is very memory dependent, it remains to be seen whether the real Threadripper 2990x, which does not have access to 8 channels of memory, can match this score by using higher speed RAM at the same clocks.

Simulated Threadripper 2990X benchmark with octa-channel ram @3.8 GHz.

Der8auer also ran some overclocked benchmarks at 3.8GHz, showcasing the score scaling that AMD’s MCM constructs can pull off and arrived at an excellent score of 5863 points. Just a 100 or so points shy of topping the 6000 point mark. Considering he was running into power issues around this time,  it is clear that had he managed to touch the 4.0 GHz mark, 6000 points was definitely on the table. This also lends credence to the leak we saw earlier on.

TimeSpy is one of the few synthetics which can utilize 32 threads (that is still only half the available bandwidth of the Threadripper 2990X) and scored 7237 in the extreme preset. This is something that will drastically improve once the benchmark is upgraded to support all 64 threads.

Of course there are a few caveats with this method, the most obvious being the memory structure differences. While higher speed RAM can compensate to some extent for half the channel, it cannot do so entirely. That said, we also expect the Threadripper 2990x to achieve slightly higher OC speeds due to far better and more robust motherboard quality. All in all, I expect a decently clocked Threadripper 2990X to score somewhere around 5500-6000 points with high speed RAM populating all channels. This is still a pretty extreme score and should offer high value for professionals on a budget – especially in the rendering and video industry.

Oh and you can take a lookie at the complete overclocking and testing run over here: