AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X & 7970X Review: Many-Core Desktop Supremacy

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series Processors: Starting At $1,499 ($4,999 For 7980X)

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X (64-cores) and 7970X (32-cores) are the company’s most-powerful High End Desktop, many-core processors ever released.

 
hot flat

  • More Cache
  • Higher-Clocks
  • Killer Multi-Thread Performance
  • HEDT Returns!

not flat

  • Higher TDPs
  • Ultra Premium Pricing


A few weeks back, AMD revealed its Ryzen Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 series processors. PC enthusiasts, workstation users, and regular readers will no doubt be aware of Threadripper. They are AMD’s ultra-powerful, many-core processors that target the professional workstation or High End Desktop (HEDT) markets. For the last couple of years, AMD has hummed along with the Zen 3-based Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000WX-series for workstation users in its line-up, but with the Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 series, AMD leverages its Zen 4 architecture and has re-introduced an HEDT-focused selection of processors to address a broader segment of users.

If you missed our coverage from last month, we strongly suggest you check it out, along with our most recent livestream with AMD’s David McAfee.

We cover all of the low-level goodness that make the Ryzen Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 tick in our article and discussion, and feature a nearly full suite of benchmarks with the flagship 96-core / 192-thread Threadripper Pro 7995WX. Today we get to show you what the “non-Pro” Threadrippers have to offer. We got to build up our own test rig, and test a pair of processors – the top 64-core / 128-thread Threadripper 7980X as well as the next part down the stack, the 32-core / 64-thread Threadripper 7970X.

We’ve been eagerly anticipating this day, so without further delay, let’s get to it…

amd threadripper 7970x

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series Overview

If you’re interested in more architectural details and the differences between the Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 series, please refer to our AMD Threadripper Pro 7000 debut article. There is a myriad of info in that article that we won’t be re-hashing again here. We will summarize a number of pertinent high-points, but nonetheless there will be much more detail in our original coverage.

threadripper pro comparison

Physically, all of the Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 series processors look alike, and have similar dimensions and pad configurations. There are electrical differences, however, and they are not fully socket-compatible. The HEDT-focused Threadripper 7000 processors we’ll be showing you here can’t be used in Threadripper Pro 7000WX WRX90-based motherboards, which are wired for additional memory channels and PCIe lanes. Threadripper Pro 7000WX processors can be used in Threadripper 7000 TRX50-based motherboards though – you’ll just sacrifice some I/O and four memory channels.

ryzen threadripper 7000 delid
Non-Pro Threadripper 7000 Processors Feature 8 Compute Dies

These latest Threadripper Pro and Threadripper 7000 are designed for the new sTR5 socket. The TRX50 HEDT platform for Threadripper 7000X processors maxes out with 4-channel memory and a total of 92 PCIe lanes (88 usable, 48 PCIe 5). Also, both platforms will require DDR5 RDIMMs this generation, which is a departure from previous non-Pro Threadrippers that worked with common unbuffered DDR4 DIMMs.

The Threadripper Pro 7000WX topology features 12 compute dies surrounding the I/O die, each with up to 8 cores, similar to EPYC server processors, but “standard” Threadripper 7000s use a completely different package with a maximum of 8 compute dies, which limits the total core count to 64.

threadripper 7000 series line up

The HEDT-focused Threadripper 7000 series consists of three processors. The 24-core 7960X, a 32-core 7970X, and the top-end 64-core Threadripper 7980X. These processors feature 350W TDPs, higher clocks, and more cache than their predecessors.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X & 7970X Up Close

amd threadripper 7000 top
amd threadripper 7000 bottom

Although they feature a different pad configuration, and require different motherboards and sockets, the Threadripper 7000 series physically resembles all previous Threadripper processors. The processors reside in orange plastic trays, which slide into the socket assembly, and are secured with a trio of torx screws.

amd threadripper 7000 boxes

AMD was much more conservative with the packaging this time around, however. The oversized boxes and plastic display stands included with early Threadrippers are gone, in favor of much smaller, straightforward boxes, with a window showing off the processor model.

amd threadripper 7000 bundle 2

Like previous-gen Threadrippers, however, AMD includes a torque wrench for properly securing the processors into their socket and a mount for Asetek-based AIO coolers. The screw positions around the socket are the same as previous-gen processors as well, so virtually all high-performance Asetek-based coolers that were compatible with socket sTR4 should work perfectly well on sTR5—assuming they’re able to handle the increased thermal load.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7980X & 7970X CPU-Z Details

7980x cpuz 1 7980x cpuz 2

7970x cpuz 1 7970x cpuz 2

Ryzen Threadripper 7980X CPU-Z Details (Top) 7970X (Bottom)

Taking a quick glance at the Threadripper 7980X and 7970X with CPU-Z, you can see there is 64K of L1 per core (32K D-Cache + 32K I-Cache), 1MB of L2 cache per core (both 8-way set associative), and 32MB of L3 cache per compute die, for 320MB total on the top end 64-core 7980X and 160MB of the 32-core 7970X. The maximum boost clock of the 64-core 7980X is 5.1GHz, while the 32-core 7980X can go a bit higher at 5.3GHz. While under sustained multi-threaded workloads, however, neither chip will clock quite as high. Under a multi-threaded workload that whacks all cores, the Threadripper 7980X will hover around 3.5GHz, and the 7970X about 4.6GHz.