AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks: The 32-Core / 64-Thread Beast
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 13 August 2018. Page 2 of 11. 89 Comments

Fortunately, Threadripper 2 CPUs including the 2990WX retain compatibility with all existing AMD X399 motherboards. That means any existing motherboard will work with these new CPUs and there is a good selection -- and good availability at different price points -- of X399 motherboards for today's 2990WX processors shipping. With existing motherboards you will want to ensure you update the BIOS once upgrading to the new CPU for ensuring correct/optimal support of these new CPUs, but that's about it.

Most of my Threadripper 2990WX Linux testing this month has been with the ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME X399 motherboard, which AMD included as part of the Threadripper 2 hardware review bundle. This $450 USD motherboard offers three NVMe M.2 slots, Intel I211 Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11AD + 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO WiFi support, USB 3.1 Gen 2, four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and all of the other modern bells and whistles found with the high-end X399 motherboards.

As far as Linux compatibility goes, there isn't much to worry about. With the X399 chipset having been around a year and already supported well by the Linux kernel, there isn't much to worry about in terms of support for all core functionality on the motherboard assuming you are on any semi-recent Linux distribution. If you are on say Ubuntu 18.04, Fedora 28, Arch Linux, Clear Linux, or openSUSE Tumbleweed (among other distributions), you should be in good shape. About the only caveats are the integrated fan/voltage/temperature sensors not being supported by the mainline Linux kernel at this stage nor any of the customizable "AURA Sync RGB" lighting control customizations for the RGB LEDs on the motherboard... But those limitations aren't anything unique to the ROG ZENITH EXTREME or ASUS for that matter but just haven't been focuses of good support by Linux developers.

With the AMD Threadripper 2990WX, the Linux support is in good shape, as previously outlined the Threadripper 2 Linux requirements/expectations. With this being a Zen+ processor, not having to worry about any integrated graphics, and using the existing X399 chipset, the Linux support is in good shape on any 2018 Linux distribution with a recent kernel... There is just the one caveat on the CPU side as also is the case with the 2950X and that is the CPU temperature driver being incorrect right now in the mainline tree. With the current Linux kernel if reading the temperature on any of these Threadripper 2 CPUs using the k10temp driver, the reported temperature is actually 27 degrees higher than the actual core temperature. But that patch fixing the situation is on its way to mainline and will be back-ported to existing stable kernels within days/weeks. Just be aware of that 27 degree offset if you are quickly assembling your own Threadripper 2990WX system as not to worry if initially seeing a very high temperature being reported: subtract 27 Celsius on Linux.



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