AMD Threadripper 2990WX Linux Benchmarks: The 32-Core / 64-Thread Beast
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 13 August 2018. Page 3 of 11. 89 Comments

For keeping the Threadripper 2990WX cool, I've been testing a variety of different coolers -- among them are the new Cooler Master Threadripper heatsink and Enermax water cooling solutions, which were included with these review samples. With testing five Threadripper/EPYC heatsinks and two water cooling solutions, in a separate article I have included all the thermal results for the Threadripper 2990WX. Long story short, several air and water options available for sufficiently cooling the Threadripper 2990WX -- at least at stock speeds.

With only having to keep in mind the Tctl offset as the lone Linux compatibility woe, it was quickly off to the benchmarking races when assembling this 64-thread single-socket workstation. The Threadripper 2990WX and ASUS ROG ZENITH EXTREME X399 has been working out great under the distributions tried so far and a Linux distribution benchmark comparison will be coming up with this hardware over the next few days. Most of my testing in preparation for launch-day was with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x86_64 while upgrading to the Linux 4.19 kernel.

For the launch-day testing of the Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, all of the Intel/AMD CPUs tested for this comparison were benchmarked on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the following modifications to the software stack for looking at the peak performance potential of each of the processors being tested:

- The latest near-final Linux 4.18 Git kernel as noted. This isn't anything close to a hard requirement, but as is the case with newer hardware, the newer kernels tend to work out better particularly if planning to utilize the open-source Radeon graphics with AMDGPU kernel driver.

- GCC 8.2.0 was used as the code compiler for all of the benchmarks in this CPU testing. GCC8 contains various Zen (znver1) scheduling optimizations and other enhancements over GCC7 that is shipped by default in Ubuntu 18.04. There isn't anything specific to these newer processors but just the overall Zen tuning enhancements.

- Besides using GCC 8.2, the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS on each of the systems were set to "-O3 -march=native" and all of the tests rebuilt under each CPU under test for ensuring the benchmarks are optimized for each processor's microarchitecture.

- All of the systems had their latest available BIOS/firmware for ensuring the latest CPU microcode as part of Spectre mitigation, plus the Retpolines, KPTI, and other Spectre mitigation work available in the Linux 4.18 kernel.

- The "performance" governor for the P-State/CPUFreq CPU frequency scaling drivers was set on each of the processors during testing rather than the default powersave/ondemand governors on Ubuntu.

For benchmarking each of the systems had 32GB of memory (in each platform's respective maximum number of supported memory channels, DDR4-3200 frequency) and a 280GB Intel Optane 900P NVMe SSD with the above-listed Ubuntu 18.04 operating system setup. No graphics/gaming tests are being done for this article but is being reserved for its own Linux gaming article, among several other articles coming up, plus the 2990WX largely catering to workstation users.

All of these benchmarks were carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite open-source benchmarking software. The processors featured in this benchmarking comparison include on the Intel side the Core i7 5960X, Core i7 8700K, Core i9 7900X, Core i9 7960X, and Core i9 7980XE. On the AMD side are the Ryzen 7 2700X, Threadripper 1950X, Threadripper 2950X, and Threadripper 2990WX based upon the high-end CPUs I had available for testing.

Thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite being open-source and geared for reproducible and fully-automated benchmarking, it's very easy to see how your own Linux system(s) compare to the benchmarks about to be shown for this set of processors. With the Phoronix Test Suite installed, simply run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1808115-RA-THREADRIP08 for your own fully-automated, side-by-side benchmarking comparison against the results in this article.

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