AMD Threadripper Pro 3995WX vs 3990X vs Ryzen 9 5950X vs i9-10900K: Fascinating Unreal Engine comparison leaves TR Pro with +6% CPU score for +37% cost over non-Pro TR
Puget Systems, a custom workstation computer builder based in Washington, United States, has put together a fascinating, and very expensive, Unreal Engine-based comparison test. The firm included most of the best workstation powerhouses AMD currently offers, which are the Zen 2-based Threadripper (TR) and Threadripper Pro (TR Pro) ranges. In addition, the mighty 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 5950X was thrown into the mix, and Puget also decided to enlist the Intel Core i9-10980XE and i9-10900K processors. The addition of these latter more mainstream chips was simply for the sake of comparison – no-one would expect a 10-core Comet Lake part to outscore a 64-core Zen 2 TR Pro in an Unreal Engine (4.25) test.
The test system specifications and test results can be seen below, with Puget declaring it tried to balance the systems fairly. A powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB graphics card was on hand to help all of the processors deal with the Unreal Engine compiling and packaging benchmarks. The AMD TR Pro parts, and especially the top-end Ryzen Threadripper 3995WX, did have a distinct advantage though, which will be discussed later. In the overall CPU score awarded by the company in its Unreal Engine performance analysis, the Intel Core i9-10900K scored a handy baseline mark of 1,000 points. The Zen 3 part was much faster at compiling source code than the Comet Lake chip (889 seconds vs. 1,327 seconds), and the Ryzen 9 5950X came away with a total score of 1,492 points.
The AMD Threadripper Pro 3955WX, with its 16 cores and “bargain” price of US$1,149, was unsurprisingly the worst-performing out of the six TR SKUs tested, lying behind the 24-core TR part and 32-core TR and TR Pro chips. The most-interesting “battle” was at the top between the US$3,990 TR 3990X and the US$5,489 TR Pro 3995WX. Both of these 64-core monsters scored over 2,500 points, with the 3995WX edging out the 3990X by 2,679 points to 2,524 points in the overall performance score. But this is just a +6.14% advantage for a +37.57% cost. In addition, the regular Ryzen Threadripper 3000 processors have higher boost clocks than their counterparts, and they have higher base clocks in regard to the 3970X vs. 3975WX and 3990X vs. 3995WX.
The intrinsic value of the Threadripper Pro 3995WX, and the other TR Pro SKUs, goes way beyond core count and clock rate. The TR Pro chips have double the memory bandwidth support than the regular TR parts (octa-channel vs. quad-channel), so the Ryzen TR Pro CPUs in this comparison get to use more RAM and can distribute data quicker. Additionally, the TR Pro chips can utilize 128x PCIe 4 lanes (64x for non-TR Pro) to further cement their positions as workstation processor champions. It is an interesting comparison Puget has carried out, and considering their much lower price tags, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (US$799) and Intel Core i9-10900K (US$488) actually performed more than admirably in the challenging Unreal Engine benchmark battery.