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AMD Threadripper 1950X review (arstechnica.com)
69 points by jjuhl 103 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments



More cores and NVMe ... now this should be a computing upgrade for me. I'm currently on an i5-3570K custom build from 2013. ECC is on my to get list as well. I'll miss the onboard video, however. But not a biggie.

I would really like to be able to test one of these things before buying. I want to know how much faster my workloads will be when doing the following:

* C++ compiles times in VS2015

* Sony Vegas render to an AVI file using Lagarith

* Handbrake render AVI to MP4

* Output Canon Raw files using Canon DPP

* Resize JPG files using FastStone Photo Resizer

* Search NVMe drives using FileSearchEX

* Running VMWare Workstation guests and their applications (Exchange Server, OS installs, etc.)


I would really want to see a comparison with the previous generation Xeons, which do drop in price much faster than the consumer CPUs. I feel like higher-core ones will beat 1950X at tasks that multithread well.

Examples:

18-core Xeon E5-2686 v4 = $450 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/172668300615)

18-core Xeon E5 2695 V4 ES = $610 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/272620269793)

20-core Xeon E5-2698 v4 ES = $745 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/282579817803)

22-core Xeon E5 2699 V4 ES = $920 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/201883329486)

24-core Xeon E7-8890 v4 ES = $999 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/352113502495)


In my experience the motherboards are a downside when considering a Xeon system - narrow range, expensive, often missing latest features, sub-optimal in an everyday desktop machine. OTOH there are dual socket options which threadripper doesn't have.

There was an article on building a dual Xeon box using cheap second hand chips recently and I was seriously considering it until I saw the range and cost of dual socket boards.


I read this article https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12249317 and had the same idea last year when I went to build a computer for the boy. It wasn't just that the price of the motherboard was a killer, navigating the subtle differences between similar server sockets and chips is hard. And used motherboards are not cheap and often proprietary. Then there's the fact that for a dual socket motherboard, a single chip is a bit economically inefficient...so a pair of chips starts to make sense. And then a bigger power supply. And still not good support for powerful graphics cards because...well, you know...it's a server motherboard.

In the end, I got a bought the boy a used Dell Precision T7500 for less than I would have paid for an equivalent case and power supply. Sure only six Xeon cores and 12 threads. But a system with RAM, a windows license, a small hard disk and 12GB of RAM was half the price of the cheapest Threadripper...including shipping.


But again that will lack the latest features that you will be getting with a Threadripper system, but I guess that might not matter to you. Bargains to be had I agree.


With similar budgets, half a dozen used Precision hexacore Xeon boxes is within the realm of possibility. That's more cores and threads and memory bandwidth to throw at workloads that significantly benefit from multi-threading. Of course the premise is that most of the benefits from multi-threading come from software rather than hardware.

From a systems perspective, there is a more robust pipeline of replacement parts for the used boxes relative to the latest retail Threadripper motherboards. More boxes means it is possible to stay up with a hardware failure (which is to say that scaling out instead of scaling up means a partial hardware failures versus total hardware failures).

There's no free lunch of course. All those 1100w power supplies are going to equate to higher operating costs. And if first cost is no object then four or five Threadripper boxes will outperform the older hardware. Likewise if having the latest and greatest is part of the problem being solved.

YMMV.


The first 18 core Xeon is a defective CPU. I recently purchased a 12 Core Xeon E5 2670. It's pretty fast in Handbrake.


Most of those are engineering samples, no? Meaning they have no warranty. Aside from that they may suffer from various issues as these are basically test chips. I don't know if I would trust using them for anything important


Your price links are all 'used', 'damaged', or 'refurbished'. Hardly a good comparison for brand new CPUs?

I'm sure a used Threadripper is cheaper than new as well...


I'd be ineterested in seeing how they run the chromium build. It completes in just over an hour on my Ryzen 1700.


http://www.anandtech.com/show/11697/the-amd-ryzen-threadripp...

23.11 compiles per day vs 15.6 for the 1700. 50% faster.


Ah, it's on windows. That matches my experience that windows builds take about 50% longer than linux builds.


Does Ryzen have something similar to Intel's Processor Trace functionality? It's pretty much the only thing keeping me tied to Intel at this point.




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