AMD‘s latest Ryzen Threadripper PRO processors are now available for the DIY market. Lenovo was the first OEM, as far as I know, to have a prebuilt workstation (ThinkStation P620) powered with the latest Threadripper PRO. Finally, it’s available for those who are planning to build their workstation desktop PC. The question is, is the Threadripper PRO worth it? Should you consider getting the Threadripper PRO 3995WX or the Threadripper 3990X? In this article, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the new Threadripper PRO. And why you should choose the PRO over the non-PRO, or vice-versa.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000WX vs Threadripper 3000X: To PRO or not to PRO?
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper (PRO) processors are the company’s top-of-the-line / state-of-the-art CPUs, designed for high-end desktop applications and workstations. These aren’t your typical mainstream CPUs or “gaming CPUs”. They are designed for heavy computational tasks and workloads. Some examples are video editing, 3D / cinema rendering, (scientific) simulation, or any heavy workloads that involve heavy computations. Tasks that a mere 8-core or 16-core mainstream CPU (with limited memory support) could not handle.
For comparison purposes, I’ll just focus on the difference between the Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX vs Threadripper 3990X. Both CPUs are the flagship of their family or series. They also have a similar number of cores and threads, as well as other configurations. The Threadripper PRO 3975WX and 3970X are also quite similar; both having 32 cores and 64 threads. The rest of the family are simply no longer identical in core and thread count, as you can see from the specs comparison table below.
|Boost Clock (up to)||4.2GHz||4.3GHz||4.2GHz||4.5GHz||4.5GHz||4.3GHz||4.3GHz|
|CMOS||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET|
|PCIe Ver.||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0|
|ECC Memory Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Where to Buy||Newegg here|
Ryzen Threadripper vs Threadripper PRO – The Difference
There are several key differences between the Ryzen Threadripper PRO and Threadripper CPUs. And these differences also serve as the major deciding factor why you should opt for PRO or non-Pro. Let’s start with the biggest difference, and that’s the price.
There is a big difference in price between the 3995WX vs 3990X. The TR PRO 3995WX has an MSRP of $5,490; while the TR 3990X retails for $3,990. The price difference between the 3975WX and 3970X is not as big compared to the flagship CPUs. The 3975WX retails for $2,750, while the 3970X retails for $1,999.
Another big difference is the amount of memory support. The Ryzen Threadripper PRO can support up to 2TB of memory. That’s an 8-channel DDR4-3200MHz, with ECC support. Meanwhile, the Threadripper CPUs can support only up to 256GB quad-channel DDR4-3200 memory. There’s a big difference in memory capacity.
In addition to the difference in memory capacity, the Ryzen Threadripper PRO has support for 128 PCIe lanes. Meanwhile, the non-Pro Threadripper only has 88 PCIe lanes available. The Threadripper PRO has a significant advantage when it comes to memory and PCIe lanes.
There are some minor differences, like the Threadripper PRO CPUs are locked; meaning you can’t overclock them. Meanwhile, Threadripper CPUs are overclockable. Also, Threadripper CPUs have slightly higher clock speeds than their TR PRO counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean that the non-PRO CPUs perform faster than the TR PROs.
Also, the TR PRO CPUs would need a different motherboard since it’s based on an sWRX8 package. The non-Pro Threadripper CPUs are based on an sTRX4 socket, which users have a variety of motherboard selections. So, for Threadripper PRO CPUs, you will need a motherboard with an sWRX80 socket, like the ASUS Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI.
Threadripper PRO Performs Better?
Yes, despite having slightly lower clock speeds, around 100MHz to 200MHz slower; based on reviews, the Threadripper PRO is a (tiny) bit faster than its non-PRO counterpart. For example, the performance difference between the Threadripper PRO 3995WX vs 3990X (non-PRO) is just around 3-4% (give or take). The difference may be a bit higher or lower, depending on the application. But generally speaking, that’s about it.
So, technically speaking, the Threadripper PRO performs better. Although the difference is very small. However, for applications that require the user to have a substantial amount of memory, eg. 1TB or 2TB; that’s where the TR PRO comes in. The 256GB memory limit of the Threadripper CPU just won’t cut it for some scenarios.
Some AMD vs Intel Performance Comparison
Reasons to buy the Ryzen Threadripper PRO CPU (3995WX)
So, TL;DR; if you (absolutely) need the memory capacity and PCIe lanes that the Ryzen Threadripper PRO has to offer, then go for Threadripper PRO. 2TB of memory and 128 PCIe lanes is a lot. But it may be not that much, just enough, for applications that would require such features.
Reasons to buy the Ryzen Threadripper CPU (3990)
If your workload doesn’t require that (insane) amount of memory, then save some a few bucks, around $1,500 to be exact, and get the Ryzen Threadripper (3990X) CPU instead.
This would be enough for projects with “not-so-heavy” video editing, rendering, and 3D modeling. As long as you don’t need more than 256GB of memory or 88 PCIe lanes, a Threadripper CPU would do just fine.