AMD Ryzen Threadripper: Back to my Roots

Posted on October 26, 2017 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 40 Comments

Back in the late 90s, I built my first PC. The chip that I bought after cutting grass and doing various chores around the neighborhood was an AMD K6-2 450mhz processor.

That chip and subsequent PC (splurged for 128 MB of RAM and I think a 16 GB HDD) was the start of my PC journey and developed my love for writing. The first thing I ever ‘reviewed’ was Monster Truck Madness 2 on a Geocities page that I built which I suspect has now likely been deleted.

But it was AMD that was my first love in this space and when the company announced Ryzen and Threadripper, I know that it was only a matter of time before I left Intel behind to go back to my PC roots. While there isn’t anything wrong with Intel, AMD had fallen behind with their last generation chips which meant that it was Intel or nothing.

Fortunately, the tides are turning and AMD sent over a rig (it is a beast) to run through my workflow which has become quite demanding. Before we dive into that, here are the specs:

  • AMD Threadripper 1920x with 12 cores
  • NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti
  • 64GB of RAM
  • Gigabyte x399 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard
  • 512 GB Samsung 960 Pro M.2 SSD
  • 4TB HDD
  • Enough LEDs to be visible from the moon

While the verdict is still out if red LEDs makes it go faster and if blue makes it run at lower temps, the entire rig looks excellent. The machine was built by iBuyPower and while not the cleanest job I have ever seen for wiring, everything booted as expected out of the box; it’s a solid build by the company.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to hammer on this machine much like I do with my other rigs to see how AMD’s new chips perform compared to my last generation Intel hardware.

I hit on these machines hard, regularly encoding 1080P/4K video, streaming content weekly on Mixr/YouTube, and letting XSplit eat up all my resources on a frequent basis while podcasting.

It’s during game streaming that my last rig would struggle as casting a game at high resolution, streaming using Mixr, and of course, running the game would cripple the machine unless I lowered some of the output settings. It was always a delicate balance of resolution and thermal management and while AMD is known to run hot, this machine is water-cooled.

If you have anything reasonable you want me to throw at this hardware, certainly let me know.

As these are new chips with a high number of cores, I honestly expect that they may get faster over time. With AMD optimizing the chipsets and Windows becoming better at multi-core operations, testing this machine over the long haul should make for an interesting case study.



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