AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X Review

Heavy Impact Stress Test

So far, we haven’t actually put a good real-world test to this system. Sure we’ve ran Handbrake or a couple games, but let’s take it from the viewpoint of a potential customer: an Enthusiast Streamer. Granted, 2nd Gen Threadripper is going to fill in the gaps in pricing between the 3950X and the 3960X, but there’s a gaming penalty for that platform that Zen2 solves. Most streamers will likely go for the 3900X or 3950X, as they’re completely capable of meeting their needs. 3rd Gen Threadripper is really trying to target the professionals; the people who need to have their CPU pegged 24/7. Streamers that do content creation likely have a rendering computer on the side to process YouTube videos, or they’re like me and have to use their primary gaming/streaming/tasking computer to also do their rendering. So I devised a stress test to illustrate this sort of scenario, and provide quantifiable results.

The Test: we’re going to run OBS Studio 24.0.3, recording ourselves playing Borderlands 3 (actually, running the in-game benchmark on the same settings as before). OBS will record to the local computer at 1080p60 10Mbps CBR, in lieu of streaming due to NDA and variability of course. We’ll encode using x264 with NVENC disabled and CPU Usage Preset set to medium, Main profile, no tunes. But wait, there’s more. We’re going to eat some CPU cycles by introducing Facerig into the mix, instead of just using a standard webcam shot. Facerig does real-time facial movement rigging to a 3D animated avatar (think Animojis), translating your facial expressions and movement into the avatar. We’ll use a green-screen background and Chroma Key it out with OBS. Our Avatar “webcam” will run at 1280×720 and use a 1080p video stream from a Logitech C920 webcam to do the facial tracking. Of course, that’s STILL not enough for our test. We’ll open Task Manager so you can see the core loading and to top it off, we’re going to repeat our 4K to H.265 Handbrake benchmark from before in the background while we do this. Want to see what that stream looks like?

I ran this computer-killing stress test on our new Threadripper 3960X and again on our Ryzen 9 3900X, doing FPS capture with FRAPS for three complete benchmark runs and then pulled our average FPS from that, as well as our 1% lows.

Even though Handbrake was just at the default of “Below Normal” priority, we certainly kept OBS Studio at “Normal” priority, and these CPUs certainly felt it. The grey bars show what the FPS was during the normal benchmark, and the colored bars show how it looks now. Remarkably, our Threadripper 3960X only drops to 88fps, with lows near 60fps. The 3900X doesn’t fare near so well, dropping between 30-60fps, but still playable non-the-less. We’ll certainly have to find a HEDT Intel CPU to repeat this test on.

In This Review

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