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Kevin Walsh

Ryzen 3950X - The Heart of Your Next DAW Box?

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Keep in mind that the $500 i9-9900k (socket 1151) also beats the i9-9980xe (socket 2066) in single-core performance.

The i9-9900k can be run with all 8-cores locked at 5GHz (highest boost frequency).

At that point, the 9900k is an extremely formidable DAW CPU.

 

CPUs with higher numbers of cores (16+) typically can't run all cores locked at the highest boost frequency (AMD and Intel).

The base clock-speed of the 3950x is 3.5GHz.

the base clock-speed of the 9900k is 3.6GHz.

The base clock-speed of the 9980xe is 3GHz.

 

If the 3950x can't run more than one core at 4.7GHz, we'll pretty much see similar DAW performance (scaled up a bit) to that of the original Ryzen.

IOW, It'll be particularly good for heavily multi-threaded applications (video rendering)... but won't best the 9900k for most DAW applications.

Not all processes in a DAW can be multi-threaded.  This is why highest clock-speed is still the single most important factor.

Things like playing/monitoring in realtime thru an AmpSim plugin using a 32-sample ASIO buffer size (extremely low round-trip latency) don't lend themselves to being heavily multi-threaded.

 

It's great to see some real competition from AMD.

We'll certainly test the 3950x. 

If all 16 cores can run rock-solid stable at 4.7GHz (and do so quietly), AMD has a contender.

If it's essentially one or two cores at 4.7GHz... then it's much less exciting (for DAW purposes).

 

If you're running a Thunderbolt audio interface, Thunderbolt-3 is new for X590 motherboards.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Yeah but 16 cores, c'mon man! 😎

Cant wait to hear what you find with the 3950 in your tests. The heat generated by the AMD part looks to be quite a lot less, food for thought there. And I see little in the way of talk about TB3 with these x570 boards. I hate to think I would have to wait (and pay!) for x590.

My boxes are used for for work as well as DAW so the additional cores are welcome, especially at that price point! Besides, I'm pretty confident that the 3950 single thread performance can beat what Im getting  now with my i7/960 X58 build. At least I hope so!

Edited by Kevin Walsh

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To elaborate a bit more...

 

CPU core performance gain doesn't scale 1:1.

IOW, Doubling the number of CPU cores doesn't double performance.

Having more cores is certainly beneficial... but not at the expense of significant clock-speed.

This is why Xeon CPUs are typically a significant performance hit (due to their significantly slower clock-speed).

 

If the 3950x can run all 16 cores at max boost speed, that's when it gets exciting.

 

At $500, Intel has a great performer in the i9-9900k.

Since its release, I don't recommend socket 2066 i9... unless you're going for the 9940x or better.

The exception would be hard-core composers who specifically need 128GB RAM.

 

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29 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

If the 3950x can run all 16 cores at max boost speed, that's when it gets exciting.

Provided the software you're using can even USE those extra cores, ya?  I've heard that most things out there will still overtax one core (say 80%), then off load to one or three more reliably (and at lower percentages).  The others tend to just sit around...  Hopefully that's changed (or is changing).

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Of course it depends on the software (and scenario)... but we've got numerous professional composer clients running the i9-9980xe... and those 18 cores are getting used.  😉  These users are running massive scoring templates... which can be significantly more demanding than more traditional recording/mixing scenarios.

The perfect scenario is to have highest clock-speed , maximum number of cores available, and Hyper-Threading (Simultaneous Multi-Threading in AMD speak).

BTW, Nice guitar in the avatar!

 

 

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Lets hope AMD does bring a killer chip to the table next month. Competition is good. Intel has been milking it(us)  for quite a few years IMHO.

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Competition between AMD/Intel is good for all involved.

It'll drive performance up... and costs lower.

I want to see 5GHz clock-speed across all 16+ cores... and (with proper cooling) I'd like it to run near dead-silent.  😁

 

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2 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

I want to see 5GHz clock-speed across all 16+ cores... and (with proper cooling) I'd like it to run near dead-silent.

I'm thinking it might be able to do 4.6GHz clock speed on all 16 cores. The 12 core might be the nice sweet spot CPU from AMD next month. Lets hope it can delivery low latency for DAW work :)

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I wasn't referring specifically to the 3950x... (just meant in general that's what I'd like to see from either company)  😉

 

Unless there's been a radical change, there's no way the 3950x will do 5GHz across all 16 cores.  Thus far, Ryzen has had limited over-clocking ability.

I doubt the 3950x will do full boost clock speed (4.7GHz) across all 16 cores.  If it can... then we've got some serious competition.

If the 3950x averages ~4GHz for each core, (to me) that's not overly exciting. 

I want to see the performance envelope pushed.  🤪

 

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So do I 😎

I just want some competition in the CPU space for Audio applications. I think what AMD did with Ryzen chips two years ago was great. I even made a desktop office machine with a 1700x cpu. Great bang for the buck, but not great at low latency audio work.    Plus I think Intel like Nvidia have gotten too cocky . Competition is good!

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Throughout the years Intel has always had more overclock room than AMD.  Basically, ALL Intel chips are meant to be for the best/fastest group, however, they test each using a very large tolerance and sell the ones that just don't nail all the benchmarks as lower grade chips.  AMD was never as good as Intel so they would sell their chips with very little tolerance over what they're spec'ed at.  This is why you can often get lucky and buy an Intel chip that will overclock quite a bit, but you can hardly overclock AMD chips at all.

That said, I'm with Jim on having either just provide rock-solid 5GHz across all cores so I don't have to toy with overclocking at all! 🤩

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