AMD has recently announced their next generation of AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000-Series and AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 7000WX-Series. These CPU families are built on AMD’s “Zen 4” Architecture, which is currently seen in AMD EPYC Genoa and Ryzen 7000-Series processors. Threadripper 7000 and Threadripper PRO 7000WX both support PCI-e 5.0 and DDR5 memory and feature core counts of up to 64 and 96 cores, respectively. Alongside these CPU families, AMD is also launching two new motherboard platforms based on the TRX50 and WRX90 chipsets.
#1 A Brief Introduction of Zen 4 Architecture
I) Zen 4 is the name of AMD’s latest CPU architecture, present on the company’s Ryzen 7000 series of processors. The new microarchitecture aims to improve efficiency and performance, utilizing TSMC’s 5nm process compared with the 7nm node used on the previous Zen 3+ architecture.
II) Zen 4 powers Ryzen 7000 mainstream desktop processors (codenamed “Raphael”) and is used in high-end mobile processors (codenamed “Dragon Range”), thin & light mobile processors (codenamed “Phoenix”), as well as EPYC 9004 server processors (codenamed “Genoa” and “Bergamo”).
III) Like its predecessor, Zen 4 in its Desktop Ryzen variants features one or two Core Complex Dies (CCDs) built on TSMC’s 5 nm process and one I/O die built on 6 nm. Previously, the I/O die on Zen 3 was built on GlobalFoundries’ 14 nm process for EPYC and 12 nm process for Ryzen. Zen 4’s I/O die includes integrated RDNA 2 graphics for the first time on any Zen architecture.
IV) On desktop and server platforms, Zen 4 supports only DDR5 memory, with support for DDR4 dropped. Additionally, Zen 4 supports new AMD EXPO SPD profiles for more comprehensive memory tuning and overclocking by the RAM manufacturers. Unlike Intel XMP, AMD EXPO is marketed as an open, license and royalty-free standard for describing memory kit parameters, such as operating frequency, timings and voltages. It allows to encode a wider set of timings to achieve better performance and compatibility. However, XMP memory profiles are still supported.
#2 Role of Chipsets
A chipset is one or more specialized chips on the motherboard that facilitate communication between the CPU and other components, including graphics cards, expansion cards, storage, networking, audio, and peripherals such as USB. These chipsets are designed with specific processors or processor families in mind and are typically categorized into tiers. Lower-tier chipsets provide fewer additional PCI-e lanes and USB ports and are integrated integrated on less feature-rich motherboards than higher-tier chips. In addition to a chipset, most modern CPUs have integrated I/O. Integrated I/O primarily communicates with system memory but will also provide PCI-e lanes, USB ports, SATA ports, and audio. Thus, chipsets in modern systems serve to expand the available resources from the CPU.
Before diving into specifics, it’s crucial to understand the positioning of these chipsets. The TRX50 is part of AMD’s 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper lineup, aimed at high-end desktop users who demand exceptional multi-threaded performance for gaming, content creation, and more. On the other hand, the WRX90 is engineered for the workstation market, often paired with AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro series, offering enhanced memory support, security features, and expanded I/O capabilities.
#3 Clocking Capabilities: Pushing the Limits
One of the primary areas of interest for any chipset is its clocking capabilities, as this directly impacts the performance of the CPU.
i) TRX50 Clocking
- AMD sTR5 Socket: Supports AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 7000 Series Processors
- Power Design: 16+8+4 Phases Digital VRM Solution
- DDR5 Compatible: 4*SMD R-DIMMs with AMD Expo & Intel XMP Support
Overclocking Potential: The TRX50 platform allows for significant overclocking, enabling users to push their CPUs beyond the standard specifications. This is particularly beneficial for gamers and enthusiasts who crave extra performance.
Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO): AMD’s PBO feature works wonders on the TRX50, allowing the CPU to intelligently and safely push clock speeds higher based on the cooling and power delivery headroom.
ii) WRX90 Clocking
Stable Workstation Performance: The WRX90, while also supporting overclocking, is more tuned towards stability and sustained performance. This is critical in a workstation environment where reliability and consistency are key.
ECC Memory Support: The chipset’s support for Error-Correcting Code (ECC) memory ensures fewer data corruption issues, which is vital in professional environments dealing with large datasets and complex computations.
#4 Benchmarking Showdown: Performance Analysis
To objectively compare these chipsets, we need to look at various benchmarks that test different aspects of their performance.
I) TRX50 Performance
Gaming Benchmarks: In gaming scenarios, the TRX50 paired with Threadripper CPUs shows exceptional performance, often outperforming its rivals in high-resolution gaming.
Content Creation: In creative applications, especially those that are multi-threaded, the TRX50 shines, significantly cutting down rendering and encoding times.
II) WRX90 Performance
Professional Workloads: The WRX90 excels in professional-grade applications like 3D rendering, scientific simulations, and data analysis. The support for more memory and PCIe lanes plays a crucial role here.
Multi-Tasking and Productivity: Benchmarks indicate that the WRX90 handles multi-tasking with more efficiency, a result of its optimized pathways and memory support for heavy-duty workloads.
#5 Memory and I/O Capabilities
The difference in target audiences for these chipsets is also evident in their memory and I/O capabilities.
I) TRX50 Features
Quad-Channel Memory Support: The TRX50 supports quad-channel DDR4 memory, allowing for high memory bandwidth, which is great for gaming and general performance.
Generous PCIe Lanes: It offers a substantial number of PCIe lanes, ensuring that users can connect multiple GPUs, NVMe SSDs, and other peripherals without bandwidth bottlenecks.
II) WRX90 Advantages
Eight-Channel Memory Support: The WRX90 steps it up with eight-channel memory support, which is a boon for memory-intensive applications typical in workstation environments.
More PCIe Lanes: It provides even more PCIe lanes than the TRX50, catering to the needs of professionals who require numerous high-speed storage options and specialized expansion cards.
#6 Power Consumption and Thermal Performance
Power efficiency and thermal management are critical, especially when these chipsets house some of the most powerful CPUs in the market.
I) TRX50 Power and Thermals
The TRX50, given its high-performance nature, can draw significant power, especially when overclocked. This necessitates robust cooling solutions to maintain optimal performance.
II) WRX90 Efficiency
In contrast, the WRX90, while also power-hungry, is often tuned for efficiency in sustained workloads. Workstation builds usually include advanced cooling solutions to handle prolonged high-load scenarios.
When comparing TRX50 vs WRX90, the former represents a more stripped-down version of the latter, with fewer memory channels and high-speed PCI-e 5.0 lanes (and, indeed, PCI-e lanes overall). With half the available memory channels of WRX90, TRX50 also has half the total memory capacity and bandwidth.
#7 User Benchmarks
In terms of clocking and benchmarks, the WRX90 platform offers a significant boost over the TRX50 platform. The WRX90 motherboard features 8-channel memory, which provides a huge boost over the 4-channel TRX50 solution in Life Sciences tests. In SPEC Workstation 3.1, it offered up to a 24% uplift over the 7980X despite both being the same chips which shows benefits coming from the 8-channel memory .
#8 Which One To Choose?
When choosing between TRX50 and WRX90, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget. The TRX50 platform is a more stripped-down version of the WRX90 platform, with fewer memory channels and high-speed PCI-e 5.0 lanes. With half the available memory channels of WRX90, TRX50 also has half the total memory capacity and bandwidth.
In terms of clocking and benchmarks, the WRX90 platform offers a significant boost over the TRX50 platform. The WRX90 motherboard features 8-channel memory, which provides a huge boost over the 4-channel TRX50 solution in Life Sciences tests. In SPEC Workstation 3.1, it offered up to a 24% uplift over the 7980X despite both being the same chips which shows benefits coming from the 8-channel memory.
When it comes to gaming, both TRX50 and WRX90 for gaming are capable of delivering high performance. However, the WRX90 platform offers a significant boost over the TRX50 platform in terms of clocking and benchmarks. The WRX90 motherboard features 8-channel memory, which provides a huge boost over the 4-channel TRX50 solution in Life Sciences tests. In SPEC Workstation 3.1, it offered up to a 24% uplift over the 7980X despite both being the same chips which shows benefits coming from the 8-channel memory.
That being said, it is important to note that gaming performance is not solely dependent on the CPU and motherboard. Other factors such as the graphics card, storage, and cooling solution also play a significant role in determining gaming performance. Therefore, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing between the two platforms.
The WRX90 offers a significant boost over the TRX50 in terms of clocking and benchmarks. The WRX90 motherboard features 8-channel memory, which provides a huge boost over the 4-channel TRX50 solution in Life Sciences tests. However, the TRX50 platform is a more stripped-down version of the WRX90 platform, with fewer memory channels and high-speed PCI-e 5.0 lanes. It is important to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing between the two platforms.
Last update on 2021-02-07. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.