AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Review

High-end server processor released in 2020 with 64 cores and 128 threads. With base clock at 2.9GHz, max speed at 4.3GHz, and a 280W power rating. Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is based on the Castle Peak 7nm family and part of the Ryzen Threadripper series.
Price 63.4%
Speed 84%
Productivity 159%
Gaming 91%
Category Server
Target high-end
Socket Compatibility sTRX4
Integrated Graphics
Cooler Included No
Overclock Potential 2 %
Year 2020 Model
Price 3990 USD
Number of Cores 64 Cores
Number of Threads 128 Threads
Core Frequency 2.9 GHz
Boost Frequency 4.3 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.4 GHz
Power Consumption 280 W
Manufacturing Process 7 nm
L3 Cache 256 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 2048 GB
Price-Value Score 63.4 %
Speed Score 84 %
Productivity Score 159 %
Gaming Score 91 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 22.7 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 11.3 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 5.7 %
Overall Score 51/100

The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is one of AMD's high-end Server processors. It was released in 2020 with 64 cores and 128 threads. With base clock at 2.9GHz, max speed at 4.3GHz, and a 280W power rating. The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is based on the Castle Peak 7nm family and is part of the Ryzen Threadripper series.

Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is also the successor of AMD's last gen Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX processor that was based on the Zen+ and 12nm process and was released in 2018.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation, and the Zen 2 architecture itself, is notable because it leads 7nm processors to the mainstream for the first time. But, there’s a lot more going on under the hood than just a smaller manufacturing node.

Increased IPC improvements, along with the massive turbo boost of 4.3GHz mean that even in single core performance – long a weak link of AMD’s processors – comes within reaching distance of rival chips.

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is an absolute behemoth of a processor, as it absolutely should be with its 64 cores, 128 threads and high price tag. If you’re looking for the absolute best processor money can buy on a mainstream processor, then look no further. Whether you’re playing PC games or even doing hardcore video and 3D work, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X can handle them with ease.

Over the last couple years, AMD has been reaching for dominance in the desktop CPU world, and with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, it's finally there.

Value seekers who aren't afraid to press the Precision Boost Overdrive button and have sufficient cooling should look to the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X for roughly equivalent performance to the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, particularly if gaming factors heavily into the buying decision. That could save you money, reinforcing our decision to give the Ryzen Threadripper 3970X an Editor's Choice award.

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, like the rest of AMD's Castle Peak processors, is built on a 7nm manufacturing node – the smallest in a commercially available CPU. What this means for most people is lower power consumption and much improved performance at the same time.

This decision to 7nm has brought a beefy 15% boost to IPC (instructions per clock) performance. Effectively, compared to a Ryzen Threadripper 2-Generation processor at the same clock speed, you will get a straight 15% increase in performance. That’s not big enough to be evident in day-to-day workloads, but it does still mean something.

What this all means is that the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X.

Bear in mind, however, that if you already have something like the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, this generation doesn't offer the biggest boost in performance. You might want to wait another year or so before dropping a few hundred bucks, or even opt to splurge on a higher-end but pricier chip.

Now the biggest question is can AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 91% in our benchmarks.

Regardless of those external factors, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X proves it has the chops to be your main gaming system and a just as effective media creation platform – two things that are becoming intrinsically connected in this age of live-streaming, eSports and uploading gameplay videos.

The Ryzen Threadripper 3990X clocks up to 4.3Ghz just as it promises on the box, and with AMD’s software you can take one of the cores all the way up to 4.4GHz. However, don’t expect to get much beyond that without seriously upgrading your cooling solution and manually tweaking voltages behind the operating system level.

That said, to squeeze out all the potential of this surprisingly potent high-end chip, you’ll want (and need) to splurge on an enthusiast-grade TRX40 motherboard.