AMD 3990X Against Prosumer CPUs

The first set of consumers that will be interested in this processor will be those looking to upgrade into the best consumer/prosumer HEDT package available on the market. The $3990 price is a high barrier to entry, but these users and individuals can likely amortize the cost of the processor over its lifetime. To that end, we’ve selected a number of standard HEDT processors that are near in terms of price/core count, as well as putting in the 8-core 5.0 GHz Core i9-9900KS and the 28-core unlocked Xeon W-3175X.

AMD 3990X Consumer Competition
AnandTech AMD
Intel i9-
SEP $3990 $1999 $2999 $979 $749 $513
Cores/T 64/128 32/64 28/56 18/36 16/32 8/16
Base Freq 2900 3700 3100 3000 3500 5000
Turbo Freq 4300 4500 4300 4800 4700 5000
PCIe 4.0 x64 4.0 x64 3.0 x48 3.0 x48 4.0 x24 3.0 x16
DDR 4x 3200 4x 3200 6x 2666 4x 2933 2x 3200 2x 2666
Max DDR 512 GB 512 GB 512 GB 256 GB 128 GB 128 GB
TDP 280 W 280 W 255 W 165 W 105 W 127 W

The 3990X is beyond anything in price at this level, and even at the highest consumer cost systems, $1000 could be the difference between getting two or three GPUs in a system. There has to be big upsides here moving from the 32 core to the 64 core.

Corona 1.3 Benchmark

Corona is a classic 'more threads means more performance' benchmark, and while the 3990X doesn't quite get perfect scaling over the 32 core, it is almost there.

Blender 2.79b bmw27_cpu Benchmark

The 3990X scores new records in our Blender test, with sizeable speed-ups against the other TR3 hardware.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.3.3, Complex Test

Photoscan is a variable threaded test, and the AMD CPUs still win here, although 24 core up to 64 core all perform within about a minute of each other in this 20 minute test. Intel's best consumer hardware is a few minutes behind.

y-Cruncher 0.7.6 Multi-Thread, 250m Digits

y-cruncher is an AVX-512 accelerated test, and so Intel's 28-core with AVX-512 wins here. Interestingly the 128 cores of the 3990X get in the way here, likely the spawn time of so many threads is adding to the overall time.

AppTimer: GIMP 2.10.4

GIMP is a single threaded test designed around opening the program, and Intel's 5.0 GHz chip is the best here. the 64 core hardware isn't that bad here, although the W10 Enterprise data has the better result.

3D Particle Movement v2.1

Without any hand tuned code, between 32 core and 64 core workloads on 3DPM, there's actually a slight deficit on 64 core.

3D Particle Movement v2.1 (with AVX)

But when we crank in the hand tuned code, the AVX-512 CPUs storm ahead by a considerable margin.

DigiCortex 1.20 (32k Neuron, 1.8B Synapse)

We covered Digicortex on the last page, but it seems that the different thread groups on W10 Pro is holidng the 3990X back a lot. With SMT disabled, we score nearer 3x here.

LuxMark v3.1 C++

Luxmark is an AVX2 accelerated program, and having more cores here helps. But we see little gain from 32C to 64C.

POV-Ray 3.7.1 Benchmark

As we saw on the last page, POV-Ray preferred having SMT off for the 3990X, otherwise there's no benefit over the 32-core CPU.

AES Encoding

AES gets a slight bump over the 32 core, however not as much as the 2x price difference would have you believe.

Handbrake 1.1.0 - 1080p60 HEVC 3500 kbps Fast

As we saw on the previous page, W10 Enterprise causes our Handbrake test to go way up, but on W10 Pro then the 3990X loses ground to the 3950X.

GTX 1080: World of Tanks enCore, Average FPS

And how about a simple game test - we know 64 cores is overkill for games, so here's a CPU bount test. There's not a lot in it between the 3990X and the 3970X, but Intel's high frequency CPUs are the best here.


There are a lot of situations where the jump from AMD's 32-core $1999 CPU, the 3970X, up to the 64-core $3990 CPU only gives the smallest tangible gain. That doesn't bode well. The benchmarks that do get the biggest gains however can get near perfect scaling, making the 3990X a fantastic upgrade. However those tests are few and far between. If these were the options, the smart money is on the 3970X, unless you can be absolutely clear that the software you run can benefit from the extra cores.

The Windows and Multithreading Problem (A Must Read) AMD 3990X Against $20k Enterprise CPUs
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  • james4591 - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    It's only useless to people who don't know how to use it.
  • SanX - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Useless is probably Ian's own test of 3D particle movement which demonstrates just one single feature of AVX instruction set. Was there any real life or synthetic tests which use AVX512 or AVX256 to get a clue what improvement it really gives? Watching pure single instruction speed improvement having 12x speed boost is pathetic has no sense. Compile with and without AVX and show us if it gets any meaningful speedup at east from something useful like Gauss elimination Ax=B solver
  • nsmeds - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    For AVX influence on Gaussian elimination take a look at HPL. It does have a huge impact as the matrix update in every reduction step fits extremely well to AVX512. See If you want to experiment there are implementations available from Intel (MKL) and AMD (BLIS, libFLAME and HPL-FLAME from github) see eg

    Several scientific workloads fit well to AVX512 usage but definitely not all. Adapting a code to effectively use AVX512 can be labour intensive though and for research purposes may make the code harder to adapt for researchers. It may be more important that researchers can implement new ideas easily than run at optimal efficiency. And only for large problem sizes the effort of putting data nicely in memory may be amortized by the the speedup from AVX512.
  • realbabilu - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    Just checking the Openblas, Intel MKL, and Blis with lapack DGETRI inverse matrix and Crout inverse of fortran polyhedron benchmark. The march=core-avx512 and march=core-avx2 help the calculation faster. From 30s to 17s in 9750H.
  • nt300 - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Another phenomenal processor from AMD.
    Catering to a market that wants such processors.
    Anybody claiming these are useless don't understand the Computer Industry.
  • AshlayW - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    Another useless comment from a tool.
  • Zak90 - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    ?timecop1818 "Another useless processor from AMD"

  • levizx - Saturday, February 8, 2020 - link

    Another waste of food water and air waste skin suit spotted
  • evernessince - Sunday, February 9, 2020 - link

    AnandTech would be better off disabling article comments if they aren't going to bother moderating blatant trolls.
  • nt300 - Sunday, February 9, 2020 - link

    Another Superior Processor from AMD.
    Bar None, AMD annihilates Intel in everything. AMDs price/performance is KING.

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