Gaming Performance

Right so AMD has stressed, heavily stressed that the 2990WX isn't a gaming CPU, well yeah no kidding. Games are struggling to utilize the 8-core 2700X, they aren't going to benefit from 32-cores and they certainly aren't going to like the design of the 2990WX. Even so the 2990WX isn't terrible in Ashes of the Singularity and while slower than the 2700X, the performance is perfectly fine.

The 2950X takes a small step from the 1950X, tacking on a few more frames and overall delivered a great gaming experience in this title. Also remember we are using a GTX 1080 Ti at 1080p and the high quality preset is two steps down from the max. Had we used the extreme or crazy presets at least the top half of the graph would be heavily GPU bound.

Okay so these results look a lot more brutal for the 2990WX, though I should note that gameplay was still smooth, no stuttering and frame rates remained well over 60 fps. Still the 32-core model was well down on the new 16-core 2950X which averaged an impressive 153 fps.

Moving on we find a similar story when testing with F1 2017, the 2990WX looks like a low-end Pentium processor but at least it was smooth and playable. The 2950X matched the 2700X and that meant it wasn't a great deal slower than the most expensive Skylake-X CPUs.

The Threadripper CPUs play well in Assassin's Creed Origins, taking out the top 3 spots. Granted at most they were just a few frames faster than the Skylake-X parts, but that's still a great result. As expected the 2990WX tanks and here it was noticeably slower than the power processors tested.

Before we move on from gaming here is a quick look at half legacy mode for the 2990WX. This is a feature in the Ryzen Master software, essentially it's a downcore function that disables half of the dies in the 2990WX, so two of the dies, 16 of the cores. There is also a quarter mode as well that basically turn the 2990WX in a 2700X.

These legacy modes are for software that doesn't work well with all cores active, software like games for example. As you can see in the half legacy model the 2990WX sees a 10% boost in performance when testing with Ashes of the Singularity.

Then when testing with F1 2017 we see a massive 135% increase in frame rate and now the 2990WX acts exactly like the 2950X. So the gaming performance can be fixed but turning the 2990WX into a 2950X, but that's hardly a practical solution. I should make it very clear that in order to enable the legacy mode you need to execute a full system reset. So it's only something you'd use out of absolute desperation and it would only be a very temporary thing as I assume anyone buying a 32-core processor wants 32-cores and not 16 or 8.