Threadripper vs Epyc – what’s the difference? Although it seemed that only a few years ago AMD was pushed into a cheap basket, they now have two great options for users of high-demand workstations, HEDTs and HPCs. What is the best choice for these users?
Ryzen Threadripper Pros
With a total of 64 processor cores, Threadripper is primarily positioned as a workstation platform, best suited for high-demand applications such as video, professional VFX and rendering. Some of the benefits include:
- Base frequency -Unlike most processors with a large number of cores, the Threadripper runs a single-core Boost speed of 4.3-4.5 GHz compared to 3.2 for the Epyc. This gives it an advantage in high-threaded applications such as Media & Entertainment, but also in single-threaded applications such as CAD and architecture.
- Official support for Windows – Because Epyc is primarily a data center platform, you’ll usually find compatible motherboards without official support for Windows 10. That doesn’t mean you can’t run the Windows desktop version on the Epyc workstation – we’ve been doing this for years on our HD360A – but it is necessary additional knowledge to properly install the correct drivers. Because Threadripper is a desktop platform with full support for Windows drivers, it will not require additional knowledge.
AMD Epyc Pros
Epyc is mostly known as a server platform, but due to the large number of cores, scalability, and generally higher I / O bandwidth, we see that many users run applications like machine learning and scientific simulations turn to the platform. Here are some of these key benefits for that user:
- RAM density / channels – Most motherboards with a single Epyc socket support up to 2TB of RAM in 8 channels, as opposed to 256 GB in 4 channels with a Threadripper. While the vast majority of users will never need 256 GB +, this is a big advantage for those who need it.
- ECC support – Threadripper architecture supports ECC memory, but TRX40 chipset does not, so as long as chipset refresh is not available, Epyc (and Threadripper PRO) are the only AMD options for full ECC support.
- Scalability / number of cores –Threadripper only supports a single socket, but most Epycs support dual processor configurations, doubling the number of potential cores to 128 and threads to 256, as well as increasing PCIe tape and I / O capacity. This level of scalability is critical for most CPU intensive applications or simulations.
- Security – AMD’s industry-leading Infinity Guard is a set of security features that provide an extra level of encryption that Threadripper doesn’t have.
What about the WRX80 Threadripper PRO
AMD’s Threadripper PRO with WRX80 chipset is the latest product in this category, which in a way combines the best of the TRX40 Threadripper and Epyc. In terms of performance, Threadripper PRO is closely compatible with the standard Threadripper with a similar number of cores and frequencies, but also adds ECC support, additional RAM capacity and security features offered by Epyc.
Threadripper vs Epyc – Which professionals should use?
The answer depends on the specific use case. Epyc’s efficiency and scalability along with AMD’s Infinity Guard security features make it a better server than most workstation applications. In most cases, Threadripper, with a higher core frequency and official support for Windows 10, is best for traditional users and workstation applications.
That’s not to say that some professional workstation users won’t see special advantages with Epycom over Threadripper or even Threadripper Pro after all. For users looking for 256GB + high-density RAM solutions that are threaded enough to use more than 128 threads – applications such as Design and Simulation, Machine Learning, Weather Forecasting, Research / Academy, and Computational Fluid Dynamics – there may be enough benefits for performance outweighs the extra cost of Epyc. But for all other users of workstations in media and entertainment, architecture, engineering and design or similar verticals, Threadripper has too many advantages that it could ignore.
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Josh has been with Velocity Micro since 2007 in various roles in marketing, PR and sales. As Director of Sales and Marketing, he is responsible for all direct and retail sales, as well as for marketing activities. He enjoys reruns of Seinfeld, songs from the Atlanta Braves and the Beatles written by John, Paul or George. Sorry, Ringo.
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