The new Threadripper CPUs from AMD have made quite the scene with the sheer computing capabilities that they’ve shown off. We’re here to answer every question you may or may not have about Threadripper processors and how useful they may be to upgrading your gaming performance.
If want to learn about that as well as much more, then read on to get all the answers you’ve been looking for.
What is an AMD Threadripper?
The AMD Threadripper is a CPU microprocessor with an extremely evocative name. Threadripper CPUs grant a high core count that boosts performance and allows for greater efficiency at extremely high clock speeds. Their main use is for multi-tasking multiple intensive applications without the fear of losing any processing power.
They can even be overclocked, granting an extra few percentage points of performance if you need it! Compared to other AMD Ryzen processors you’re getting a workstation-class processor that will be able to handle what most other processors would suffer under.
If this is too jargon-y for you, then the AMD Threadripper can be described as the Ferrari of cores for your motherboard. You can run a wide variety of apps and multi-task between them without any worry of slowing down your computer hardware. That being said, will it improve your gaming experience?
Can you use AMD Threadripper for Gaming?
Here’s the true crux of the issue when it comes to using the AMD Ryzen Threadripper for your gaming PC – its target market is not for playing actual games. You can certainly use a Threadripper CPU in your gaming PC but you’ll often find that the features that Threadripper chips are known for aren’t that useful for gaming.
We’ll cover that a lot more in the next section, where we go over the advantages and disadvantages of using a Threadripper for your gaming rig. For now, at least, keep in mind that these Threadripper cores are meant for large workloads in fields like Computer Aided Design or Software Development.
Advantages of Using a Threadripper for Gaming
Let’s start with the positives of using a Threadripper CPU for your gaming PC. We may have been a little pessimistic in the previous section but there are advantages that you can reap from purchasing a Threadripper system for gaming.
Increased Core Count
We’ve gushed about the exemplary performance that Threadripper CPUs offer and that stems from the increased core count. For example, the Threadripper PRO 3975WX uses quad 8-cores, which are then threaded into a total of 32 cores & 64 threads – which is absolutely bonkers. As a comparison, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X has single 6-cores, which are threaded to a total of 12 thanks to AMD’s Infinity Fabric technology.
To boil down how this all works, AMD has threaded together the cores of their CPUs in a technique known as simultaneous multi-threaded CPUs.
Another major point that goes to the Threadripper CPUs is their high compatibility. If you have a processor or chipset from the last three years, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be able to integrate it into your systems.
The fact that Threadripper chips are also able to support features like MVMe RAID means that you’ll consistently be able to utilize fast and reliable storage.
More PCIe Lanes
One of the core features that ThreadRipper CPUs have for gamers is the abundance of PCIe Lanes. Like a highway, you can connect multiple graphics cards, additional storage, and other PC parts and reap high performance it.
Multiple graphics cards are one of the best ways to increase the FPS and performance for modern games like Tomb Raider, so if you’re looking for a powerful CPU that will also allow you to efficiently multi-task then a ThreadRipper CPU is a solid choice.
Disadvantages of Using a Threadripper for Gaming
The outstanding functionality of the Threadripper CPUs for workstations is mind-blowing, but not all of them are as applicable to gaming as you may think. We’ve taken a look at the disadvantages that using a Threadripper for your gaming PC may cause. Here are the biggest ones:
The biggest initial obstacle that stops gamers from purchasing a Threadripper & its many cores is the high price tag. Our previously mentioned example of the Threadripper PRO 3975WX comes in at about $3,000 which is quite expensive for a processor.
But there are newer and more powerful models that AMD is releasing, such as the Threadripper PRO 3995WX which boasts a terrifying 64 cores and 128 threads and comes in at almost double the price. In most cases, you can purchase a gaming motherboard that will fulfill your computing needs just fine at a much lower price point.
Less Impact On Gaming
For as many cores and threads as a Threadripper CPU have, there is less of an impact on gaming than you’d imagine when you use it. AMD’s Ryzen CPUs will offer gamers better graphics and a higher FPS because their cores are designed with games in mind.
Even if you have a Threadripper with 32 cores, you’ll often find that a processor with 8 more powerful cores will outperform it during your gaming session. Similarly, as much as 64 threads sounds staggering, a game won’t be using all those threads.
Running a Threadripper CPU drains a lot of battery, as you can imagine. This is especially the case when you’re working on multiple CPU-intensive tasks, multi-tasking between each of them during your workday.
Power consumption is generally not an issue if you have a desktop PC, but if you have a noticeable perk in your power bill then you may have your concerns. We’re only joking, but some Threadrippers do have a very high Thermal Design Power (TPD), with some hitting 280 Watts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Threadrippers are a hot topic in the processing power world, and we often receive a couple of questions when it comes to using a Threadripper to elevate your gaming experience. We’ve brought all the most commonly asked questions we receive and from online and answered them here for you!
Is the Threadripper good for gaming?
Not especially. As we’ve said, the Threadripper will blow any low to mid-processor out of the water but isn’t able to hold a candle to some of the high-end processors from Intel & AMD. They’re not meant for gaming in particular, and many of the features that you’d pay the high price tag for won’t elevate your gaming experience.
Is Threadripper overkill for gaming?
Yes, especially thanks to the high price point that Threadrippers generally start at. If you’re purchasing a Threadripper CPU for the game, then you’ll likely find that many of the features aren’t going to be beneficial for your gaming sessions.
If you are planning to use your Threadripper for work alongside your gaming, and you’re in an industry where you’ll make use of the high thread count that it comes with then you’ll be pleased.
Is Threadripper better than Xeon for gaming?
If we’re talking purely gaming workloads, then the Xeon is generally much faster than the Threadripper processors. We can’t say it enough, but Threadripper chips aren’t meant for gaming so if you’re buying them for it you have a wealth of better and more affordable options at your disposal
Threadrippers are truly a marvelous improvement in tech and CPUs, but they’re not designed to be for high-end gaming. Sure, if you currently have a low to mid CPU or GPU, a Threadripper will blow it out of the water! But if you’re planning to spend enough to purchase one in the first place, there are plenty of Intel CPUs & Ryzen CPUs that will give you more bang for your buck for gaming performance.
We’ve detailed the best workstation motherboards here if you’re interested in other processors for your workstation at aren’t as expensive as the AMD Threadripper.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.