News AMD: Threadripper 3990X Isn't Better on Windows 10 Enterprise

Feb 14, 2020
2
0
10
0
Having read both articles, I have a question on the Tom's Hardware front.

When doing an in place upgrade of Windows Pro to Enterprise, is that just a feature upgrade or does the Windows kernel get updated as well?

Can you do the same tests with a fresh install of Windows Enterprise? To validate your results in a more apple to apples way.

I have read both sites for years and like them both, just want to be sure of the results.

Take care,
Mark
 

PaulAlcorn

Senior Editor
Editor
Feb 24, 2015
796
164
11,160
0
All changes apply to a windows upgrade, thats the point of buying a new version of windows. However, we can test to see.

The key thing here is that AMD itself says this isn't the case, and if you look at recent articles covering AT's findings, you'll note that AMD has sent those websites statements as well.
 

Aaron44126

Commendable
Aug 28, 2019
13
3
1,515
0
Having read both articles, I have a question on the Tom's Hardware front.

When doing an in place upgrade of Windows Pro to Enterprise, is that just a feature upgrade or does the Windows kernel get updated as well?

Can you do the same tests with a fresh install of Windows Enterprise? To validate your results in a more apple to apples way.

I have read both sites for years and like them both, just want to be sure of the results.

Take care,
Mark
All editions of Windows 10 share the same kernel. (There are some features that get flagged on or off depending on the edition; and some components outside of the kernel might not be installed on lower editions.) I do not think that there is any reason to believe that an upgrade would be different from a fresh install in this regard.
 

waltc3

Commendable
Aug 4, 2019
222
110
1,760
0
Some of these applications and benches used have a hard time with 128t...;) In those cases--doesn't even matter how many t's Windows supports--the application sets the limit, IIRC.

Interesting article--I don't see there's a "side" to take. I think AMD understands its cpus well enough...;)
 
Feb 14, 2020
2
0
10
0
Some of these applications and benches used have a hard time with 128t...;) In those cases--doesn't even matter how many t's Windows supports--the application sets the limit, IIRC.

Interesting article--I don't see there's a "side" to take. I think AMD understands its cpus well enough...;)
Oh no, please don't misunderstand. I am not taking a side. I love both of these sites.
 

ezst036

Reputable
Oct 5, 2018
168
53
4,660
0
AMD issued a statement to clarify that there are no performance advantages to using Windows 10 Enterprise with the Threadripper 3990X.

AMD: Threadripper 3990X Isn't Better on Windows 10 Enterprise : Read more
The reverse headline is actually true:

AMD: Threadripper 3990X Is Better on Linux

As reported: "AMD officially recommends Windows 10 Professional or Linux for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X."

This is for enthusiast desktop users folks. TR chips are desktop(HEDT) parts, intended for people in their homes. To some extent, this comes down to Microsoft's licensing schemes and overly complicating their chopped down versions. AMD can't control what Microsoft does and the convoluted ways it does it, but AMD has direct source code access to make updates and changes to the kernel, Mesa video drivers, desktops, and etc as needed.

Windows: welcome to the past.
 
Last edited:

mwestall

Reputable
Oct 23, 2017
14
9
4,515
0
An upgrade may well not flip the necessary registry values just as with, e.g. hotfixes for intel side channel exploits.
 

TheNorm

Reputable
Mar 2, 2016
3
1
4,515
1
When reading this I had the same thought many of you had. Why use a Windows 10 Pro upgrade to Enterprise? Then they clearly noted they used a fresh install Windows 10 Pro for that OS test, as recommended. Maybe they recommend that because .. uhh, its always best to use a fresh install? They clearly know better, just seems odd.

Thats why they recommend a fresh install in the first place, there are a lot of possible variables doing an upgrade. Your going from an older Win Pro 10 to enterprise, and hoping it will be the same as a new fresh updated Win 10 Pro when the key thing is about the threading that is different in each OS. To me this just felt sloppy, it's not like they don't have a fresh copy of enterprise available.

I have no idea if it will make a difference, and maybe anandtech was incorrect. I also trust AMD that they say it won't make a difference. It's not like people buying a 64core cpu would have a problem buying enterprise. But if you are going to refute their stuff, why so sloppy especially when this site has had many articles throughout the years about Windows quirks.
 
Reactions: Makaveli

Gillerer

Distinguished
Sep 23, 2013
325
44
18,890
30
The reverse headline is actually true:

AMD: Threadripper 3990X Is Better on Linux

As reported: "AMD officially recommends Windows 10 Professional or Linux for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X."

...
I don't appreciate you twisting the clear intent of the article title; it was comparing Windows 10 Enterprise to Windows 10 Professional.

When taking the reverse of the statement "Win 10 Enterprise is better than Win 10 Professional for TR 3990X", Linux doesn't magically pop out of somewhere.
 
Feb 16, 2020
1
0
10
0
AnandTech's review has one obvious quirk. The number of sockets is 2.
Nobody other than AnandTech has reported that 3990X's socket count is 2.
 

Gillerer

Distinguished
Sep 23, 2013
325
44
18,890
30
AnandTech's review has one obvious quirk. The number of sockets is 2.
Nobody other than AnandTech has reported that 3990X's socket count is 2.
I believe latest Windows updates correct this reporting in Task Manager (so it doesn't mis-report it as having multiple sockets). Reviewers often stick to one (mature) Windows version for longer in order to avoid retesting everything multiple times a year, and also to avoid the unfortunately common bugs in new versions.

The fix only affects the interpretation and display of the CPU properties, though. Internally Windows still handles the CPU as "processor groups" of 64 threads each¹, resulting in split into 64+64 threads on a 64c/128t part.

----
¹ except the last group, if total thread count is not divisible by 64.
 
Last edited:

PaulAlcorn

Senior Editor
Editor
Feb 24, 2015
796
164
11,160
0
I believe latest Windows updates correct this reporting in Task Manager (so it doesn't mis-report it as having multiple sockets). Reviewers often stick to one (mature) Windows version for longer in order to avoid retesting everything multiple times a year, and also to avoid the unfortunately common bugs in new versions.

The fix only affects the interpretation and display of the CPU properties, though. Internally Windows still handles the CPU as "processor groups" of 64 threads each¹, resulting in split into 64+64 threads on a 64c/128t part.

----
¹ except the last group, if total thread count is not divisible by 64.
The dual socket layout is a configurable parameter (NPS- Nodes Per Socket) in the BIOS for Threadripper chips. This allows you to carve the chip up into multiple NUMA nodes. AMD recommended testing with NPS1, which is one NUMA node per socket. This is reported as 1 socket in the task manager. This could be the reason for the disparity in test results.
 

PaulAlcorn

Senior Editor
Editor
Feb 24, 2015
796
164
11,160
0
Hi Paul. Phoronix has test results that differ from what AMD says regarding Pro and Enterprise.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=3990x-windows-linux&num=6

Cheers,
Andrew
I spoke with Larabell about this. He isn't sure if he tested with NPS1 or NPS2, so it is possible this is just a rehash of the results AT saw with dual-NUMA nodes configured (which wasn't recommended by AMD, but easy to overlook.) Remember, there are two factors at play: Both the processor groups, which cannot be changed, and the NPS setting.

Both AnandTech and Phoronix tested with 18363, but haven't said which version of 18363 was used. Both 18362 and 18363 are parallel branches of the same binary, but the minor level patches are what matters. You still have to be at or above .592 on BOTH versions of Windows for the OS to work as AMD recommends. (for example, .592 came out at the same time for both 18362 and 18363)

I think this boils down to three possibilities 1,) incorrect version of windows 2.) incorrect NUMA configurations 3.) AMD is wrong. However, given that our results match AMDs and they do have some pretty smart engineers, i think that isn't as likely. We should also take into consideration that the Windows kernel remains unchanged regardless between Pro and Enterprise, and that Pro targets 128 thread, which already matches the 3990X.

We'll see, AT is retesting.
 
Last edited:

Niva

Distinguished
Jul 20, 2006
382
0
18,780
0
How many people buy $4000 processors for their home computers?

And that doesn't cover the cost of the whole build just the cpu.
I'm guessing at least the same number as the people who buy $6K apple monitors, maybe a few less because these chips aren't made by Apple...
 

Niva

Distinguished
Jul 20, 2006
382
0
18,780
0
Regardless of where we end up on this topic, it still shows how archaic the Windows kernel is. The article used the word "vagaries" which is very appropriate...

It's 2020, and while I'm sure MS will eventually get to the point that this CPU is supported across all variants of its OS, this reveals a fundamental problem with the entire architecture. It's still pretty amazing that the whole thing even works with all the backwards compatibility they are required to support.

Meanwhile Linux is quietly marching along... there's no threat here MS, just look away.
 

Gillerer

Distinguished
Sep 23, 2013
325
44
18,890
30
I'd think the 64 threads per processor group comes from 64-bit affinity masks (on the 64-bit AMD64 architecture); it was easier, simpler and more efficient (at the time) to implement this way. High thread count servers always had multiple NUMA nodes, so it wasn't a problem.

Considering this a threat to Windows is a gross exaggeration. How many years will it take for regular mainstream desktop CPUs to have more than 64 threads?

MS is becoming a service company more and more. They won't be in too much trouble if instead of selling their customers Windows Server on Azure they're selling more Linux on Azure.

Linux also has wide support for outdated stuff. Continued support of existing APIs is an important function of an OS, so software doesn't have to be rewritten or replaced.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS