Updated! High-performance, massively expandable AMD Threadripper workstation, for NVIDIA RTX pro graphics applications
Highly expandable with 6x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (7 slots with upgrade) · Configurable with up to triple NVIDIA RTX pro GPUs for design, simulation and visualization
AMD Threadripper: industry-leading workstation platform for 3+ years!
Stronger than ever in its second generation: AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX
8 June 2023
Our new Stratosphere Evolution T3 for Pro Visualization and Design is powered by AMD's second-generation Threadripper workstation CPUs, AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX series, introduced in 2022. Until May 2023, Intel had no workstation platform that could compete
Now Intel is shipping its new "Sapphire Rapids-WS" workstation CPUs, and AMD gets some needed competition. However, benchmark tests show that the two platforms are broadly at parity for performance with equal number of CPU cores, and AMD maintains an edge for value. Compared to our Intel workstations (Stratosphere Evolution X-series), you can save more than $500 by choosing a Stratosphere Evolution T-series workstation powered by AMD Threadripper.
In addition, at our starting 16-core CPU level, AMD Threadripper PRO 5955WX is more full-featured than its Intel counterpart, Intel Xeon w5-2465X. The Intel CPU has access to only 4-channel memory and 4 memory slots, while the AMD CPU supports faster 8-channel memory and all 8 memory slots. In addition, Intel Xeon w5-2465X provides only 64 active PCIe lanes, while the AMD CPU provides 128 active lane, supporting more extensive expansion options.
The step-up Intel Xeon W-3400 series is at feature parity with AMD Threadripper, but is unable to land a knockout blow. So, for this generation, we score the Intel Xeon W-3400 workstation platform a draw in its overall feature set and performance compared to AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX.
Workstations go well beyond consumer PCs by supporting much greater expansion (more PCI Express slots with more PCI Express lanes), much more RAM as well as much faster memory bandwidth, and faster CPUs with many more CPU cores. This combination of features enables advanced configurations that are literally impossible to build with a consumer PC platform, such as our Stratosphere Pro with Z790 chipset and Core i9-13900K CPU. That's a superb system and a super-fast CPU, but neither is designed to handle the advanced challenges met by a modern workstation-class platform.
You may configure your new Stratosphere Evolution workstation with any of the following AMD Threadripper CPUs, which you can choose in our configurator:
Directly comparing the top CPUs for each workstation platform, we find that the AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX with its 64 CPU cores delivers faster multi-core performance than the Intel Xeon w9-3495X with its 56 cores, an edge that is revealed most clearly with 3D rendering tasks as tested by Cinebench R23. Meanwhile, the Intel CPU with its faster DDR5 RAM and 8 memory channels delivers markedly faster memory bandwidth than the top AMD CPU with its slower DDR4 RAM. In addition, the Cinebench R23 single-threaded test demonstrated 22% faster performance for the top Intel CPU compared to the top AMD CPU.
Benefits of workstations vs consumer PCs
Current AMD and Intel workstations provide clear benefits over consumer PCs:
Consider GPU-accelerated computing, where a graphics card is repurposed to become a coprocessor in the system, able to marshal its thousands of cores for computing work instead of creating a 3D virtual world (typically for gaming). Led by NVIDIA, GPU computing is driving AI neural networks and machine learning in general. GPUs are so successful at high-performance computing tasks that NVIDIA now makes 61% of its revenue from data centers. However, a GPU still needs a CPU. Ideally a GPU-accelerated workstation would connect many powerful GPUs to a single CPU, as it is more efficient to have fewer captains and more workers. However, the limiting factor turns out to be the number of available PCIe lanes. A GPU operating at full speed will consume 16 PCIe lanes. Thus a consumer desktop CPU (such as Intel Core i9 with 20 PCIe lanes) doesn't even have enough PCIe lanes to connect two GPUs at full speed.
Now consider these new AMD Threadripper CPUs with their 128 PCIe lanes: more than five times the number supported by consumer CPUs! Now we are cooking with gas, because there are now enough lanes for six GPUs to connect to the CPU at full speed!
These new CPUs and their massive connectivity make possible a personal supercomputer. Beyond connecting more GPUs, the CPUs can also access up to 8 times more RAM (2TB for Threadripper CPUs, up from 128GB for consumer PCs) as well as massive NVMe SSD storage. A consumer desktop PC normally can connect to only two or three NVMe SSDs, due again to a shortage of PCIe lanes. Each SSD consumes four PCIe lanes. While three SSDs is plenty of storage for most people, others have much more aggressive storage requirements. A pro photographer can fill up a 1TB NVMe SSD with only 20,000 images. That may sound like a lot, but some photographers take thousands of pictures per day. In only three months, they can fill three 4TB SSDs and be out of space on a typical high-end consumer desktop PC.
Now with Stratosphere Evolution T-series, that same photographer can store 860TB of images on fast NVMe storage, enough for about 2.4 years usage instead of 3 months. The same massive storage capacity can be put to work handling image and video databases, helping international security with applications like facial recognition. With the storage locally connected, it's much faster to access and search than cloud databases, while also saving large carrying costs for massive online storage.