AMD defends Threadripper 3990X – it’s not slower on Windows 10 Pro, the reviews are wrong

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has come forward to clarify issues around its Ryzen Threadripper 3990X flagship 64-core HEDT processor, which as you may have seen, has recently been reported as not running with its full capabilities on Windows 10 Pro – due to the OS not being able to handle 128-threads.

Anandtech, and other tech sites, observed a “lot of slowdowns” in some benchmarks with the Threadripper 3990X running on Windows 10 Pro, in comparison to the higher-tier versions of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Windows 10 Enterprise.

This has drawn AMD to make an official statement to clarify that there is no performance difference between any of these versions of Windows 10, and that AMD officially recommends Windows 10 Pro for use with the Threadripper 3990X (or indeed Linux, for that matter).

AMD sent out a statement as follows: “Higher editions/versions of Windows 10 confer no additional performance or compatibility benefits to the processor. We understand that this suggestion has been made in the media, but we believe this to be an error in testing that our team is presently diagnosing.”

As we mentioned, Anandtech wasn’t the only site with benchmarks indicating this might be the case, with Phoronix drawing similar conclusions – presumably due to the same ‘error in testing’, but we won’t know until AMD clarifies further, of course.

It could simply be down to the version of Windows 10 Pro being used in the respective benchmarks, and when we initially reported on the purported performance difference, we observed that some folks were already saying the latest update to Windows 10 Pro allowed it to see the 3990X correctly in all its 128-thread glory.

Little to no difference

Tom’s Hardware retested the Threadripper 3990X on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, and found “little to no” difference in performance outside of the slight variation you’d expect when benchmarking.

Furthermore, Tom’s used version 18362.592 of Windows 10 Pro – which is what AMD recommends for benchmarking the 3990X, either that version or better – and pitted that against version 18362.476, finding that the former did indeed offer better performance for the Threadripper chip.

So it is possible that the benchmarks were performed on an earlier version of Windows 10 Pro than AMD recommends (Phoronix said it used version 18363, but that’s a parallel branch to 18362, so without knowing the full version number, we can’t judge whether that could be the problem here).

At any rate, we’re really going to have to wait for AMD to go through its process of pinning down exactly what was at fault here, before we know for sure. But from what AMD is saying, and Tom’s is reporting – plus other chatter online with folks observing that updating Windows 10 Pro to the latest version appears to cure any issues – it seems like there isn’t actually a problem with the 3990X in this respect, after all.

Meanwhile, more tales of the power of the Threadripper 3990X have emerged, including something of an eye-opener in that the processor has the raw power to run Crysis in software, with no graphics card needed.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).