Is Threadripper Good For Gaming?

If you need huge computation power, then the Threadripper is the CPU to go for, but there’s some nuances when it comes to gaming.

Games mostly benefit from single-core performance which means games are most likely unable to benefit from the huge computation power of the Threadripper.

And Threadripper processors mostly specialize in multicore performance, so you won’t be getting 100% of your Threadrippers power when gaming with it.

So Are Threadrippers Good For Gaming?

threadripper cpu

The true answer is not really, there are much better choices out there for a fraction of a Threadrippers price, but this doesn’t make the Threadripper a bad CPU.

The Threadripper just specializes in multicore performance which mostly benefits professional workstations that video edit or CAD.

So when you prioritize single-core performance, you find that even mid tier processors such as I5’s and Ryzen 5’s can beat the Threadripper when it comes to gaming.

But it doesn’t mean the Threadripper isn’t able to play games, if you’re a professional that needs the extra cores, you can definitely game on the side if you choose to.

Why Aren’t Threadrippers Good For Gaming

The main reason why Threadrippers aren’t good for gaming is because they’re not made for gaming in mind, they’re enthusiast processors built for CPU intensive tasks.

CPU intensive tasks include video editing, 3D Modelling, CAD, Graphic Design, Coding, and Animation. Gaming is mainly CPU intensive which means there’s no point getting a Threadripper.

Take the Threadripper Pro 3995WX, it has 64 cores and 128 threads which makes it a complete powerhouse for CPU intensive tasks.

But the core count just don’t hold up when it comes to gaming, games can use up to 8 cores, but still focus more on single-core performance.

Take the MSRP which is $5,489 and you can see how it’s an extremely bad deal for gamers, you’re paying 5.5K for a mid-tier gaming CPU.

If we compare a mid tier Ryzen processor such as the Ryzen 5 5600x, we can see the single-core performance is simply better.

The base clock speed is 3.7GHz, and the boost clock speed is 4.6GHz, so you’re getting a more competent gaming CPU for a fraction of the Threadripper’s price.

Threadripper Vs Ryzen For Gaming

Ryzen is more of a balanced option which fits the average gamer perfectly, they come with a decent number of cores, and high enough clock speeds.

Threadrippers on the other hand primarily specializes in core count, games nowadays use between 1-8 cores, so there’s no need for more really.

With that being said, the clock speed and IPC is more important when considering a gaming CPU, and Ryzen processors are great at delivering that.

So when comparing Ryzen to Threadripper, it’s important to keep the generations the same to minimize any architectural differences, that’s why we’re comparing the 3000 series Ryzen and Threadripper chips.

They both use the Zen 2 architecture to even out the playing field so it makes it easier to find a clear winner when it comes to gaming.

As you can see below, TheSpyHood compares the two AMD processors in a gaming environment, and it shows that the Threadripper processors are no better than their Ryzen counterparts.

Despite the huge core counts, the frame rates remain practically identical in most gaming benchmarks, this proves that core count has little impact on the frame rates and playability.

The 6 core and 12thread Ryzen 5 3600X was able to hold up closely to the 64core 128thread Threadripper 3900X in frame rates with the Ryzen 5 falling slightly behind.

So the Threadripper processors are a really bad deal if you’re building a PC only for gaming, you can get a significantly cheaper processor for identical gaming performance.

Should I Use Threadripper For Games?

threadripper for gaming

There is no scenario where using a Threadripper for gaming is a good deal as of right now, so we don’t think you should use Threadripper for games.

But, if you’re building a powerful workstation with the intention to play games on the side, the Threadripper lineup of CPUs can definitely help there.

But a strict gamer should never consider the Threadripper CPU’s, there are Ryzen CPUs which are more targeted towards gamers which have better single-core performance at an affordable price.

60% of games nowadays mostly benefit from clock speeds and IPC which has nothing to do with core count, so you won’t benefit from 64 cores and 128threads unfortunately.

As games become more multithreaded, we may see a rise in Threadripper CPU’s and high core count processors in the gaming scene, but that’s going to take some time to develop.

Threadripper Vs Ryzen Single-Core Tests

Since single-core performance is the main factor when it comes to gaming, we’re going to display single core Cinebench R20 scores for an accurate gaming representation.

CPUCinebench R20 Single-Core Result
Ryzen 9 3900X511
Threadripper 3960X509
Threadripper 3970X509
Threadripper 3990X501
Ryzen 7 3700X494
Ryzen 5 3600X492

As you can see from the table above, the best processor on this list is the Ryzen 9 3900X which isn’t a Threadripper, but all the CPU’s are pretty much identical in terms of single-core performance.

The closest chip to the 3900X is the Threadripper 3960X with an MSRP of $1,399 whereas the 3900X has a price tag of $499.

So the cheapest Threadripper processor costs nearly 3x as much as the Ryzen 9 3900X but still loses in single-core tests, this is why Threadrippers aren’t worth it for gaming.

The Ryzen 5 3600X has an MSRP of $249 but gets pretty much identical single-core performance as the 3990X which costs around $3,449.99.

However, if this was a multicore test, then the results would be much different, and the price tags would make much more sense.

So don’t be fooled by the huge core counts and price tag, as these values don’t translate into gaming performance.


In conclusion, the Threadripper processors are insanely good at what they’re supposed to do, they can make lightwork of any multithreaded tasks.

But for gaming, the Threadripper’s huge core and thread count loses their effects when it comes to gaming due to games being single-core focused.

The price to performance when it comes to gaming is really bad, the cost per frame is significantly higher compared to Ryzen processors.

With the price of the Threadripper 3990X, you can save so much money, you can allocate most of it to getting a better GPU, more RAM, and more storage and still have a ton more money left over.

You can pretty much build a top of a line gaming CPU with the price of a Threadripper 3990X, so don’t waste your money. 

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