There is reason to be optimistic that AMD's Threadripper lineup will be decent overclocking chips. A few early results on the web have looked promising, including a new post by Reddit member callingthewolf, who claims to have overclocked AMD's top-end Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU to 4.1GHz.
The 1950X is a 16-core/32 threader processor with a 3.4GHz base clock and 4GHz turbo clock. According to the post, the overclock was attained on all 16 cores using a Thermaltake Water 3.0 liquid cooler and an ASRock X399 Professional Gaming motherboard. All eight DIMM slots were populated with 8GB DDR4 modules.
Callingthewolf was able to hit 4.0GHz on all 16 cores at 1.25v. He then pushed the voltage to 1.4V and squeezed another 100MHz out of the chip, landing the 1950X at 4.1GHz. That's pretty good compared to the AM4 Ryzen chips, which left us disappointed when trying to overclock. Here is what our own Jarred Walton said about Ryzen 7 back in March (jump to page 6):
"With all Ryzen parts shipping multiplier unlocked, many have hoped for a return to the days of buying inexpensive processors and turning them into high-end equivalents with a few tweaks. Certain Ryzen chips definitely benefit more from overclocking, though frankly overclocking so far has been extremely disappointing," Jarred noted. "All three Ryzen 7 samples I tested failed to get beyond 4.0GHz. That's a bit of a gut punch coming from Intel's i7 line, where all of the K-series parts usually have at least 500MHz of overclocking headroom, and the 6-core and 8-core parts can even overclock by up to 1GHz."
It appears Threadripper may fare a bit better. That makes sense—while Threaderipper is not really built for overclocking, AMD claims it is the "best five percent" of Ryzen dies, so seeing it overclock better does not really surprise us.
In this case, callingthewolf benchmarked his overclocked Threadripper 1950X in Geekbench 3 and Cinebench R15. The CPU scored 58,391 pints in Geekbench 3. To put that into perspective, it is around 37 percent higher than an Intel Core i7 7900X overclocked to 4.5GHz, which scored around 42,600 points, according to WCCFTech. There's another entry for a 7900X at an unknown clockspeed that scored 47,449 points. Of course, that chip is working with six fewer cores and a dozen fewer threads. However, pricing is roughly the same, so it's a relevant comparison if looking at bang-for-buck.
The overclocked Threadripper 1950X also performed well in Cinebench R15. It scored 3,337 points with all 16 cores running at 4.0GHz. Compare that to Intel's Core i7-7900X overclocked to 4.6GHz, which scored 2,464. No word on the power draw when overclocked, however, which is something to consider.
None of this means you should put Threadripper 1950X on your radar for gaming, not unless you do some heavy lifting on your PC after logging out of Steam. That said, it's nice to see that there's some overclocking headroom to be had with Threadripper, even more so than with Ryzen 7. Not that the extra 100MHz is really that big of a bonus, but we'll take whatever we can get.