Choosing video server CPU (Threadripper?)

I am about to build custom video server that will be used primarly for delivering realtime graphics using Touchdesigner, but would be also used as Houdini workstation for simulation and offline rendering.
I have gone trough following article that recommends Intel processors and it sounds reasonable to choose Intel Core-X cpu. Intel® Core™ i9-10980XE provides 18 cores with Turbo Boost of 4.6 GHz.

However once I looked closely at benchmarks comparing Intel® Core™ i9-10980XE with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X it seems like AMD is winner here. It provides Turbo Boost of 4.5 GHz but with 32 cores.
I know Touchdesigner would not benefit much from these multi-threaded beasts, but anyway it seems like other cpus does not offer much higher clock speeds. Therefore I thought many cores might be utilized in Houdini (or other multithreaded applications), but my priority is still Touchdesigner & “realtime” performance & stability.

I would like to ask what do you think about Threadripper 3970X being used for TD? Have anyone used it and was satisfied with the performance? I am also considering AMD Ryzen 9 3950X with 16 cores at maximum Boost of 4.7 GHz which could theoretically provide slightly better performance for realtime purposes while still having enough cores fol multi-threaded operations. Please does anyone have experience with this cpu being used for video server?

I have also looked at Xeon processors but it seems there are not many options with high enough clock speeds. There was only one family of Xeon processors that had much higher clock speeds - Intel® Xeon® E Processors. For example Intel® Xeon® E-2288G does provide 5.00 GHz at maximum Boost (8 cores). However all processors in this family could provide just 16 PCI-Express 3.0 Lanes and therefore are not suitable for video server.

I am also curious whether new Vulkan implementation in Touchdesigner (once finished) could potentially benefit from multi-core cpus? In that case it might mean Threadripper could be the best option for future? Thanks.

Best wishes

I’m also interested in the Ryzen vs. Core/Xeon debate for TouchDesigner/VFX. Seems like AMD is the clear benchmark winner, but I have a feeling that the devil is in the detail, and not all threads are rendered equally between Intel/AMD. This seems especially true when it comes to VFX software and hardware partners cough NVIDIA.

At our office we had a project that was bottlenecked by the CPU (i7-5820k at 42 fps) and we decided to go for Ryzen 7 3800X and it solved our problem with its single-thread perfomance and we hit the sweetspot of 60 fps with no stutters. And a week ago we bought the Ryzen 9 9700X as a PC for Motion Graphics and I’m still to try some touchdesigner projects on it but I did a single-thread benchmark on these PCs and you can check it here:



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Hello, thank you very much for replies. I have eventually decided to use AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X for this video server and I am very satisfied with its performance.
In case anyone else might be interested in choosing cpu for both Touchdesigner and Houdini, I would definitely recommend it. This cpu is a monster with brilliant both single-core and multi-core performance. If I wouldn’t go for AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, my second choice would be AMD Ryzen 9 3950X. I believe multi-core performance will also come in very handy with new release of 2020 version that contains Engine COMP… :slight_smile: