Workstation Specialists WS-1640A-G4 review: Good, but not great
A powerful and well-balanced AMD Threadripper workstation, although there are faster alternatives
Workstation Specialists is a small but focused UK-based manufacturer of systems for content creators. As its previous machines have demonstrated, the company has a good handle on hardware trends in this market, and this is another system based around AMD’s stunning Threadripper 3970X.
Although the CPU supports 3,200MHz memory, Workstation Specialists has only used 3,000MHz DDR4 SDRAM – but this means it can supply 128GB of it. It sensibly chooses Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 5000, which balances well with the high-end CPU. With 3,072 CUDA cores and 16GB of GDDR6 frame buffer providing 448GB/sec of bandwidth, this card will tackle any 3D modelling task with aplomb. The Antec P110 Luce chassis is particularly stylish, with a sleek unfussy exterior and tempered glass side panel, but it doesn’t have USB-C at the front. However, the ASRock TRX40 Creator motherboard provides both 2.5Gbit and 10Gbit networking.
Workstation Specialists has sensibly chosen a 2TB Gigabyte Aorus NVMe M.2 SSD as main storage, which supports PCI Express 4. But we only recorded reading at 3,463MB/sec and writing at 3,461MB/sec, which are more like PCI Express 3 speeds. The 4TB Toshiba N300 7,200rpm hard disk is a good capacity for large media asset files, but with 209MB/sec reading and 208MB/sec writing, it’s also slower than the hard disks supplied with other systems this month.
This proved the fastest system in our benchmarks, however, achieving a phenomenal 711 overall and a particularly stunning 896 in multitasking. On the other hand, the WS-1640A-G4 is 7% behind Armari’s Magnetar with 17,098 in Cinebench R20 and took 5% longer to complete the Blender Gooseberry render on CPU. Its CPU scores in IndigoBench 4 were similarly lower, and it was the slowest 3970X-based system for encoding video with Adobe Media Encoder CC 2020.
As with other systems using the 3970X, the 3D viewset scores in SPECviewperf 13 are mostly on par for a system sporting Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 5000, with a particularly stunning 500 in snx-03, showing strong capability with modelling in all categories.
Overall, this is a well-specified and constructed workstation, with particularly good general media application performance. But otherwise it’s simply put into the shade by the best of the 3970X-based systems.
Workstation Specialists WS-1640A-G4 specifications
3.7GHz AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
ASRock TRX40 Creator
8 x RAM slots (4 free), 4 x PCIe x16 (3 free), 3 x M.2 (1 free), 8 x SATA 600 (8 free)
128GB DDR4, 3,000MHz
PNY Quadro RTX 5000, 16GB GDDR6
4 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C VirtualLink
Gigabyte Aorus 2TB NVMe M.2 PCI Express 4.0
N/A N/A N/A, Toshiba N300 4TB
Antec P110 Luce (230 x 489 x 518mm)
PSU make and model (power output)
80-Plus Platinum (1,000W)
Enermax LIQTECH 360 TR4 watercooler
10 Gigabit Ethernet, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, 5 x 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), Wi-Fi, PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo
3.5mm audio jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, 2 x USB 3
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Warranty (parts & labour unless stated)
In This Article
- 1The best professional workstations for any budget
- 26 things to look for in a workstation
- 3Armari Magnetar X64T-G3 FWL review: Huge in every way
- 4Chillblast Fusion Ryzen Render RTX 4000 review: Our top choice for under £3,000
- 5PC Specialist Onyx 994RG review: So long, Intel
- 6Scan 3XS GWP-ME Q132R review: The best all-round workstation
- 7Armari Gravistar TCX review: A lot of workstation for your money
- 8Chillblast Fusion Ripper Render RTX 5000 review: An absolute unit
BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs
How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solutionDownload now
The definitive guide to IT security
Protecting your MSP and your customersDownload now
Cost of a data breach report 2020
Find out what factors help mitigate breach costsDownload now
The complete guide to changing your phone system provider
Optimise your phone system for better business resultsDownload now