Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation review: Big name, big specs

This monster workstation is a future-proof powerhouse

IT Pro Innovation
Price
£7,500 exc VAT (as reviewed)
  • Outstanding CPU, rendering and modelling performance
  • Phenomenal storage speeds
  • Heaps of expansion space
  • Large chassis
  • Expensive
  • RTX 3090 can’t match professional GPUs for certain workloads

They say that size doesn’t matter, but while that’s true in many instances, it’s often not the case when it comes to workstations. Take Chillblast’s Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation: this monster PC is large in every aspect, from the name, to the price, to the components inside it. 

The biggest and beastliest of these is AMD’s new Threadripper Pro 3975WX chip, the latest in the company’s line of supercharged workstation processors. Chillblast has paired this titanic slab of silicon with Nvidia’s top-of-the-line RTX 3090 GPU, promising seismic stopping-power for modelling, editing and content creating workflows.

Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation review: Design

This workstation is many things, but dainty is not one of them. It’s built on Fractal Design’s Define 7 XL case - a towering 78-liter behemoth measuring 240 x 604 x 566mm. It also weighs an absolute ton, and unless you’ve got a seriously sturdy desk, we’d advise you to leave it safely on the floor. 

On the other hand, the benefit of such a humungous case is that there’s plenty of elbow room inside should you wish to install or replace any components. To that end, there’s two 5.25in drive cages, as well as space for up to 18 additional 3.5in or 2.5in drives, and up to five dedicated 2.5in SSD mounts. Our review unit, however, came fitted with Asus’ Hyper M.2 PCIe X16 RAID card, which combines up to four M.2 SSDs into a bootable RAID array with up to 16GB/sec throughput.

This card is slotted into one of the motherboard’s seven PCIe slots, and the board in question - the Asus Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI - supports up to four Nvidia graphics cards in an SLI configuration. Be warned, however: the price quoted above includes a Corsair RM850x 80 PLUS Gold 850W PSU, so if you want to use more than one GPU, you’ll need to invest in a beefier power supply. There are also eight DIMM slots, supporting an enormous maximum memory capacity of 2TB.

Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation review: Specifications

Our unit came with a comparatively modest RAM allocation of 256GB, supplied as eight modules of Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO Black 3200MHz DDR4 memory. The Asus RAID card was stocked with a quartet of 1TB Seagate Firecuda 520 M.2 PCIe 4 drives, but sadly although the drives and the motherboard support PCIe 4, the card itself is limited to PCIe 3.

The real star of the show, however, is the Threadripper Pro 3975X. Featuring 32 multi-threaded cores, this is a serious CPU for serious workloads. Its base clock speed is 3.5GHz, but thanks to the combination of AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive technology and the Enermax LiqTech II TR4 360 cooler fitted by Chillblast, those cores are able to run at their top boost speed of 4.2GHz for more of the time.

The RTX 3090 is no slouch, either; with 10,496 CUDA cores and a whopping 24GB of GDDR6X memory, this is the pinnacle of Nvidia’s consumer graphics portfolio. While not technically designed for professional use, Nvidia’s mainstream cards have long been favourites of those in the media and entertainment fields due to their excellent rendering and modelling capabilities.

Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation review: Performance

So just how much power does this rather monstrous specification deliver? Unsurprisingly, the answer is: ‘a lot’. In our standard benchmark tests, it racked up an overall score of 676, comfortably putting it in the top three fastest workstations we’ve ever tested. That performance was good across the board too, with equally strong results in the image editing, video editing and multitasking tests.

A score of 42,406 in Cinebench R23’s multi-core test further demonstrates the Threadripper’s chops, but a more pertinent question is how the RTX 3090 holds up when it comes to enterprise workloads. As expected, this system blazed through the 3D modelling portion of SPECviewperf 20’s benchmark tests, racking up scores of 192 for the 3dsmax-07 viewset and 482 in maya-06. That puts it more or less in line with the cream of Nvidia’s professional GPU lineup, the Quadro RTX A6000, as seen in the Scan 3XS GWP-ME N1-32T.

Where Nvidia’s consumer cards generally lose some ground, however, is in professional workloads, and so it is here. The 3090 was matched the A6000 in the solidworks-05 CAD test, but it was more than 30% slower in both the creo-03 and catia-06 engineering viewsets while the A6000’s score of 617 in the Siemens NX snx-04 test left it in the dust with just 24 points. 

This discrepancy is to be expected, however; Quadro cards are built specifically for CAD and simulation workloads, while the consumer RTX range is not. What they do handle well is 3D rendering, and this system will happily chew through any amount of intense modelling with ease - helped in no small part by this system’s outstanding storage speeds. With our four M.2 drives configured in a RAID0 array via Asus’ Hyper M.2 card, we measured sequential read and write speeds of 8.4GB/sec and 7.5GB/sec, handily trouncing any other system we’ve tested.

In short, while this machine isn’t suitable for scientific or product design work, it’s a media professional’s dream. The phenomenal CPU and rendering power on display will make light work of even the most complex tasks, and the enormous quantities of high-speed storage make managing the results a piece of cake.

Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation review: Verdict

When you look at this machine’s pricetag compared to the likes of the Armari Magnetar S64T-RW1300G3 or the Scan 3XS GWP-ME N1-32T, it may be tempting to think that you’re not getting a huge amount of bang for your buck. Armari’s workstation scored broadly similar results in our benchmark tests and costs half the price, while the Scan system costs the same as this one while delivering vastly improved performance in professional workloads.

However, performance is only one part of a workstation’s appeal. This machine is a powerhouse, but its real strength lies in the fact that it’s packed to the gunwales with futureproofing. The chassis and motherboard supply ample room for adding extra memory, PCIe 4 modules, additional graphics cards and storage drives, and the mighty Threadripper CPU isn’t going to be showing its age any time soon. 

Combined with Chillblast’s generous five-year warranty (including two years of collect and return cover for UK customers), this creates a system that, in theory, could still be happily chugging along a decade from now. Spread out over that kind of timescale, this PC’s £7,500 pricetag suddenly starts to look a lot less intimidating.

Chillblast Fusion Threadripper Pro RTX 3975WX Workstation specifications

Processor

3.5GHz AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3975X CPU

Motherboard

Asus Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI Motherboard

Expansion slots

7 x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x16 slot(s)

RAM

256GB Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO Black 3200MHz DDR4 Memory (8 x 32GB Sticks)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB GDDR6X

Outputs

3x DisplayPort 1.4a, 2x HDMI 2.1

SSD

4x 1TB Seagate Firecuda 520 M.2 PCIe Gen 4 Solid State Drive (configured in RAID0 via Asus HYPER M.2 PCI Express Card)

Secondary drives

N/A

Optical drives

N/A

Dimensions (WDH)

240 x 604 x 566mm

PSU make and model (power output)

Corsair RM850x 80 PLUS Gold 850W PSU

CPU cooler

Enermax LiqTech II TR4 360 RGB CPU Water Cooler

Rear ports

1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-A, 8x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A+, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, 2x Intel X550-AT2 dual 10Gb Ethernet ports, 5x Audio jacks, 1x Optical S/PDIF out port

Front/top ports

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1x audio in, 1x audio out

Operating system

Windows 10 Pro

Warranty (parts & labour unless stated)

5 Year Warranty, 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)

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