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TL;DR: AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series performance in Lightroom Classic
The new AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors do well in Lightroom Classic, with the 5965WX 24 Core and 5975WX 32 Core, in particular, showing a solid ~20% performance gain overall versus the previous 3000 WX-Series. Compared to the Intel Xeon W-3300 processors, the Threadripper PRO 5000WX CPUs are around 30% faster overall, with most of that coming from passive tasks where they can be a massive 40% faster.
It is worth pointing out that if raw performance in Lightroom Classic is your main concern, many users will want to consider a consumer-grade CPU like the AMD Ryzen 5900X or Intel Core i9 12900K before investing in the workstation-class AMD Threadripper PRO platform. Consumer CPUs are typically faster for active tasks in Lightroom Classic (which are often the main complaint from end users), and the workstation-class features of Threadripper PRO like 8-channel REG. ECC memory and 128 PCIe lanes are almost always complete overkill for this kind of workflow. Unless you are looking for the fastest possible export times (where the 5000WX series can be up to 20% faster), they likely are not worth the investment for most users.
Despite the fact that Adobe Lightroom Classic is a very CPU-heavy application, many of the most important tasks are not actually able to take great advantage of high core count CPUs. Scrolling through images, switching modules, using brushes, and other "active" tasks often run better on lower core count CPUs like those found in Intel and AMD's consumer line of processors.
However, there are a number of tasks – such as exporting and generating previews – where more powerful CPUs like the AMD Threadripper PRO line are able to give some very tangible performance benefits. With the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series, not only do we still have a huge number of cores (up to 64 at the top end) to handle these heavier tasks, but they have also seen an increase in per-core performance that should make them much better for the tasks that typically perform best on lower core count CPUs.
In this article, we will be using our PugetBench for Lightroom Classic benchmark paired with Lightroom Classic 11.3 to examine the performance of the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5000WX CPUs. As a comparison, we will be including the previous generation AMD Threadripper PRO 3000 WX-Series, as well as their primary competition: the Intel Xeon W-3300 series. In addition, we will also throw in the consumer-grade Intel Core i9 12900K. This CPU is not at all in the same class as the Threadripper PRO and Xeon W lines, but it is actually among the fastest CPUs available for Lightroom Classic and is currently our go-to option in our Lightroom Classic Workstations.
If you want to read more about the new Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-series and what sets them apart from the previous generation, we recommend checking out our main AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series Content Creation Review. That article includes testing results for a range of other applications including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Unreal Engine; and also has all the test setup details on the hardware and software side if you want more information on the individual specs for each system.
Raw Benchmark Data
While our benchmark presents various scores based on the performance of each test, we also like to provide individual results for you to examine. If there is a specific task that is a hindrance to your workflow, examining the raw results for that task is going to be much more applicable than the scores that our benchmark calculated.
Feel free to skip to the next sections for our analysis of these results to get a wider view of how each configuration performs.
Benchmark Analysis (Balanced Power Profile)
For a number of the applications we are looking at as a part of our greater Threadripper PRO 5000WX testing, we ended up having to test with two Windows power profiles: the default "Balanced" profile, and the "High Performance" power profile. Switching between the two profiles can often result in significantly higher performance on the Intel Xeon W-3300 processors, but in the case of Lightroom Classic, it also gives some of the AMD Threadripper PRO processors nearly a 10% increase in average performance.
To start off the analysis of our testing, we are going to look at the performance when using the "Balanced" power profile since that is what Windows defaults to using:
Compared to the previous Threadripper PRO 3000WX processors, the new 5000WX models are around 15-20% faster overall in Lightroom Classic. That is a pretty decent increase in performance and really shows off what the higher Boost frequency, as well as the IPC (instructions per clock) improvements, can get you. Something to note is that the 5965WX 24 core and 5975WX 32 core models performed almost the same across the board, so there isn't much of a reason to invest in the 32 core model. The 5995WX 64 core actually ended up performing slower than the lower core count models, coming in at about 13% slower overall.
What is interesting is that if you switch to the second chart looking at the "Active Score" (switching modules, scrolling through images, etc.), the new models are only about 5% faster than the previous generation. Where the 5000WX CPUs really shine is for passive tasks like exporting and generating previews, where they are 20-30% faster than the 3000WX processors.
Compared to the Intel Xeon W-3300 series, the results are a bit less straightforward. Comparing the 24 core count models, the Threadripper PRO 5965WX fares very well against the Intel Xeon W-3335, coming in at a solid 60% faster overall. The 32 core Threadripper PRO 5975WX, however, is only 14% faster than the Xeon W-3345; and that is entirely from the "Passive" portion of our benchmark. For the "Active Score", the two CPUs are essentially identical.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that while the new Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series do very well against both the previous generation and Intel's Xeon W-3300 series, consumer-grade CPUs like the Intel Core i9 12900K actually keep up very well (especially for their price). In fact, for "active" tasks, the Core i9 12900K is actually 10% faster than any of the workstation-class CPUs we tested in this article! This is mostly due to the fact that these tasks are often unable to take advantage of large amounts of cores, so the lower core count CPUs that have higher per-core performance tend to do better. Where the Threadripper Pro 5000WX line (and other workstation-class CPUs) take the lead is for passive tasks like exporting. For this, CPUs like the Threadripper Pro 5965WX 24 Core can give you a 10% boost over CPUs like the Core i9 12900K.
Using a workstation platform for 10% faster exports is quite an investment given the costs associated, but it is worth noting that everything we have talked about so far is with the Balanced Windows power profile. Many of the CPUs we tested can see a decent performance gain by switching to the High Performance power profile, so let's take a look at how things change if we make the switch:
Benchmark Analysis (High Performance Power Profile)
Using the "High Performance" Windows power profile has a measurable impact on performance in Lightroom Classic for a number of the CPUs we are testing, most notably the Threadripper PRO 5965WX, 5975WX, and 3975WX, as well as the Xeon W-3335 and W-3365.
Overall, what changing the power profile does is make the new Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series slightly better compared to the other CPU families we tested. The 64 core 5995WX is still not a great fit for Lightroom Classic, but the 24 and 32 core models are overall 20-30% faster than the previous 3000WX series. Performance for active tasks is about 10% higher, while passive tasks see anywhere from a 20-40% increase in performance.
Performance relative to the Intel Xeon W-3300 series is also more straightforward with the High Performance power profile. Both the 24 core 5955WX and 32 core 5975WX ended up being about 30% faster than the Intel Xeon W-3335 and W-3345 respectively. The vast majority of that comes from passive tasks like exporting and generating previews, where AMD is over 40% faster than the Intel Xeon W processors.
Changing the power profile still doesn't let the Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series catch up to the consumer-grade Intel Core i9 12900K processor for active tasks, but it does let them pull even further ahead for passive tasks. Instead of just a 10% performance lead for these tasks like we saw with the Balanced power profile, in High Performance mode, the Threadripper PRO 5965WX and 5975WX are 22% faster than the Core i9 12900K. That is still a hefty investment to make for ~20% more performance, but if these kinds of tasks are the main bottleneck for your workflow, it certainly could be a worthwhile investment for some users.
AMD Threadripper PRO 5965WX vs 3955WX vs Intel Xeon W-3345
In most cases, the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5965WX 24 Core is significantly faster than both the previous generation Threadripper PRO 3955WX 16 Core and the Intel Xeon W-3345 24 Core. The 5965WX 24 Core does have more cores than the 3955WX 16 Core, but since the previous generation did not have a 24 core model, this is the closest comparison we are able to make across the two generations. In any case, the 5965WX is 20-30% faster than the 3955WX on average depending on whether you use the default "Balanced" Windows power profile, or switch to "High Performance". It is worth noting that most of this comes from passive tasks like exporting, where the 5965WX is between 30% and 40% faster.
Compared to the Intel Xeon W-3345, the Threadripper Pro 5965WX is again roughly 30% faster in Lightroom Classic, but that is only true when using the "High Performance" power profile. The Intel Xeon W-3345 sustains a hefty performance hit if you use the default "Balanced" profile, in which case the 5965WX would actually be closer to 60% faster.
AMD Threadripper PRO 5975WX vs 3975WX vs Intel Xeon W-3365
Like the 5965WX, the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5975WX 32 Core is significantly faster than both the previous generation Threadripper PRO 3975WX 32 Core and the Intel Xeon W-3365 32 Core, although to a slightly lesser degree. With both the default "Balanced" Windows power profile and the "High Performance" profile, the 5975WX is roughly 20% faster than the 3975WX, with most of that coming from increased performance for passive tasks like exporting and generating previews.
Compared to the Intel Xeon W-3365, the Threadripper Pro 5975WX is between 15% and 30% faster in Lightroom Classic depending on which power profile is used. Both CPUs see significantly higher export performance with the "High Performance" power profile, with AMD coming out on top there with a 40% higher score for passive tasks.
Something worth pointing out, however, is that the Threadripper PRO 5965WX 24 Core gives almost identical performance to the 5975WX 32 Core for most tasks in Lightroom Classic. So, even if you are looking for the best possible performance for passive tasks like exporting, you can stick with the 5965WX instead of investing into the 5975WX.
AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX vs 3995WX
Higher core count CPUs like the new AMD Threadripper PRO 5995WX 64 Core and the previous generation Threadripper PRO 3995WX 64 Core tend to not be quite as fast in lightly threaded applications like Lightroom Classic, even with the increased Boost frequency and IPC gains found on the new Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series.
However, in terms of raw performance, the new 5995WX is around 10-15% faster overall compared to the Threadripper PRO 3995WX. Intel does not have a Xeon W CPU with a comparable core count, although it is worth pointing out that even though the Threadripper PRO 5995WX is slower than the lower core count Threadripper PRO CPUs in Lightroom Classic, it is still roughly on par or slightly faster than the Intel Xeon W-3365 32 Core.
How well do AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series CPUs perform in Lightroom Classic?
The new AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors do well in Lightroom Classic, with the 5965WX 24 Core and 5975WX 32 Core, in particular, showing a solid ~20% performance gain overall versus the previous 3000 WX-Series. The 5995WX 64 Core didn't see quite as much of a gain, although it tends to be slower than the lower core count models in Lightroom Classic, so it isn't typically going to be a prime choice for most users anyway.
Comparing the 5000WX series to the Intel Xeon W-3300 line is a bit messier due to how much the Windows power profile affects the performance of those CPUs, but with the High Performance power profile, you can expect anywhere from 5% to 40% more performance from the AMD Threadripper Pro 5000WX processors depending on the task. For active tasks like scrolling through images and switching modules, there is not a large difference between the two product families, but for passive tasks like exporting and generating previews, the AMD Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series can be a massive 40% faster than the Intel Xeon W-3300 series.
Overall, the Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series is the clear leader in terms of workstation-class CPUs for Lightroom Classic. They are a solid amount faster than the previous generation, and with the right settings, can be up to 40% faster than their main competition: the Intel Xeon W-3300 series.
However, it is worth pointing out that if raw performance in Lightroom Classic is your main concern, many users will want to consider a consumer-grade CPU like the AMD Ryzen 5900X or Intel Core i9 12900K before investing in the workstation-class AMD Threadripper PRO platform. Consumer CPUs are typically faster for active tasks in Lightroom Classic (which are often the main complaint from end users), and the workstation-class features of Threadripper PRO like 8-channel REG. ECC memory and 128 PCIe lanes are almost always complete overkill for this kind of workflow. Unless you are looking for the fastest possible export times (where the 5000WX series can be up to 20% faster), they likely are not worth the investment for most users.
Keep in mind that the benchmark results in this article are strictly for Lightroom Classic and that performance will vary widely in different applications. If your workflow includes other software packages, we highly recommend checking out our AMD Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series Content Creation Review article which includes results and links to in-depth testing for a range of other applications including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and DaVinci Resolve.