Armari Magnetar M16R7-1300G3 review: An unquestionably capable workstation
Shows what the Ryzen 7000 series has to offer creatives: phenomenal performance in every CPU-related task
We are entering another exciting phase for PC processors, particularly if you're a content creator. While the mid-range pendulum swung back to Intel in our recent workstations Labs, AMD's Ryzen 7000 series promises huge potential for content creation. Here, we put it through its paces in Armari's Magnetar M16R7-1300G3.
Armari has, of course, opted for the top Ryzen 9 7950X for its system. Unlike the Intel Core i9-12900K chips that proved so popular in the Labs, the Ryzen 9 has 16 full-speed cores rather than eight, alongside eight low-power ones. And the 7950X provides a base clock of 4.5GHz across all its cores, with an incredible maximum Boost frequency of 5.7GHz, so it should hurtle through any task with a multithreaded bias.
The Ryzen 7000 series is AMD's first to support DDR5, with Armari providing a generous 64GB complement of 5,600MHz Corsair Vengeance Black DDR5 as two 32GB DIMMs. This runs at 4,800MHz on the system, but enables the processor's dual-channel memory capability. It also leaves two DIMM slots free on the Asus X670E ProArt-Creator WiFi motherboard, to make an upgrade to 128GB possible – but this will drop the DIMM operating speed to 3,600MHz.
One area where AMD hasn't had the upper hand for some years is professional graphics. Nevertheless, Armari sticks with AMD here, via a Radeon Pro W6800 graphics card that sports a hefty 3,840 Stream processors and 32GB of GDDR6 frame buffer. The latter operates at 512GB/sec, a little behind Nvidia's latest and greatest, but there's no shortage of connectivity, with six mini DisplayPort 1.4 connectors enabling up to two 8K displays or six 5K ones. Armari hasn't gone to town with storage, unlike the £16,000 Scan 3XS GWP-ME A1128T.
Just a single drive is included, but it's a potent one. The 2TB WD SN850 Gen4 M.2 SSD SN850 delivered a sustained reading throughput of 7,050MB/sec in CrystalDiskMark 8, with writing at 5,248MB/sec, making this the fastest single NVMe drive we've tested.
If you need secondary storage for large media files, the chassis includes four 3.5in/2.5in easy swap backplanes and drive sleds, which you can switch out when the system is powered down and the side panel off. The case is one of Armari's secrets, as the firm custom-designs its own. The Magnetar M60 Gen3 chassis has loads of cooling, including a side mount for the CPU liquid system, replete with a trio of 120mm fans.
Despite all this, the Magnetar isn't a power hog. It consumes 90W when idle, pushing up to 370W when rendering a scene in Blender using both the CPU and GPU. If you run the CPU, GPU and memory all at maximum it consumes 530W, which still isn't terrible considering how much processing power you're getting in return. And since Armari has included a hefty 1,300W power supply, you can be confident the system will stay stable even under maximum load. You may want to make full use of that maximum load, too, because this workstation has outrageous power.
The Magnetar was a stunningly quick system in every CPU-related test we threw at it. The score of 773 in the IT Pro benchmarks would have beaten every system in the most recent Labs, and even surpasses the excellent Scan 3XS GWP-ME A1128T with its 64-core Threadripper processor.
Underlining the CPU's potency is a Cinebench R23 multicore result of 37,170, which trounces a pair of 24-core Intel Xeon Gold processors and would even beat a 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. The single-core result of 2,093 is on a par with that of the Intel Core i9-13900K in the Scan Vengeance 3XS – except the Ryzen 9 7950X has 16 cores capable of this speed, where the Intel chip only has eight. To further underline the AMD chip's power, the Blender Gooseberry render only took 293 seconds using the CPU.
The single area of weakness is the graphics acceleration, but only relatively. With 3D modelling and animation, using SPECviewperf 2020 the AMD Radeon Pro W6800 achieved 174 in 3dsmax-07 and 456 in maya-06, which are great results, but Nvidia's Quadro A4500 will surpass the latter. With CAD/CAM, the scores were 99 in catia-06, 133 in creo-03, 431 in snx-04 and 259 in solidworks-05. All good results, but again the A4500 holds the advantage here.
Nevertheless, the Magnetar is an unquestionably capable workstation that can slice through every kind of content creation task, be it modelling and design or rendering the results out to a file. Armari has delivered the AMD platform in its habitual efficient, solid build. The price is high, but the amount of power you get from this 16-core processor workstation is phenomenal.
Armari Magnetar M16R7-1300G3 specifications
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