AMD’s CPU division has had a very successful 2017 thus far. The company released its first new CPU design in years, named Ryzen, back in the first week of march. Designed to directly compete with Intel’s mainstream CPU market dominance, Ryzen arrived to serious critical acclaim. The heavily multi-threaded chips pack on the cores and have shown to provide a superior value to some of Intel’s pricer options. Hot off the heels of the original Ryzen release, AMD is planning on diving headfirst into the high-end desktop computing market (HEDT) that had previously been left for Intel to own alone. AMD has dubbed its HEDT platform Threadripper and early word indicates that the new chips live up to aggressive name.
The launch of Threadripper is expected to take place the first week of August and will be centered around two new CPUs, 1920X and 1950X. The Threadripper 1920X will feature 12 cores and 24 threads with a base clock of 3.5GHz. The 1950X will be a 16 core part with 32 threads and a base clock of 3.4Ghz. Both CPUs are expected to have boost clocks of 4.0GHz. While AMD is being tight-lipped about official pricing, the 1920X and 1950X are expected to sell for $799 and $999, respectively.
If the early word on pricing is accurate, the AMD Threadripper chips will offer a tempting value when compared to Intel’s newest 12 and 16 core HEDT CPUs. The Core i9-7920X is a 12 core, 24 thread CPU running on Intel’s new X299 platform and is expected to sell for $1199. The Core i9-7960X sports 16 cores and 32 threads with an expected launch price of $1699. Neither of these Skylake-X chips have hit the streets yet, but it’s safe to assume that they will need to be extremely fast to justify the premium pricing in light of the impending Threadripper release.
Both Threadripper CPUs will support a massive 64 PCI-E lanes. Like Intel’s HEDT platform, the chips will support quad-channel DDR4 ram and up to 1TB of it if 128GB DIMMs are used. The CPUs are expected to be fully unlocked for users interested in overclocking Threadripper. On the system integrator side of things, Alienware is expected to be the exclusive provider of Threadripper systems from the large OEMS, although offerings from the smaller boutique vendors are expected.
With Threadripper, AMD will continue to use the groan-inducing naming system for its motherboard chipsets that first appeared this spring with the Ryzen 7 release. The Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 series CPUs are compatible with AMD’s B350 and X370 chipsets, which share a very similar naming scheme to Intel’s years-long naming system. The Kaby Lake launch in January of this year used the new B250 and Z270 chipsets, with product numbers that followed 2016 Skylake chipsets, the B150 and Z170. While AMD’s chipset names are obviously meant to one-up the Intel offerings, they make things much more confusing for new builders trying to buy compatible components. Deciding that disrupting and confusing the mainstream chipset naming conventions was not enough, AMD has dubbed their HEDT chipset the X399. The HEDT platform Intel release earlier this month goes by the name of X299.
Official word on the specs and specifics of Threadripper are expected to be revealed at this month’s SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles. All of the top motherboard vendors are expected to officially unveil their new X399 motherboards to the public. Expect the boards to be pack to the gills with all the ports, DIMM slots, and PCI-E lanes that enthusiasts have come to expect from HEDT platform. Don’t be surprised if some of the boards are rotten with RGB lights and aggressive heatsinks. Some early photos of X399 boards have also made their way online in the last week.
Official word on Threadripper could come later today when AMD is expected to release its second quarter earnings report. You can also check back in with Shacknews during the SIGGRAPH conference for the latest news on Threadripper and what it will mean for the PC gamer. For those interested in building a new HEDT gaming system, will you being choosing Threadripper over Skylake-X? Let us know in the comments.