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AMD Ryzen Threadripper
It feels like only yesterday that Intel raised the bar for high-end desktop (HEDT) performance with the launch of its Core X Series processors, but AMD is quickly firing back with Ryzen Threadripper.
The fact that AMD can compete with Intel in the ultra-high-end space is a sign of the chip manufacturer's return to prominence in 2017, and Threadripper doesn't just go toe-to-toe with the Core i9-7900X, it blows it away in multi-threaded scenarios and doesn't cost a penny more. Music to the ears of content creators and prosumers who crave more cores and more threads, so let's take a look at what makes Threadripper tick.
Taking its place at the top of AMD's completely revamped desktop product range, Ryzen Threadripper arrives in a new TR4 package and will initially be available in a choice of three flavours.
At the bottom of the scale, the $549 Threadripper 1900X will offer eight cores and 16 threads, moving up to the $799 Threadripper 1920X sees core and thread count rise to 12 and 24, respectively, while the range-topping Threadripper 1950X offers a massive 16 cores and 32 threads at a cost of $999. Those of you keeping a close eye on both sides of the fence will note that AMD has matched the price of Intel's Core i9-7900X while offering half-a-dozen extra cores.
AMD Ryzen product range
|Model||Cores / Threads||TDP||L3 Cache||Base Clock||Turbo Clock||XFR||DDR4 Support||Package||Price|
|AMD Ryzen Threadripper|
|Ryzen Threadripper 1950X||16 / 32||180W||32MB||3.4GHz||4.0GHz||200MHz||Quad 2666||TR4||$999|
|Ryzen Threadripper 1920X||12 / 24||180W||32MB||3.5GHz||4.0GHz||200MHz||Quad 2666||TR4||$799|
|Ryzen Threadripper 1900X||8 / 16||180W||16MB||3.8GHz||4.0GHz||200MHz||Quad 2666||TR4||$549|
|AMD Ryzen 7|
|Ryzen 7 1800X||8 / 16||95W||16MB||3.6GHz||4.0GHz||100MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$499|
|Ryzen 7 1700X||8 / 16||95W||16MB||3.4GHz||3.8GHz||100MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$399|
|Ryzen 7 1700||8 / 16||65W||16MB||3.0GHz||3.7GHz||50MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$329|
|AMD Ryzen 5|
|Ryzen 5 1600X||6 / 12||95W||16MB||3.6GHz||4.0GHz||100MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$249|
|Ryzen 5 1600||6 / 12||65W||16MB||3.2GHz||3.6GHz||100MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$219|
|Ryzen 5 1500X||4 / 8||65W||16MB||3.5GHz||3.7GHz||200MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$189|
|Ryzen 5 1400||4 / 8||65W||8MB||3.2GHz||3.4GHz||50MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$169|
|AMD Ryzen 3|
|Ryzen 3 1300X||4 / 4||65W||8MB||3.5GHz||3.7GHz||200MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$129|
|Ryzen 3 1200||4 / 4||65W||8MB||3.1GHz||3.4GHz||50MHz||Dual 2666||AM4||$109|
AMD's dramatic shift from obscurity is highlighted by the table above. In the space of six months, the chip manufacturer has launched a dozen processors based on the modern Zen architecture, ranging from $109 to $999.
Threadripper stands apart in its ability to offer massive multi-thread performance, so how has AMD managed to squeeze so many cores into a single chip? In a nutshell, it has taken two Ryzen 7 processors and sandwiched them together on a single giant package known as TR4. The two die are linked via Infinity Fabric, and though latency is likely to be sacrificed, AMD has been able to sneak ahead of Intel and deliver the world's first 16- and 12-core desktop consumer processors.
Rival Intel processors will continue to hold a performance advantage in single-threaded scenarios due to higher clock speeds and an architecture blessed with greater IPC throughput, but with half-a-dozen extra cores, Threadripper 1950X claims to be 38 per cent quicker in Cinebench than the Core i9-7900X.
X399: Built for HEDT
A change in socket means a change in platform, and the foundation for all Threadripper CPUs is X399, an all-singing, all-dancing chipset designed exclusively for HEDT.
Offering massive expansion opportunities for gamers, content creators and prosumers alike, X399 touts quad-channel memory, a whopping 64 PCIe lanes and more USB and SATA than mainstream X370. The core ingredients have the makings of a dream PC, and whereas Intel is known to disable certain capabilities on anything but the range-topping part, all three launch-day Threadripper CPUs offer the full complement of 64 PCIe lanes, XFR scaling and support for quad-channel memory.
A full ecosystem of supporting X399 motherboards is expected at launch from the likes of Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, with prices starting at around £300. Compatible air and liquid coolers will be available from popular brands such as Corsair, Noctua and Cooler Master, and an adapter will be included in the Threadripper retail package to enable compatibility with a selection of existing Asetek-based all-in-one liquid coolers.
Benchmarks from leading review sites have confirmed that Threadripper sets a new standard for multi-core performance.
Ryzen Threadripper 1950X races through the all-core wPrime test in just over half the time of a Ryzen 7 1800X, and it is also nearly 40 per cent faster than Intel's current best in Cinebench.
Cinebench, another test that fully tasks all available cores and threads, shows the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X leading the way. If it is multi-threaded potential you seek, AMD has set a new benchmark for other CPUs to match.
It is an exciting time to be contemplating a premium HEDT PC. With Intel and AMD both flexing their considerable muscle, consumers have a choice of high-performance CPUs, and right now, Ryzen Threadripper is the pick of the bunch for prosumers able to leverage the chip's massive multi-core potential.
The entire range of AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors are available to purchase from Scan Computers.