November 25, 2019 | 14:00
It's been rumoured for a long time but finally, AMD's 64-core Ryzen Threadripper processor has been confirmed for desktop systems, and it'll launch in 2020.
AMD has been a little cagey about details when it comes to the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X as it's not quite a 'full' reveal of the processor, but we do know a few pertinent things. The biggest thing, of course, is the fact that it will have a whopping 64 cores and 128 threads, meaning it will be quite the behemoth when it comes to performance.
Due to its use of Threadripper 3000 architecture, we can also correctly ascertain it'll support PCIe 4.0. As well as that, it will have 288MB of total cache on-board, and it'll consume 280W (the same TDP as the Threadripper 3970X). This may be another reason why AMD moved to use the sTRX4 socket in recent times, given such processors will require a heftier power delivery system. Unsurprisingly, the Threadripper 3990X won't be backwards compatible withe existing X399 motherboards, much like the Threadripper 3970X and 3960X before it, so expect to budget for a new motherboard when pricing it up.
To put all those figures into some kind of perspective, last year's Threadripper 2990WX is a 32-core processor and runs with a TDP of 250W. It was priced at $1,799 at launch so expect the Threadripper 3990X to be a similarly very expensive beast of a CPU. Even if there isn't any word yet on clock speeds.
Understandably then, AMD has pitched it at a target audience of 'Hollywood creators' which seems like a very specific way of phrasing things. Aimed at those looking to compile code rapidly, encode video, conduct 3D graphic design, and all sorts of complex, professional activities, this is a processor that's going to be rather niche when it comes to interest.
However, it's great for everyone to see AMD increase core counts for the high-end desktop market. The benefits are sure to trickle down as time goes by and it'll be fascinating to see how Intel combats this.
There's no word yet on when there will be more details and a 'proper' reveal of the Threadripper 3990X but CES seems a likely option. Perhaps then we'll know more about clock speeds, a launch date, and just how scarily priced it will be.
December 11 2020 | 17:30