AMD’s 64-Core Threadripper 3990X, only $3990! Coming February 7thby Dr. Ian Cutress on January 6, 2020 5:45 PM EST
At the tail end of last year, one of the key launches in the creator/workstation processor market was AMD’s latest 3rd Generation Threadripper portfolio, which started with 24-core and 32-core hardware, with a strong teaser that a 64-core version was coming in 2020. Naturally, there was a lot of speculation, particularly regarding sustained frequencies, pricing, availability, and launch date. This week at CES, we can answer a couple of those questions.
The new 64-core AMD Threadripper 3990X is essentially a consumer variant of the 64-core EPYC 7702P currently for sale in the server market, albeit with fewer memory channels, fewer enterprise features, but a higher frequency and higher TDP. That processor has a suggested e-tail price (SEP) of $4450, compared to the new 3990X, which will have a $3990 SEP.
|AMD HEDT SKUs|
|Third Generation Threadripper|
|TR 3990X||64 / 128||2.9 / 4.3||256 MB||4x3200||64||280 W||$3990|
|TR 3970X||32 / 64||3.7 / 4.5||128 MB||4x3200||64||280 W||$1999|
|TR 3960X||24 / 48||3.8 / 4.5||128 MB||4x3200||64||280 W||$1399|
|Second Generation Threadripper|
|TR 2990WX||32 / 64||3.0 / 4.2||64 MB||4x2933||64||250 W||$1799|
|TR 2970WX||24 / 48||3.0 / 4.2||64 MB||4x2933||64||250 W||$1299|
|TR 2950X||16 / 32||3.5 / 4.4||32 MB||4x2933||64||180 W||$899|
|TR 2920X||12 / 24||3.5 / 4.3||32 MB||4x2933||64||180 W||$649|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||16 / 32||3.5 / 4.7||32 MB||2x3200||24||105 W||$749|
Frequencies for the new CPU will come in at 2.9 GHz base and 4.3 GHz turbo, which is actually a bit more than I was expecting to see. No word on what the all-core turbo will be, however AMD's EPYC 7H12, a 64-core 280W CPU for the HFT market, is meant to offer an all-core turbo from 3.0-3.3 GHz, so we might see something similar here, especially with aggressive cooling. Naturally, AMD is recommending water cooling setups, as with its other 280W Threadripper CPUs. Motherboard support is listed as the current generation of TRX40 motherboards.
Although we don't put much stock in vendor supplied benchmark numbers, AMD did state that they expect to see Cinebench R20 MT numbers around 25000. That's up from ~17000 on the 3970X. This means not perfect scaling, but for the prosumer market where this chip matters, offering +47% performance for double the cost is often worth it and can be amortized over time.
The other element to the news is the launch date. February 7th is probably earlier than a lot of us in the press expected, however it will be interesting to see how many AMD is able to make, given our recent discussions with CTO Mark Papermaster regarding wafer orders at TSMC. As this chip more closely resembles the price of AMD’s EPYC lineup, we might actually see more of these on the market, as they will attract a good premium. However, the number of users likely do put close to $4k onto a high-end desktop CPU and not go for an enterprise system is a hard one to judge.
AMD recommends that in order to maintain performance scaling with the 3990X that owners should have at least 1 GB of DDR4 per core, if not 2 GB. To be honest anyone looking at this chip should also have enough money in the bank to also get a 128 GB kit of good memory, if not 256 GB. As with other Threadripper chips, AMD lists the support as DDR4-3200, but the memory controller can be overclocked.
We should be talking with AMD soon about sampling, ready for our February 7th review. Please put in some benchmark requests below.