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.

AnandTech Cores/
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 3000
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.

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  • Nicon0s - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    The same was claimed for months about the 3950x and practice this Ryzen CPU with only dual channel memory goes toe to toe with Intel's top HEDT CPU in many benchmarks and workloads.
  • leexgx - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    The TR uses 4 channel, it have to be some quite special cases where it wasn't enough (L3 was also doubled to 16mb per 4 cores) and 3960x and higher don't have the issue with ccx to ccx jumping to get to ram access any more so the latency matters more then speed
  • werpu - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    A full build with this is still cheaper than the 8 core macpro...
  • wolfesteinabhi - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    For benchmark ... how about running some local docker/container cloud with mixed workload ... DB/Web/App/Java?

    or say a swarm of VMs(with 8 cores each or something?) running Cinebench R15 in parallel
  • Jackbender - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    I would suggest a scientific benchmark in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) but there is none readily available to the best of my knowledge.

    Some workloads on 64 cores beg for 8 memory channels and/or gigantic amounts of RAM.
    I'm wondering... Where are the TRX80 and WRX80 chipsets and motherboards we heard about in August 2019?
    If they are to be released, will they expose 8 memory channels? (same CPU pin count for Threadripper and Epyc, eh)
    Will they all accept all 3000-series Threadripper models? Meaning, all Threadripper 3000-series CPUs would work on all TRX40, TRX80 and WRX80 motherboards but unlock features on higher end chipsets and motherboards? (more memory channels, more PCI-E lanes)
    Will they allow for the use of memory modules beyond UDIMMs? (RDIMMs and LRDIMMs)
  • hammer256 - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Wait, so you are hoping to get an EPYC feature set but with threadripper clocks?
    The EPYC 7702P already has all that you asked for, but at lower clocks, and that processor is already more expensive than the 3990X.
    Maybe AMD will offer an EPYC single socket at threadripper clocks for workstation uses, but no way is that going to be at threadripper prices.
  • PickUrPoison - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Single-socket EPYC workstation is what was rumored. 96-128 PCIe lanes, 8-channel memory controller, and RDIMM/LRDIMM support. Sure it’ll be expensive, this 3990X at $4k is already not cheap.
  • PickUrPoison - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Not EPYC per se; EPYC lite. Threadripper 3000 with a higher end chipset.
  • PickUrPoison - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    To be clear, the workstation CPUs would be different parts, not those already announced. WX suffix, rumored to be using a socket WRX8.
  • Nicon0s - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    "this 3990X at $4k is already not cheap"

    You are talking about a CPU that beats two dual platinum 28 core Xeons which cost 20.000$ so 4000$ is cheap for what performance you are getting. A similar core count Epyc CPU would only be 500$ more so also not expensive at all.

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