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
AnandTech Cores/
Threads
Base/
Turbo
L3 DRAM
1DPC
PCIe TDP SRP
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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  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    This could be great for PostgreSQL - queries can scale well as long as the workload`s large enough.

    Of course memory bandwidth can be an issue, too, but it depends on what the queries are doing; usually there`s something complex enough for a bit of raw CPU power to be useful as well.
    Reply
  • brucethemoose - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Crysis on SwiftShader!

    https://github.com/google/swiftshader

    Can a 3990X run Crysis, all by itself?
    Reply
  • bull2760 - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    Yes HP does in fact use AMD CPU's in it'w lineup of workstations. The Z 705 series is Ryzen Based.
    https://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/business-solutions/...
    Reply
  • HarisM - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    I would really, really like to see benchmarks of linear algebra, such as matrix multiplication, e.g. LAPACK, BLAS, compared to XEON. So far, these have been far better optimized for Intel CPUs, and I want to know if AMD has caught up on the software side of these libraries.
    I have scripts to do those benchmarks in Mathematica if you are interested, and they can be done with a temporary (evaluation) Mathematica license. I work at NCSA, let me know if I can help.
    Reply
  • Frank_M - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    AMD has a proprietary compiler for linux.

    https://developer.amd.com/amd-aocc/

    A completion between AMD hardware with AMD compiler against NVIDIA with portland, and Intel with Intel compiler would be sweet.

    The intel compiler is powerful. I used to compile for a 2687w and it would fly.
    Reply
  • Jackbender - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - link

    Benchmark suggestion: simultaneous benchmarks!

    Raytracer rendering (e.g. Blender)
    + video editor rendering (e.g. Adobe Premiere)
    + video transcoding (e.g. Handbrake)
    + lossless compression (e.g. 7-Zip)
    + video game
    + live streaming
    Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - link

    Yes, it's time for simultaneous benchmarks!
    You can pick exactly what you'd want to do. I personally typically compile, transcode, or render while preforming some lighter task. Like arcade games, watching movies, using a file manager. If I could do more it would be nice.
    OTOH: If I could do more transcoding simultaneously that would also be a big win!
    Reply
  • Fataliity - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - link

    @Ian Cuttress

    This is how you will probably have to test a 64Core.

    https://www.amd.com/en/system/files/documents/rade...

    AMD Case Study on Epyc 7371 in 2U (64Thread tests)

    ---Might help you on benching this beast.
    Also, try contacting synopsys for a file to use for compile benchmarks, and write a script to do 1 on each thread, so 128 compiles at once. Just like this explains.
    Reply
  • hehatemeXX - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Can we please get some container benchmarks, or VM workload benchmarks? Essentially, launch 128 VM's, with each getting a single or dual core allocation, and run PCmark or something. For the containers, launch 128 containers, with default NGINX, and run apache bench or something. Reply

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