In October, AMD launched the Epyc 7H12, a 64-core behemoth designed to take down Intel’s Xeon in the server market. Now AMD has confirmed plans for an epyc…er, epic smackdown of Intel in the desktop PC with the 64-core Threadripper 3990X.
No, AMD’s 64-core Threadripper 3990X isn’t quite here—and boy, Intel should thank its lucky stars for that. After AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X danced on Intel’s head by topping the Intel Core i9-9900KS in both single-core and multithreaded performance, the 32-core Threadripper 3970X just added insult to injury. And with the 64-core Threadripper 3990X on the horizon…wow. Wow. Hulk SMASH.
Granted, we don’t know everything about this new chip, including the key metric: the price. A four-digit price tag should be expected. But here’s what we do know about the 3990X:
- It will have 64 cores and 128 threads.
- It will have 288MB of total cache.
- It will consume 280W, the same TDP as the current Threadripper 3970X.
- You won’t be able to afford it.
While that last bullet point may be an exaggeration, it might not be that far off. Anyone who’s involved in rendering or other multithreaded, CPU-intensive apps will be able to take advantage of AMD’s new chip. But AMD’s 64-core monstrosity will probably be priced way above the threshold of the average enthusiast.
AMD signaled the possibility of a 64-core Threadripper chip when it first announced the original Threadripper 3970X, based on the TRX40 platform and the new sTRX4 socket. That platform includes up to 72 lanes of PCI Express—but that’s PCIe 4.0, rather than the PCIe 3.0 connection that was built into the X399 chipset platform that’s apparently on its way out.
In any event, AMD is touting the new Threadripper 3990X as the “one CPU to rule them all.” We’ll have to wait until 2020, though, to see if Intel bends the knee.