Everything You Need To Know About AMD's Ryzen Threadripper

We've been waiting for more info on AMD's hardcore, 16-core CPU known as Threadripper since it was announced. Now we know exactly when we'll get it, and how much it'll cost.

Here's the Australian prices and release dates for AMD's new top-of-the-line, high-performance desktop CPUs.

In an announcement post on its blog, AMD has detailed the two Ryzen Threadripper chips that'll be launching at the start of next month. In addition to the hero 1950X 16-core, 32-thread CPU there's a less expensive and less powerful 12-core, 24-thread variant called the 1920X.

Here's AMD's spiel on Threadripper:

Ryzen Threadripper will be available worldwide for the high-end desktop market in early August. In addition to the 16-core, 32-thread model previously announced, there will also be a 12-core, 24-thread model available. Both are unlocked, use the new Socket TR4, have quad channel DDR4, and feature 64 lanes of PCI Express.

Base clock on the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-core product is 3.4 GHz with precision boost to 4.0 GHz. On the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X 12-core product, the base clock is 3.5 GHz with precision boost to 4.0 GHz.

Both Ryzen Threadripper CPUs offer higher performance in Cinebench r15 than Intel 7900X, as demonstrated in the video. AMD is on track to launch Ryzen Threadripper CPUs and motherboards in early August, with Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition system pre-orders starting July 27.

Ryzen Threadripper – On shelves early August Ryzen Threadripper 1950X: 16 Cores, 32 Threads, 3.4/4.0 GHz, $999 Ryzen Threadripper 1920X: 12 Cores, 24 Threads, 3.5/4.0 GHz, $799

Those two hardcore chips will also be joined by two new entry-level Ryzen 3 CPUs, although local prices haven't yet been confirmed.

Ryzen 3 – On shelves July 27 Ryzen 3 1300X: 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.5/3.7 GHz Ryzen 3 1200: 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.1/3.4 GHz


    The most important thing to know about it for some people in my social circle: this is a workhorse CPU, not a gaming CPU. Don't expect it to perform well in games, because it won't.

      its not that it wont perform well, its just that its not what its designed to be used for so wont give AS good performance compared to other chips.

        i should also add that you are probably better off spending between 300 and 500 on a cpu and putting the extra 2 to 4 hunge in to something more beneficial like a GPU and some solid state storage.

        I know people that think this is the equivalent of the Titan GPU, which has both excellent gaming performance and insane compute performance. In that comparison, Threadripper is entirely about the compute performance and has mediocre gaming performance. Even for a general purpose PC that also does gaming, there are much better options available (the 7700K in particular is excellent).

          The 1600X isn't a bad option either for those who want to do a bit of stuff on the side (encoding/recording or what not). It's so refreshing to have options for a change.

            Sure, that may be true. I haven't had a chance to sit down with the Ryzen 5s yet to compare but the price is certainly good.

              I've been using the 1800X at work most of the time but last time I mucked around with the 1500X/1600X the gaming performance was negligible at best. There's a measurable drop in the CPU heavy stuff, like Blender, Photoshop etc, but for the price you pay it's hard to complain. I'm very strongly considering upgrading my i7-4770K rig at home to a Ryzen system just for the cores (not for the gaming fps but the rendering etc. that this job makes you do).

                I recently upgraded my main PC's old 4770K and Ryzen (1700X and 1800X particularly) was a consideration. I use that machine for gaming, software development and video encoding as the big three uses so it was interesting to weigh up the pros and cons.

                I settled on the 7700K in the end as gaming was a larger slice of the pie than the other two but for the use you've described I'd give serious consideration to the 1800X. The 7820X is also a solid offering, only about $100 more than the 1800X with 28 PCIe lanes vs 20 for the Ryzen, quad channel DDR4-2666 RAM support and a decent clock bump. They need to sort out the socket 2066 motherboard prices is all because that's the real thing stopping that setup being much more appealing.

          Eh maybe not - those clocks are identical to an 1800x, which only has a 8% on average deficit @ 1080p (which vanishes by 4k) and higher IF bandwidth may help that case even more.

          The bigger problem will be OS, and preferably, app level NUMA awareness for mainstream tasks.

            Which benchmark has the 1800X only 8% below the 7700K in gaming? Most ones I've seen are in the 12-14% range. CPU-dependent titles have an even higher margin given straight compute performance sits around 20-25% lower.

      You're right, which is unfortunate. The choice between the i7 7700k and the Ryzen 7 (and soon, Threadripper) models for gaming and workstation performance is really painful. I just want something with at least 8 cores with decent enough single-threaded performance that it doesn't immediately surrender to the 7700k in games.

      I'm using an i5 4690k right now (a 4-threaded CPU, which seems a bit barbaric in the modern desktop market) and upgrading to an Intel or Ryzen chip would have very different results. If I went with a Ryzen 7 1700, I'd get a massive boost in workstation performance and a totally negligible performance increase in games, but if I go with the i7 7700k, I'd get a big gaming boost but a much smaller (but still good) workstation boost. As someone who wants both, I just don't know what to do.

      I'd happily shell out a few hundred extra dollars to get what's basically an i7 7700k with +2 or +4 cores, but Intel's new 6/8 core CPUs are totally failing to live up to that (with a much more expensive mobo chipset, too) which is a shame. It looks like AMD won't be coming to the rescue either, given that this thing is still going to be making the same compromises with an even more exclusive workstation angle.

      Last edited 14/07/17 4:58 pm

        FYI I nuked your double comment, in case you were wondering where that went

          Thanks for that! I looked for a delete option and I couldn't find it, so I was relieved to see it get deleted.

        It's an architectural tradeoff unfortunately. More cores means less clock per core, because any tech advancement that would improve multicore clock would improve single core clock by more.

        Unless you're doing especially intensive work (video encoding, 3D rendering, etc) then 4/8 is fine for the next few years, in my opinion. For gaming I wouldn't expect it to change in any meaningful way for another 3-5 years at least.

        Wait for ryzen 2 (if you can hold on). it will have IPC and clockspeed improvements, even just 10% on each of those would bring the single thread performance gap to almost nothing and still get twice the cores for the price.

      Well, technically it'll perform as good as any of the ryzen chips as it gets the same clock speeds and they perform fantastic.
      Obviously im not saying everyone should buy one for gaming but if you do have work that needs 32 threads and you like to game, you can do it on the same PC, whereas before you would almost certainly need a seperate workstation and gaming PC.

        I guess we can disagree on the 'performs fantastic' part then, I was pretty disappointed with Ryzen benchmarks. No doubt they closed some of the gap between older AMD generations and Intel but for all the hype about the new architecture, at best they equalled the Intel generation that was about to be replaced.

        Don't get me wrong, Intel's latest HEDT offerings this past month or so are pathetic as well. I was really hoping AMD would get close enough to force Intel out of their dominant position complacency but it just hasn't made the impact it needed to, and AMD's market share is still falling despite Ryzen sales.

          Disappointing being only the overclockable intel CPUs beating ryzen? and that only being average fps with the ryzen minimums being far better? and this being only gaming, where ryzen destroys intel in everything else, this also being where ryzen is significantly cheaper? I find it very hard to be disappointed in ryzen. plus they have said decent IPC and clockspeed improvements will be made with zen 2 next year, whereas intel is hitting a fiery wall on clockspeed with delidlake (i know that'll make sound like an AMD fanboy but its more that name gave me a very good chuckle when i first saw it.) and didn't improve IPC at all.

          and in HEDT, intel isnt going to suddenly change their ripoff pricing in one generation otherwise they would be admitting they were fucking everyone raw these last 5 years plus they think they can just cost through 'because they are intel' and thats what they've been doing for years. when threadripper outsells intels fantastically designed core i9s and its masterfully crafted x299 platform they should hopefully get the picture that people are sick of their shit and maybe they'll actually improve and compete once again. with the people that have already signed on for buying EPYC it shows how well AMD is going to do these next few years. Also, where the heck did you get AMD has a falling marketshare? havent seen anything of the sort and only seen how ryzen chips are in the top selling PC parts only beaten by 7700k.

          Also if this seems semi incoherent its because i have typed this inbetween matches of Halo

            I explained why it was disappointing in my post. Based on aggregate review data sourced from UserBenchmark, Anandtech, Tom's Hardware and HW Canucks:

            - The 1800X (current generation 8C/16T) against the 7700K (current generation 4C/8T) is 23% slower on single core performance, 19% slower on quad core performance, 44% faster on multi core performance and 10% slower on gaming performance, so it barely competes at all in the standard desktop and gaming categories.

            - Against the 6900K (last generation Intel 8C/16T) is 10% slower on single core performance, 1% slower on multi core performance and 9% slower on gaming performance, which puts it just within range of a last-generation HEDT entry.

            - Against the 7820X (current generation Intel 8C/16T) is 12% slower on single core performance, 15% slower on multi core performance and 11% slower on gaming performance.

            - No need to compare with the 7900X, which is more powerful than the 7820X in every metric.

            Pretty much every benchmark site I've seen recommends the 7700K over anything else (including Intel HEDT) for gaming, and the 7820X or 7900X for HEDT depending on budget. As an exemplar, Anandtech recommends the 1800X only as a budget option.

            So yes, it's disappointing that AMD's flagship HEDT CPU barely equals a last generation Intel HEDT CPU on multithreaded performance but falls short on single thread and gaming performance. As a gaming or standard desktop CPU it falls significantly shorter. AMD is leagues ahead in price competition, but sales figures suggest people tend to prioritise performance over price in gaming and HEDT markets.

            Hypotheticals about what AMD will do on future generations isn't relevant to why Ryzen is disappointing today. Any predictions about either AMD or Intel advancements in future generations are pure speculation at this point. It's normal for a new physical architecture to get large gains in its initial generation but historically that falls off very quickly, it's silly to think first generation IPC gains would be replicated in subsequent generations unless another new architecture is introduced (which won't be happening next generation). Despite its gains, AMD's IPC is still behind Intel on competing models.

            Threadripper sales guesses are pure speculation, let's stay based in reality.

            AMD's market share has only seen an uptick in benchmark logging, with Passmark noting a 2% increase for AMD in Q1. That's fairly normal when a new generation CPU is released and it's expected the Q2 results will reverse that as Intel's latest generation hit that quarter. Market Realist showed a 10% drop in AMD's quarterly revenue in Q1, and Steam's hardware survey is an excellent source for gaming market share, showing around a 3% loss of market share since the start of the year. That decline almost stabilised with the Ryzen release (only 0.15% loss between March and April) but then resumed its decline in May and June, losing 1.2% share across the two months.

            Financially, AMD isn't out of the woods yet. Confidence in Ryzen ended up being overestimated, and AMD had to reduce its Q2 forecast back in May. Revenue was also lower than forecast. This month they've seen another dip as cryptocurrency values have sharply dropped, affecting AMD GPU sales which have always excelled at compute tasks like mining. Overall, the company has had operating losses for years now, and Q1 2017 lost around $73 million (Q2 hasn't been posted yet). The company has run at a loss for years now.

            Ryzen needed to compete much more strongly than it has for a lot of reasons, not least because Intel need to actually waking up and making proper tech advancements with reasonable pricing and that won't happen while AMD sits a generation behind. And for the sake of all of us, AMD needs to start turning a profit before investors get sick of no dividends year after year and debtors call in their debts.

    So if it's not for gamers, can I assume it's good for virtualisation?
    Six or more 2-core virtual machines, all running at once...

      I haven't had a chance to test Ryzen's virtualisation but assuming they didn't bugger it up, Threadripper would be excellent for this.

        SRIOV is still a mess, but virt performance is excellent in Xen & Hyper-V from our testing. Fully encrypted VM's without having to do so at the application level is also a nice touch for us.

    I had to giggle at the video when the first side by side render finished. "Threadripper is definitely more powerful". Like no shit.. you're putting a 12 core against a 10, and they both have the same base frequency. The score difference between the 2 was pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a 2 core difference!
    I'm not denying that AMD has done well to catch up with Intel at long last (at least in this area). It's good to see some actual serious competition for a change, but that was a piss poor choice for comparison ;)

      There's nothing from Intel with a core count higher in that market, and definitely nothing nowhere near the price.

      As it is, AMD was comparing a 10 core part, which costs 30% more than its 12 core part.

        I know it's more expensive, but that's irrelevant. The comparison wasn't about price/performance.
        Also, I know there's nothing higher on the market from Intel yet, but it's still laughable. Of COURSE it's going to be quicker. Apples to oranges comparison. If they had the same core count, or the AMD had less, or even a lower clock speed, and it still beat it, sure!

          Just to clarify for the sake of bias, it would have been equally as funny had intel done the same thing. I'm not ripping on AMD. Just the guy in the vid ;)

    threadripper looks good but there will be bugs (posting again to get my moderation back)

      1000%. Ryzen's launch wasn't smooth as silk either; I'm still remembering the weeks of memory blue screens I had in the office until those BIOS updates came out.

        if there isnt any problems, well thats just not computing. =P~

          I think people just got way too accustomed to how smooth things were with the last few years of Intel CPUs. People take stuff not breaking for granted more than they should.

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