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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  • eastcoast_pete - Saturday, January 11, 2020 - link

    Know I'm late to the party, but you'd be better of spending the extra $ 500 and getting the corresponding EPYC chip. Those and their MoBos can support the amount of ECC memory and the many PCIe lanes you'd probably want in a mid- to high-end workstation.
  • HebrewHammer007 - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    So they fixed the NUMA issues with the 3970x... n00b question, but will this also be a single node on the 3990x? Or is that what the eight channels on EPYC allow?
  • Meaker10 - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    The only node is the i/o die, the chiplets have no memory controller so one numa node.
  • oleyska - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    All zen2 cpu's in single socket have ONE numa.
    Only One, never more.

    Running more than 64 threads in a single socket in Windows, and Windows only will display them as Two numa domains.
    In fact what windows does is creating two processor groups as windows cannot address more than 64 threads per processor group.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    Impressive stuff, but not for someone like me at all. I'm still muddling along with a couple of dual core chips (Bay Trail and Athlon II P360) and they're just fine for my gaming (native Linux stuff and a little bit of DOSBox & WINE when necessary) and running a couple of machines in VirtualBox. I can see needs for these sorts of halo products in a few niche markets, but even the server hardware I use for testing and development at work has half of fewer CPU cores than one of these monsters.
  • PrayForDeath - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    Who said it was for someone like you?
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    If you're not self-aware enoug to fully comprehend the first line in my comment, then it makes sense that you would ask a question like that.
  • Retycint - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    Why even comment then? Nobody wants to know that you don't need it
  • hetzbh - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    Go for the enterprise? What enterprise? seen any workstation motherboard for EPYC? there isn't even a workstation from any of the 3 big vendors, which is quite a shame for AMD.
  • Freakie - Monday, January 6, 2020 - link

    What? There are plenty of workstation motherboards for EPYC? Both single and dual socket? Not that most people using these CPUs are using them as workstations. I would think the majority of people interested in EPYC are putting them on a rack with their other systems they use for computation and VM tasks.

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