One of the surprises from AMD’s first year of the newest x86 Zen architecture was the launch of the Threadripper platform. Despite the mainstream Ryzen processors already taking a devastating stab into the high-end desktop market, AMD’s Threadripper offered more cores at a workstation-friendly price. For 2018, the next generation is going to be using AMD’s updated 12nm Zeppelin dies, as well as including a few new tweaks into the system including better boost and faster caches.

This article is still a work in progress, and will be updated as more news comes in.

AMD’s Zeppelin silicon has 8 cores, and the first generation Threadripper uses two of them to get to the top-SKU of 16-cores. Inside the CPU however, there are four pieces of silicon: two active and two inactive. For this second generation of Threadripper, called Threadripper 2 or the Threadripper 2000-series, AMD is going to make these inactive dies into active ones, and substantially increase the core count for the high-end desktop and workstation user.

At the AMD press event at Computex, it was revealed that these new processors would have up to 32 cores in total, mirroring the 32-core versions of EPYC. On EPYC, those processors have four active dies, with eight active cores on each die (four for each CCX). On EPYC however, there are eight memory channels, and AMD’s X399 platform only has support for four channels. For the first generation this meant that each of the two active die would have two memory channels attached – in the second generation Threadripper this is still the case: the two now ‘active’ parts of the chip do not have direct memory access.

This technically adds latency to the platform, however AMD is of the impression that for all but the most memory bound tasks, this should not be an issue (usually it is suggested to just go buy an EPYC for those workloads). While it does put more pressure on the internal Infinity Fabric, AMD ultimately designed Infinity Fabric for scalable scenarios like this between different silicon with different levels of cache and memory access.

Update: AMD has just published a full copy of their slide deck for the Threadripper 2 presentation. In it are a few interesting factoids.

AMD Threadripper CPUs
32-Core Sample
24-Core Sample
Socket TR4 (LGA)
CPU Architecture Zen+ Zen+ Zen Zen
Cores/Threads 32 / 64 24 / 48 16 / 32 12 / 24
Base Frequency 3.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency 3.4 GHz (WIP) 3.4 GHz (WIP) 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz
L3 Cache 64 MB ? 48 MB ? 32 MB 32 MB
TDP 250W 250W 180W 180W
PCIe 3.0 Lanes 60 + 4
Chipset Support X399
Memory Channels 4
  1. Both the 24-core and 32-core sample CPUs are clocked at 3.0GHz base and 3.4GHz all-core turbo, with the latter being a work-in-progress according to the company.
  2. The 32-core system was equipped with DDR4-3200 memory. This is notable because the Ryzen processors based on the same 12nm Zeppelin dies officially max out at DDR4-2933.
  3. The codename for the processor family is listed as "Colfax". This is the first we've heard this codename from AMD.
  4. Despite the high TDP, both CPUs used in AMD's demos were air-cooled, using AMD's Wraith Ripper Air Cooler

Also announced at the presentation is the state of play of motherboards. According to the motherboard vendors These new Threadripper 2000-series processors will have a peak TDP rating of 250W, which is much higher than 180W we saw on the 1950X. We have been told by partners that the 250W rating is actually conservative, and users should expect lower power consumption in most scenarios. Nonetheless, it was stated by several motherboard vendors that some of the current X399 motherboards on the market might struggle with power delivery to the new parts, and so we are likely to see a motherboard refresh. That is not saying that the current X399 offerings will not work, however they might not offer overclocking to the level that users might expect. At Computex there are new X399 refresh motherboards being demonstrated by a few companies, and we will report on them in due course. Other specifications are expected to match the previous generation, such as PCIe lane counts, despite the newly active dies.

MSI's 19-phase X399 Refresh Motherboard

The launch for these new processors, according to our moles is in early August. This aligns with what AMD stated at the beginning of the year at CES, and is almost a year from the original Threadripper launch.

Pricing on the processors is set to be revealed either today or closer to the launch time. We will update this piece as more information comes in.

It will be interesting if AMD is going to go through the ‘unboxing’ embargo this time around, or just jump straight to full performance reviews. As always, come to AnandTech for the full story.

GIGABYTE's new X399 Refresh Motherboard

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  • MutualCore - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    Can anyone point me to a an off the shelf application that can utilize 16 cores, much less 32? I don't mean some in-house custom research project where you spin off 32 threads just to stress the system. I mean Adobe or 3D rendering engines.
  • Goty - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Well, it's x264 or x265 that's actually doing the work, not handbrake.
  • Ippokratis - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    VRay (renderer), Keyshot(renderer), Arnold(renderer), Houdini (3d-VFX-rendering), photogrammetry software, other. Adobe's bad core scaling is Adobe's problem.
  • blppt - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    On the more mainstream things, believe it or not, an 8k/60p video on youtube can hit 50% cpu usage on my 1950X. Of course, if you have a nvidia 10 series or higher GPU, you can run 8k/60p on a quad core (maybe even less!) with no problems. No amd gpu yet fully accelerates video above 4k.
  • designerfx - Monday, July 2, 2018 - link

    how about "people run a lot of different applications that would easily use 4-8 cores a piece"?
  • TheJian - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    "Despite the mainstream Ryzen processors already taking a devastating stab into the high-end desktop market, AMD’s Threadripper offered more cores at a workstation-friendly price."

    So AMD is now making a few billion a year or more NET INCOME? No? Ok, then surely Intel must be making FAR LESS now with this "DEVASTATING STAB" AT Intel's market right? Nope. Oh right, they set a record for income...Well HRMPF....I'm confused. How is it that AMD made a "devastating stab" without either making tons of money or even making a small dent in the ENEMY commonly known as Intel?

    Again, for you to have success either you have to be doing MUCH better now than "back then" (at some point in history), or the enemy has to be doing much worse (or in the best case, you get both of these). I see neither happening here so I think it's a blip on the radar until you MAKE MASSIVE PROFIT. Worse they now seem to be giving Intel gpu tech which will lead to death in a few years anyway as Intel can make a better AMD APU than AMD themselves at least until Intel is totally behind in fabs (getting there now it seems, should've bought NV for $10-15 when they had a chance).

    Don't get me wrong, great we have competition now, but until AMD figures out how to PRICE appropriately, they'll continue to just be some guy in the market that doesn't make a dime while selling a great product...LOL. Until you realize you are NOT in business to be OUR FRIEND, you'll keep making NOTHING, while being the #2 cpu and gpu maker in the world. How is that sentence even possible? Wake me when you have a PE ratio for a few years (can't happen without PROFITS). I really wish AMD would concentrate on MAXIMIZING PROFITS, instead of maximizing how much we like them today...ROFL. I'm not saying your job is to be your customer's mortal enemy, but you don't have to be our best friend either. R&D costs money and if you're not making any, you can't afford more R&D :) Simple right?
  • Targon - Monday, June 11, 2018 - link

    While Intel market share remains VERY high, the sales numbers are starting to reflect the growing popularity of Ryzen in the overall market. A big part of the delay has been OEMs not offering nearly as many AMD based systems, and I have yet to see one of the big name OEMs put one of the new Ryzen based APUs into one of their systems in the retail sector. Yes, you can find a few first generation Ryzen based machines with a discrete video card, but I haven't seen Raven Ridge based desktops and almost no laptops.
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    I'm looking forward to seeing the clocks. If the 24 core part retains ALL THE CACHE like the smaller parts in the Ryzen line up have done, then it will be a monster. 64MB of L3 cache! On a consumer CPU!
  • SaturnusDK - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    I'm sure it will like the TR1s did. Having the full 64MB of cache will also pretty much eliminate the memory channel concerns, at least for the 24C one. At 32C it might start to become issue.

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