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AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper

AMD's new Ryzen ThreadRipper 1950X: 16C/32T for just $999... good bye, Intel.

4 minute read time

AMD Fights The Good (CPU) Fight

AMD began its big new fight against Intel last year with the sheer promise of its new "Zen" CPU architecture, but after years of disappointment in the company's consumer CPU division, most people didn't start believing AMD... that is, until we got closer to the launch.

AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper 01

In the weeks leading into the Ryzen announcement, we had a world exclusive: AMD would call its new CPU family 'Ryzen.' AMD went directly to where Intel was dominant: the high-end Core i7-7700K level CPUs by announcing their Ryzen 7 1800X. AMD's new Ryzen 7 1800X doubled the CPU core count that the 7700K offered, delivering 8C/16C processors to the masses who were used to 4C/8T chips from Intel.

AMD's new Ryzen processors might not combat Intel in games at a clock-to-clock level, but the thread count fight is something AMD won without trying. Offering consumers 8C/16T for just $499 was a massive deal for gamers who were used to paying $1000+ from Intel for their Core i7-6900K, Core i7-5960X, or their new Core i7-6950X processors which cost many thousands of dollars.

Everything Changes With Ryzen ThreadRipper

This is where it all begins again: Ryzen ThreadRipper and its massive core count will combat Intel in a way that they've never been hit before. Intel offers CPUs with massive core counts, but they're usually reserved for the Xeon markets where the consumer can't afford it.

Massive CPU core counts have trickled down to the consumer over the last couple of years with Intel's HEDT flagship Core i7 processors, and now Core i9 processors offering 10C/20T. The thing is, the price on these CPUs has always been a massive chunk over $1000, again, forcing them out of the hands of most consumers.

Ryzen ThreadRipper is poised to not only disrupt but completely rip apart the HEDT market with 16C/32T @ $999 with the Ryzen ThreadRipper 1950X.

Furthermore, the Ryzen ThreadRipper 1920X is a 12C/24T part that's just $799, which will be a competitor to the Core i9-7900X that's priced at $999 (but is a 10C/20T part).

AMD is offering around 40% better performance per dollar, especially for multi-threaded tasks like video editing and content creation. Gamers won't be enthralled, as they'd be better off buying a more mid-range CPU and a higher-end GPU and monitor for games, thanks to games not using all of the CPU threads that Ryzen ThreadRipper is offering.

Intel Needs To Buy Lots Of Glue

AMD Uses Glue To Beat Intel

There's something I find funny about Intel's response to AMD's upcoming Ryzen ThreadRipper CPUs, in that Intel accuses AMD of "gluing" two Ryzen 7 1800X processors together, almost like it's funny that AMD can't just make a single CPU die with 18C/36T. But you know what, Intel - AMD are beating you at your own game.

AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper 02

Slapping two Ryzen 7 1800X processor dies onto a single package has multiple benefits: it's much cheaper to use two CPU dies than it is to create one monster CPU. AMD can ramp up Ryzen 7 1800X production knowing that the spare CPU dies can be used in twos to make Ryzen ThreadRipper 1950X processors.

Secondly, AMD can make Ryzen 5 1600X processors (6C/12T) and double them up for Ryzen ThreadRipper 1920X (12C/24T). It creates a new way of producing CPUs for AMD, something Intel isn't doing - even now, in 2017. Intel is mad jealous about this and is almost brainwashing their non-existent marketing departments to push this fact.

Intel has been lazy for years, and now we're at a point where their monopoly is costing them, in the words of Donald Trump, bigly.

X399 Is Another Win For AMD & Upgrading

X399 Chipset, Another Win

This is an area where Intel has, until now, had absolute dominance: chipsets. AMD has not had a chipset that has been enthusiast worthy for years, almost back to the nForce 2 days (NVIDIA chipset on AMD motherboards - if you can believe it).

AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper 03

AMD changes the chipset game with Whitehaven or their new X399 platform. AMD announced their new X399 chipset and Ryzen ThreadRipper CPUs at Computex last month, with X399 offering up to 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, quad-channel DDR4 support, up to 8 x DIMMs, and so much more.

Intel's current HEDT platform only supports 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes, meaning AMD is offering 20 more PCIe lanes with X399 over Intel's troubled new X299 platform. Heck, if we look at the 6/8-core Core i7 parts - which have just 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes (X399 has 40 more PCIe 3.0 lanes at that point) and a huge 48 more PCIe lanes when compared to Kaby Lake X.

AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper 04

AMD really ramps things up from their current-gen Ryzen processors that offer 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, meaning multi-GPU enthusiasts like myself are left out in the cold if we want to go 2-way GPU and multiple M.2 SSDs. ThreadRipper and X399 change that with a huge 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, something Intel will have to wait through to 2018 and beyond to compete against. Soz, Intel - maybe you need some more glue?

Should You Upgrade?

This is going to be the big question, as people are going to want to upgrade to the latest Ryzen ThreadRipper from AMD just because of another giant leap in CPU dominance from the company.

But do you really need to? Let's talk about that.

Are you a gamer? This would break into multiple parts. Have you got a 2/4-core CPU? Go for the Ryzen 5/7 processors, unless you want the power of the X399 chipset. You might want to get a Ryzen 7 1800X for example, mixed with a single graphics card - but if you have higher requirements like 2 x Radeon RX Vega or 2 x GeForce GTX 1080 Ti... then the X399 chipset is what you want.

AMD hits Intel where it hurts with Ryzen ThreadRipper 01

Are you a video editor? YES. This is where AMD is going to kill it: video/photo production and content creation in general. This is a market completely dominated by Intel and their high-end Core i7/i9 processors, but that dominance is coming to an end with Ryzen ThreadRipper.

Are you an enthusiast? YES! This is what Ryzen ThreadRipper and the X399 platform is all about. I'm an enthusiast and will be all over Ryzen ThreadRipper and X399, this is what this entire article is all about. AMD is delivering a new high-end platform like we haven't seen from the company since its acquisition of ATI back in 2006.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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