AMD finally reveals third-gen Threadripper CPUs, core counts and all

Roland Moore-Colyer
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AMD's third-generation Threadripper CPU are finally official
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AMD's third-generation Threadripper CPU are finally official

CPUs could have Intel's top-end desktop processors on the ropes

IT'S ALIVE! AMD has finally uncloaked its long-rumoured third-generation Threadripper processors.

We knew they were coming, with AMD boss Dr Lisa Su confirming they'd pop up late 2019. And if you get a heady feeling at the idea of lots of cores, the new Threadrippers won't disappoint.

The top-of-the-line Ryzen Threadripper 3970X comes with a mighty 32 cores and 64 threads, running between 3.7GHz to 4.5GHZ and sporting a healthy 144MB of cache. You'll need to fork out $1,999 (some £1,560) for the privilege of having such a slice of silicon, but that's a heck of a bargain - on paper at least - when compared to the 18-core Intel Core i9-9980XE that cost some £1,500 to £2,000.

Drop down to $1,399, around a grand in Blighty bullion, and you'll bag you the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, a 24-core, 48-thread CPU with 140MB of cache and a base clock speed of 3.8GHz running up to 4.5GHz.

Both of the Theadrippers use AMD's Zen 2 7-nanometre architecture and come with support for up to 88 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

While these CPUs might bring some serious performance to the arena when it comes to gaming, they seem more targeted at so-called 'content creators' with both chips supposedly beating the Core i9-9980XE in Adobe Premier CC, Cinebench R20, and compiling in the Unreal Engine 4.23.

Both of these Threadripper CPUs will be released into the wild on 25 November, just in time for PC fans to build an epic Christmas computer.

Want gaming grunt from Team Red? The chipmaker also revealed some more details about the 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X, touting how it is on par and often beats the Core i9-9980XE in games like Apex Legends, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Hitman. And at a price of $749 (some £584), it's a lot cheaper than the Intel CPU. It'll make its debut 25 November.

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If you don't like powerful chips and feel the need to be honest about it, then AMD also revealed the Athlon 3000G. This dual-core, four-thread CPU runs at 3.5GHz and comes with Team Red's Radeon Vega 3 graphics, all packed up in a 35W thermal design power envelope. It's expected to compete with Intel's Pentium G5400, so it's likely to crop up in compact small-form-factor PCs.

The chip will be available on 19 November and will start at a mere $49 (some £38).

So that's a trio of CPUs from the red corner to try and shake up the CPU arena before 2020 wings its way around.

This shows that AMD is in rude health, though we'll have to see exactly how well the new Threadrippers and high-end Ryzen 9 chips stand up against Intel equivalents.

But we hope that'll spur Intel to accelerate its move to the 10nm process node for its desktop CPUs, as impressive as some of its ninth-gen desktop CPUs are, one can't help but feel a little something special is needed from the chipmaker beyond the Ice Lake debut. µ

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