The biggest news to come out of Computex, AMD’s second generation of its Ryzen Threadripper platform, is almost here. Today’s announcement is all amount images, speeds and feeds, specifications, and an ‘unboxing’ announcement, leading to pre-orders a week before retail. As much as it pains me that there is an unboxing embargo and pre-orders before we even know how the new chips will perform, here we are. Today we get to go through the on-box specifications, discuss the design, and show what AMD included in our press kit.

2990WX Pre-Orders Open Today, Retail August 13th

The formal launch of the new parts is one week from today, and in the biggest markets the first processor of the launch should be available for pre-order. AMD is set to launch four versions of its second generation Ryzen Threadripper over the course of Q3, starting with its flagship 32-core.

AMD SKUs
  Cores/
Threads
Base/
Turbo
L3 DRAM
1DPC
PCIe TDP SRP
TR 2990WX 32/64 3.0/4.2 64 MB 4x2933 60 250 W $1799
TR 2970WX 24/48 3.0/4.2 64 MB 4x2933 60 250 W $1299
TR 2950X 16/32 3.5/4.4 32 MB 4x2933 60 180 W $899
TR 2920X 12/24 3.5/4.3 32 MB 4x2933 60 180 W $649
Ryzen 7 2700X 8/16 3.7/4.3 16 MB 2x2933 16 105 W $329

Sitting at the top of the stack is the 32-core 2990WX, which will retail at $1800, competing directly against Intel’s existing 18-core part, the Core i9-7980XE. AMD is using "WX" in the name here to offer some branding consistency with their high-end workstation graphics models, the Radeon Pro WX series.

Beating at its heart are four 12nm "Zen+" Zeppelin dies, each with eight cores, connected by AMD’s Infinity Fabric, and using simultaneous multi-threading for a total of 64 threads. As with previous generations, there are 60 PCIe 3.0 lanes for add-in cards and storage, and another four lanes for the chipset. There is a slight change in the memory speed, with the new parts supporting DDR4-2933.

Joining the WX line is the Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX, set at $1299 MSRP. This 24-core part uses three cores per CCX (so six cores per die, four dies per package), and also has simultaneous multi-threading for a total of 48 threads. Speeds are equal to the TR 2990WX, with a 3.0 GHz base clock and a 4.2 GHz single core turbo. Per-core turbo speeds will be decided by Precision Boost 2 and XFR2, as explained below. The 2970WX is set for an October launch.

Both of the WX models are hitting the new TDP of 250W, although the way AMD measures TDP is heavily dependent on the cooler used. In this case, their new high-end ‘Wraith Ripper’ cooler is the benchmark, which is developed by Cooler Master. This new cooler is very large, but offers full heatspreader coverage – which as we've discovered is critical for Threadripper cooling – and provides good clearance for memory. It will be sold separately in the channel, at around $100 MSRP.

Also on the table are the 2950X ($899) and the 2920X ($649), which use the existing X branding. This is because these processors are direct replacements for the 1950X and 1920X, using only two active dies in each chip, but this time around are using Zen+, the second generation Ryzen features such as faster caches and better frequency characteristics. The 16-core TR 2950X will have a base frequency of 3.5 GHz, a turbo of 4.4 GHz, and is due to launch on August 31st. The 12-core TR 2920X by comparison also has a 3.5 GHz base frequency, but a slightly lower turbo at 4.3 GHz, and is due out in October. Both of these parts are set at 180W TDP, like the first generation chips.

AMD Ryzen Product Stacks & Launch Prices
Ryzen 1000 (2017) Ryzen 2000 (2018)
-   TR 2990WX (32C) $1799
-   TR 2970WX (24C) $1299
TR 1950X (16C) $999 TR 2950X (16C) $899
TR 1920X (12C) $749 TR 2920X (12C) $649
TR 1900X (8C) $599 -  
Ryzen 7 1800X (8C) $499 Ryzen 7 2700X (8C) $329
Ryzen 7 1700X (8C) $399

At this point AMD has not stated if it will expand the family even further, so we don't know if the 1900X will stay at the bottom of the stack, be replaced with a 2000 series model, or if it dies off completely.

At this point, AMD’s main competition is still with Intel’s Skylake-X parts. The 32-core 2990 WX will align in price with the 18-core Core i9-7980XE.

Threadripper 2 vs Skylake-X
The Battle (Sorted by Price)
  Cores/
Threads
Base/
Turbo
L3 DRAM
1DPC
PCIe TDP SRP
Intel i9-7980XE 18/36 2.6/4.4 24.75 4x2666 44 140W $1999
AMD TR 2990WX 32/64 3.0/4.2 64 MB 4x2933 60 250W $1799
Intel i9-7960X 16/32 2.8/4.4 22.00 4x2666 44 140W $1699
Intel i9-7940X 14/28 3.1/4.4 19.25 4x2666 44 140W $1399
AMD TR 2970WX 24/48 3.0/4.2 64 MB 4x2933 60 250W $1299
Intel i9-7920X 12/24 2.9/4.4 16.50 4x2666 44 140W $1199
Intel i9-7900X 10/20 3.3/4.3 13.75 4x2666 44 140W $980
AMD TR 2950X 16/32 3.5/4.4 32 MB 4x2933 60 180W $899
AMD TR 2920X 12/24 3.5/4.3 32 MB 4x2933 60 180W $649
Intel i7-7820X 8/16 3.6/4.3 11 MB 4x2666 28 140W $593
AMD TR 1900X 8/16 3.8/4.0 16 MB 4x2666 60 180W $549
AMD R7 2700X 8/16 3.7/4.3 16 MB 2x2933 16 105W $329

Across the metrics, AMD has more cores, is competitive on frequency, has more memory channels, more PCIe lanes, and supports higher memory clockspeeds. Intel has lower power, and above 16 cores a slight turbo clockspeed advantage. Meanwhile we already know from Ryzen 2000-series testing that cache speeds are a back-and-forth competition, and Intel has a slight IPC advantage. Game on.

What Is New: Zen+ Updates
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  • iwod - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    1. Multiple Thread application are INSANELY hard to write CORRECTLY. ( That is why we have
    RUST )

    2. There are still a lot of performance to be squeezed out from parallelism. As proved by Servo.

    3. Because Software has to care about the lowest common denominator, that is why no one is optimising for 8 Core yet.

    If we could push the bottom market to 8 Core, middle market to 16 and top end market to 32 Core, and each segment is then differentiated by its Full Core Speed. We may see software optimise for Multiple Core sooner.

    The only problem is 1. There is no incentive for them to do so and 2. The computer we have today are fast enough for majority of use case.
    Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    Finely threaded single applications isn't the only use. In guyr's example, one that I also use, it's multi-process. Even compilation is multi process. VM is inherently multi-threaded and multi-process. And there are many highly parallel applications that don't require much synchronization and fine grained locking which is where the difficulty comes from, so generalizing "Multiple Thread application are INSANELY hard to write CORRECTLY" is not accurate. Reply
  • Foeketijn - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    I'm now regulary waiting for excel to do some numbercrunching. 3 to 4 minutes 100% on all 8 threads (xeon e3 1240). I am wondering if such a threadripper would make that 20 to 30 seconds. If a 2700x would half that time, I am going to hit myself in the head for not going the threadripper route. Reply
  • BigDH01 - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    Depending on the nature of your formula graph in Excel the problem may not be easily to parallelize. Excel performs some tricks to try and determine if formulas can be calculated concurrently but they can and do fall victim to fragile nodes in their directed cyclic graphs. Even if your graph is very flat, they don't always get parallelism correct as maintaining those facts are either 1) hard to determine in a scalable manner 2) push a lot of state handling to the graph editing side of things which can cause massive slowdowns in user experience to make simple edits. Unfortunately, a lot of programs we use on the desktop aren't just hard to parallelize, but don't parallelize very well (far less than linear scaling). Traversing your graph while tracking state (because excel keeps track of circular dependencies) in the correct order is just a hard problem and even though they can pound your CPU by speculatively executing, you probably won't see a huge speedup unless you've taken steps to make your graph as flat as humanly possible. And if you are doing the latter, why not just use Access? Reply
  • Cooe - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    *facepalm*
    Then you obviously aren't the target market.
    Reply
  • cerealspiller - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Legitimate is overrated :-) Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Go AMD, keep holding chipzilla's feet to the fire and their pricing honest (Intel just reported new record earnings, so there is room there).
    Unrelated, while I assume that the inactive dies in the cheaper TRs may well be dies that binned too low or are just defective, and are locked down better than Fort Knox, just out of interest: Has anybody tried and succeeded to bring back the dead, i.e. reactivate the inactive ones? Anybody? Even trying would, of course, immediately void your warranty, but maybe, just maybe, somebody tried. Would love to hear what happened, successful or not.
    Reply
  • drajitshnew - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    I have thinking about the same thing since it was revealed that the inactive dies have also been etched by derbauer-- are not just pieces of silicon.
    I would like to read that review too.
    Reply
  • Da W - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    And then somehow, you'll see on Tomshardware ''We tested the new CPU with our 1995 suite of games, Intel has superior IPC and shows a 2% advantage on single threaded games, so Intel is better, buy Intel.'' :) Reply
  • Da W - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Seriously though i've been waiting for this AMD for almost 2 decades. Good job! Reply

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