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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  • DigitalFreak - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    *which are necessary to make faster chips
    Faster chips without crazy heat output and power requirements, or huge die sizes.
    Reply
  • edzieba - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    The gate thickness limit was hit around Sandy Bridge time and has stuck even with process node scaling. "Moar Cores" scaling was chopped off at the knees by GPGPU. There's just not many places to go to gain performance without massive power consumption increases (and even that hits areal power density limits as overall process scale shrinks). Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    The irony of all this is that threaded support within application software is generally still pretty terrible, with many pro apps still only using one core. If anything there's much more to gain with better written software, but good programmers are expensive, and these days grud knows where they'd come from given the woeful education standards of many modern edu places, at least in the West anyway. Probably have to poach them from south east Asia, Israel, etc. Reply
  • Alaa - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Never heard that good programmers exist in Israel. Reply
  • edzieba - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    It's not really a case of 'just program better', dual cores have been commonplace for a decade now: any workload that could be easily threaded has long ago taken those double-performance gains (and quadruple for the now ubiquitous quad-cores). Many tasks simply do not subdivide easily in a way conducive to threading (no good splitting into a bunch of sub-tasks if all depends on results of the previous task). Unlike HPC workloads that fall under Gustafson's Law scaling, desktop workloads are firmly in Amdahl's Law territory. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    I would say party of the issue is the tools, most programming languages still have not added much multithreaded tools. Rust and go are of course designed for it but they will take time to be adopted. Nice to see Firefox leading here! Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    Even with single threaded tools when you've got hundreds to thousands of modules to compile then the it's nice to throw all the cores and threads at gcc, lint, etc. Like you change a data structure that affects a hundred other modules, then iterative compilation becomes a test of patience Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - link

    You can also run multiple processes that are multi-threaded. And the tasks are completely dependent on industry and usage. Reply
  • hetzbh - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Hmm, lets see..

    1. They call the TR 2990WX - "for workstation" solutions, yet it doesn't have even a shred of remote management neither on the Chipset nor any motherboard...
    2. Pre sales are starting today, yet performance benchmarks are not allowed to be published today, so buy those CPU's based on ... what? hype?
    Reply
  • Intel999 - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    @hetzbh

    While early adopters have been known to buy based on hype in the past, they only need to use common sense to pull the trigger on the 2990WX.

    Only someone as dense as a rock won't be able to see that they will be getting double digit percentage increases over an Intel alternative that still, comically, costs $200 more.
    Reply

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