Threadripper is a high-performance desktop processor line developed by AMD. It is designed for users who require high processing power for demanding tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. The Threadripper CPUs are based on the Zen micro-architecture and use the TR4 socket type. The latest Threadripper CPUs support DDR4 memory, not DDR5. The memory topology of the 3rd generation Threadripper has been improved, with all chips up to 64 cores having direct memory channels.
#1 A General Overview of AMD Ryzen Threadripper Models
- Models : The specific name of AMD’s highest core Threadripper model would depend on the latest releases. Historically, these models have been part of the 3000 or 5000 series, such as the Threadripper 3990X or 5990X.
- Core and Thread Count: This model boasts an unprecedented number of cores and threads. For example, previous top-tier models like the 3990X offered 64 cores and 128 threads, providing unmatched multitasking and parallel processing capabilities.
- Base and Boost Clock Speeds: These HEDT/ High End Desktop CPUs typically feature high clock speeds to complement the high core count. The base clock speed might be around 3.0 GHz, with boost clock speeds potentially reaching or exceeding 4.5 GHz. This ensures not only excellent multi-threaded performance but also strong single-threaded capabilities.
- Cache Size: A large cache is crucial for such a high core count CPU. These Threadrippers often come with an enormous L3 cache, sometimes over 250 MB, ensuring that data can be accessed quickly and efficiently by the many cores.
- Memory Support: While earlier Threadripper models supported DDR4 memory, the latest iterations might support DDR5 RAM but at this time it supports only DDR4, providing even greater bandwidth and speed improvements, crucial for applications that demand fast memory access.
- PCIe Lanes: The highest core Threadripper CPUs offer a substantial number of PCIe lanes, often more than 60. This allows for multiple high-speed NVMe SSDs, graphics cards, and other PCIe devices to run simultaneously without bandwidth bottlenecks.
- TDP (Thermal Design Power): These processors, due to their high core and thread counts, have a higher TDP, often in the range of 280W or more. This necessitates robust cooling solutions to ensure optimal performance under load.
- Platform and Motherboard Compatibility: These CPUs require specific motherboards, usually the TRX40 or newer platforms for AMD. These motherboards are designed to handle the power and thermal requirements of the processors and often come with advanced features like multiple M.2 slots, extensive IO options, and enhanced VRM cooling.
#2 Applications and Use Cases
The highest core Threadripper CPUs are designed for workloads that can leverage their high core and thread counts. This includes:
I) 3D Rendering and Animation
Software that can utilize multiple cores will significantly benefit from these CPUs, reducing render times dramatically.
II) Video Editing and Post-Production
For handling high-resolution video and complex timelines, the high core count significantly speeds up encoding and exporting processes.
III) Scientific Simulations and Data Analysis
These tasks often require extensive parallel processing capabilities, making high-core-count CPUs ideal.
IV) Virtualization and Workstation Use
Professionals who need to run multiple virtual machines or demanding applications simultaneously will find these CPUs highly capable.
The highest core count Threadripper CPU currently available is the 64-core, 128-thread 3rd-gen Threadripper 3990X. It has a 280-watt TDP power envelope, clock speeds featuring a 4.3GHz boost and a 2.9GHz base, and is compatible with the existing TRX40 motherboard.
CPU Cores Threads Base Clock Boost Clock TDP Mem Channels Memory Type
3990X 64 128 2.9 GHz 4.3 GHz 280 W 8 DDR4
3970X 32 64 3.7 GHz 4.5 GHz 280 W 4 DDR4
3960X 24 48 3.8 GHz 4.5 GHz 280 W 4 DDR4
Comparing AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper series with Intel’s Core X-series is akin to a clash of titans in the high-performance desktop CPU market. Both series target similar markets, including power users, content creators, and professionals who demand top-tier performance. However, there are distinct differences in their approach and capabilities, and their relative strengths can vary depending on the specific use case and preferences.
#3 Performance Overview
I) Core and Thread Count
Historically, AMD’s Threadripper series has often offered higher core and thread counts compared to Intel’s Core X-series. This gives Threadripper an edge in heavily multi-threaded tasks such as 3D rendering, video editing, and scientific computing.
II) Single-Core Performance
Intel has traditionally focused on higher single-core performance, which benefits applications that are not well-optimized for multi-threading. This includes some gaming scenarios and certain legacy applications.
III) Clock Speeds
Intel’s Core X CPUs often have higher clock speeds, which can benefit single-threaded applications. However, AMD’s improvements in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) with newer generations have narrowed this gap.
#4 Memory and PCIe Support
I) Memory Support
Both Threadripper and Core X-series support quad-channel memory, providing substantial memory bandwidth. However, the latest Threadripper models may offer support for newer memory standards like DDR5.
II) PCIe Lanes
Threadripper CPUs typically offer more PCIe lanes compared to Intel’s Core X-series. This is advantageous for users who require multiple high-bandwidth connections for SSDs, GPUs, or other PCIe devices.
#5 Power Consumption and Heat
I) Thermal Design Power (TDP)
High-core-count CPUs in both series have significant power consumption and heat generation. Threadripper CPUs, especially the models with the highest core counts, may have higher TDPs, requiring more robust cooling solutions.
Intel and AMD have both made strides in improving the power efficiency of their CPUs, but the efficiency can vary based on the specific models and the workload.
#6 Platform and Ecosystem
Motherboard and Chipset: Both platforms require specific motherboards (TRX40 for Threadripper, X299 for Intel Core X-series). These motherboards are typically feature-rich and cater to enthusiasts and professionals.
Software Optimization: Some software may be better optimized for one platform over the other, which can influence performance.
#7 Price and Value
- Cost: The pricing of CPUs and motherboards can be a significant factor. Historically, AMD has offered competitive pricing, particularly when considering the core and thread count. However, prices fluctuate based on market conditions and specific models.
- Value Proposition: AMD’s Threadripper series often provides a higher core and thread count per dollar, making it a value-oriented choice for tasks that can leverage high parallelism.
The Threadripper and Intel Core X series are both high-performance desktop processors designed for demanding tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. The Threadripper CPUs are developed by AMD, while the Core X series is developed by Intel.
In terms of core count, the Threadripper CPUs have a higher core count than the Core X series. The highest core count Threadripper CPU currently available is the 64-core, 128-thread 3rd-gen Threadripper 3990X. In comparison, the highest core count Intel Core X CPU is the 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE.
The Threadripper CPUs use the TR4 socket type, while the Core X series uses the LGA 2066 socket type.
When it comes to memory, the latest Threadripper CPUs support DDR4 memory, while the latest Core X CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5 memory.
Here is a table comparing the highest core count Threadripper CPUs and the highest core count Intel Core X CPUs:
Please note that the Threadripper CPUs are not recommended for gaming purposes. They are designed for creative professionals who require high processing power for rendering, video editing, and other high-core-count tasks.
- An Astonishing 24 Cores and 48 Processing Threads for Serious Designers and Artists
- Incredible 4. 5 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a huge 140MB Cache
- Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature. Base Clock - 3.8GHz
- 6 heatpipes, 140mm size and premium grade 140mm fan for superb quiet cooling efficiency, ideal for near inaudible workstations in noise sensitive applications...
- Supports AMD SP6 socket for Epyc 8004 line server CPUs as well as sTR5 socket for 7000 series Threadripper (Pro) HEDT and workstations processors (TRX50/WRX90 chipsets,...
- Airflow path perpendicular to the long axis of the socket, ideal for systems where the exhaust fans of the chassis are in this direction
- An astonishing 32 cores and 64 processing threads for serious designers and artists
- Incredible 4. 5 GHz max boost frequency, with a huge 144MB cache
- Unlocked, with new automatic overclocking feature
- Game, Stream, and Create with 12 Cores and 24 Processing Threads
- Incredible 4.3 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a huge 38MB Cache
- Unlocked, with automatic overclocking via the new Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) feature
- Incredible 12 Cores and 24 Threads of processing power
- 4.0 GHz Precision Boost (up to 4.2 GHz with XFR)
- 38MB of Cache Memory
- 16 Cores and 32 Processing Threads, Updated with 2nd Gen Ryzen Technology Advancements
- Incredible 4.4 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a huge 40MB Cache; OS Support Windows 10 64 Bit Edition, RHEL x86 64 Bit, Ubuntu x86 64 Bit; Operating System (OS) support...
- Unlocked, with automatic overclocking via the new Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) feature
- Features 96 cores and 192 processing threads for the world's most demanding professional software applications
- Incredible 5.1 GHz Max Boost Frequency, with a colossal 320MB Cache
- Unlocked, with automatic overclocking feature
- An astonishing 24 cores and 48 processing threads for serious designers and artists
- Incredible 4.2 ghz max boost frequency, with a huge 76mb cache
- Unlocked, with automatic overclocking via the new precision boost overdrive (pbo) feature
Last update on 2021-02-07. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.