AMD has revealed another addition to its Ryzen CPU line-up by unveiling the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X, a $550 workstation eight-core, 16-thread CPU offering 64 PCIe lanes and quad-channel DDR4 memory support.
The device has a list price just $50 more than the Ryzen 7 1800X and, while it is more focused on Intel's Core-X line-up, against which it offers a considerably better spec' pound for pound, it's also an enticing alternative to the top-of-the-range Ryzen 7.
Like the Ryzen 7 1800X, the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X has a 4MB level 2 cache and 16MB level 3 cache.
But the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X offers a slightly faster base clock speed of 3.8GHz (compared to 3.6GHz with the Ryzen 7 1800X) with a 4GHz boost and, more important, 64 PCIe lanes, twice the number of Ryzen 7, as well as quad-channel DDR4 memory (against dual channel DDR4 on the Ryzen 7).
The number of PCIe lanes, in particular, makes it an attractive alternative to Intel's similarly priced Core-X offerings, in part because of what's been described as Intel's policy on PCIe 'lane rationing'.
Intel's $339 Kaby Lake-X Core i7-7740K, for example, supports 16 PCIe lanes due to limitations in Kaby Lake's internal design.
The Skylake-X architecture has no such limitations. Yet only the $999 10-core Skylake-X, the Core i9-7900X, is offered with the full complement of 44 PCIe lanes. The $389 six-core Intel Core i7-7800X and $599 eight-core Intel Core i7-7820X versions have been deliberately scaled back to just 28 lanes. This is not for technical reasons, suggest reports, but for the purpose of 'market segmentation'.
The 64 PCIe lanes on the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X will enable power users to plug-in a couple of fast NVMe drives and pair them with a couple of graphics cards without bottlenecking - something the equivalently priced Intel offerings can't do at anywhere near the same price because of PCIe lane restrictions.
While the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and 1950X will be available from 10th August, buyers will have to wait until 31st August if their budget runs no further than a Threadripper 1900X.
AMD is also planning to release Threadripper 1900, 1920 and 1950 parts, which are expected to be a little less in price than their X-suffixed counterparts. But precise details about these have yet to be formally released.
So, after a busy six months, AMD now has a clear and consistent line-up of CPUs that are not only competitive in terms of performance, for the first time in years, but also typically offer more cores, threads and all-round grunt than similarly priced Intel parts, pound for pound.
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