CheckMag | The Evolution of Threadripper: AMD's answer for the HEDT market
When AMD launched the Zen CPU microarchitecture in August 2017, it unveiled the Threadripper 1950X alongside its X399 chipset. The highest end Threadripper CPU came with 16 cores and 32 threads and was priced at US$999. This was a big gamble for AMD as it was on the verge of collapse due to the failure of the Bulldozer microarchitecture and its subsequent derivatives.
At the time, Intel was selling its top Extreme Edition Core i7-6950X for US$1,723 and it came with 10 cores and 20 threads. The launch of the 1950X prompted Intel to launch the Core i9-7980XE with a brand new X299 chipset in September 2017. It was the first ever Core i9 CPU and it boasted 18 cores and 36 threads and with Bob Swan at the helm it came with a US$1,999 price tag.
When it came to benchmarks the 1950X was up to 31% ahead of the Core i7-6950X and 14% behind the Core i9-7980XE in Cinebench R15 multicore tests. The fact that the 1950X could either outperform or tail significantly more expensive Intel processors cemented AMD's comeback.
As time went by, AMD introduced the Threadripper 2000 and 3000 series. These two generations raised the maximum core counts to 32 and 64 cores respectively. Despite AMD increasing the maximum core count for Threadripper, Intel kept its maximum core count at 18 cores for both the Core i9-9980XE and Core i9-10980XE. As a result of Intel’s complacency, the X299 platform fell out of favor with workstation users as AMD's multicore performance was and still is superior to Intel’s offerings.
Fast forward to October 2023, AMD has launched its latest Threadripper 7000 HEDT CPUs based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture and released the TRX50 chipset. AMD decided to move on from the TRX40 chipset as Threadripper 7000 will feature DDR5 memory and PCI-e Gen 5 support. The maximum core count for Threadripper 7000 is still 64 cores for the 7980X. For those who are looking for more cores, the 7995WX from the Threadripper 7000 Pro series comes with 96 cores and is only available from system integrators such as HP, Dell and Lenovo.