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Ryzen Threadripper review: AMD’s monster 1950X stomps on other CPUs – PCWorld

AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X ($999 on Amazon) is an angry Godzilla stomping his way through downtown Tokyo. Those puny 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core CPUs? They’re just tanks and army trucks to be punted across the city. 

Yes, it’s that good.

But before you buy, there’s a lot you need to know about what is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU ever unleashed upon mankind.

ryzen threadripper 1950x 27 Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU on the planet today.


What is Threadripper

Ryzen Threadripper’s name tells you its lineage: the ground-breaking Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 3 CPUs that have made AMD a contender again, after years of watching Intel dominate.

ryzen core complex AMD

Each Zen core complex is made up of four individual CPUs. Two of these complexes make up an 8-core Ryzen die. 

While Intel currently builds its CPUs around a monolithic piece of silicon for all of its cores, AMD has designed Ryzen to be modular at the chip level. The basic building block of all Ryzen CPUs are two 4-core complexes, or CCXes, joined by AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric interconnect. Every Ryzen 7, for example, has an 8-core die such as the one below.

ryzen die shot 1 AMD

AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper is based on the same dual 4-core complex (CCX), so instead of one chip, you get two.

To get to 16 cores in Threadripper, AMD uses the same high-speed Infinity Fabric to join two 8-core dies. The 12-core version also joins two 8-core dies, but each of the 4-core CCXs has one processor core disabled.

ryzen threadripper topology AMD

A 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X consists of two 8-core dies connected using AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric.

But wait: You’ve seen pictures of the inside of a Threadripper and there are four chips—are those two other 8-core dies just waiting to be enabled? Nope. It’s no secret that Threadripper reuses hardware from AMD’s 32-core, server-focused Epyc CPU, but AMD isn’t giving us 32-core consumer CPUs today. Two of those “chips” are actually dummy pieces to add structural support for the cooler that will be clamped onto the CPU.

der8auer delid 1 der8auer

Two of the 8-core “dies” on the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X are just dummies to support the heat spreader.

With great cores, come great resources

AMD actually doubles down twice with Threadripper specs, giving you double the amount of CPU cores and double the amount of memory channels. It also vastly increases the PCIe lanes.

Ryzen Threadripper review: AMD’s monster 1950X stomps on other CPUs – PCWorld

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