AMD Threadripper Lineup Aims To Put The Heat On Intel Core X With Ultra-Competitive Prices

AMD said Thursday that its new Threadripper Ryzen platform has an ultra-competitive price tag, almost $1,000 less than the price of Intel's next-generation Core X chip.

"With Ryzen Threadripper processors representing the ultimate in desktop performance, the Ryzen 3 CPU will get even more people into the Ryzen family – at an affordable price point," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of computing an graphics at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD, in a statement. It’s amazing to see the rate at which we are building innovative and competitive new products through strong execution."

AMD's Threadripper CPUs, first introduced in May, are designed for gaming enthusiasts and content creation on PCs. The CPU lineup includes Threadripper 1950X, a 16-core, 32-thread model that runs at 3.4GHz and can boost to 4GHz, and the 1920X, a 12-core, 24-thread model with a base speed of 3.5GHz and a maximum boosted speed of 4GHz.

[Related: Partners: Intel's New Core X Platform Means 'The Race Is On' With AMD For Gamers, Enthusiasts]

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The two models of the new CPU lineup start at $999 for the 16-core version and $799 for the 12-core version. The top Intel Core X processor, the Core i9 Extreme Edition 9-7980XE, has up to 18 cores and 36 threads and starts at $1,999. It is targeted at advanced gaming, virtual reality and content creation.

Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

"AMD Threadripper is a new game-changer to follow up on Ryzen 7," said Randy Copeland, president and CEO of system builder Velocity Micro, Richmond, Va. "Intel is not standing still either, but Threadripper is a very impressive new level of performance that AMD has achieved, particularly when you consider the price point compared to anything else on the market or the radar screen. The hype has proven to be absolutely true, and we are looking forward to launching and demonstrating some very important new models at [the] Siggraph 2017 [computer graphics conference] that hardcore performance enthusiasts, graphic artists, VR developers, scientists and creative professionals will love."

AMD said it will begin shipping its Threadripper CPUs and motherboards in early August.

Both Intel and AMD have good reason to battle for share for the enthusiast market. According to Intel, gamers and enthusiast customers represent a market that could grow up to 20 percent annually, despite an overall sluggish PC market.

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder, said that the channel is still waiting to see how well Threadripper performs and what type of supply will be available across the ecosystem. But competition between AMD and Intel ultimately will help system builders focused on the enthusiast space.

"It's good to have AMD and Intel aggressively competing in the processor space again, as that drives improvements in technology that benefit everyone. But, most importantly, change in technology really benefits channel VARs who can adapt quickly, educate consumers and release products faster to market," he said. "Ultimately, these changes or advances in technology create opportunity for the channel to leverage their overall value capabilities and differentiate themselves. ... At the end of the day, this is a good thing for the channel."