AMD’s Threadripper 7000 Series To Mark Return Of High-End Desktop CPUs For Prosumers
With the new generation, AMD returns to a bifurcated CPU strategy for workstation PCs last seen in the Threadripper 3000 series and abandoned in last year’s Threadripper 5000 series, which eschewed high-end desktop parts for prosumers to focus squarely on more expensive chips with enterprise-level features for the professional workstation market.
AMD plans to launch the next generation of its Ryzen Threadripper workstation CPUs next month, and it will mark the return of the company’s previously abandoned high-end desktop chips for prosumers.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip designer Thursday unveiled the Threadripper 7000 series for prosumer workstations and Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series for professional workstations, which will become available in the component channel Nov. 21.
The CPUs will also be available in workstations from a wide spectrum of OEMs and regional system builders, including Dell Technologies, HP Inc., Lenovo, Maingear, Velocity Micro and Puget Systems.
With the new generation, AMD is returning to a bifurcated CPU strategy for workstation PCs that was last seen in the Threadripper 3000 series, which debuted in 2019, and abandoned in last year’s Threadripper 5000 series, which eschewed high-end desktop parts for prosumers to focus squarely on more expensive chips with enterprise-level features for the professional workstation market.
An AMD representative said the decision to abandon so-called high-end desktop CPUs in the last Threadripper generation was not well received by a significant segment of workstation customers who wanted super-fast CPUs with high core counts that went above what normal Ryzen CPUs offered but without the extra bells and whistles for professional types.
“We had thought we could give the market the coverage it needed just by simplifying it down to a single platform,” said Don Woligroski, senior marketing manager for consumer processors at AMD, in a briefing with journalists. “There was a lot of feedback. A lot from consumers who needed specific solutions and a lot from just fans who wanted access to a high-end desktop platform.”
“We heard you. We’re bringing it back. It’s simple as that,” he added.
Among those who are welcoming the return of Threadripper CPUs for the high-end desktop segment is Wallace Santos, CEO of Warren, N.J.-based PC system builder Maingear.
Santos told CRN that AMD’s decision to re-enter the high-end desktop market will help him rebuild his prosumer workstation business, which was “significantly impacted” by AMD’s decision to skip over the segment with the last Threadripper generation. He said it’s also a space that’s been ignored by Intel.
“There are just regular people who want a really extreme high-performing computer, and they want to edit video, they want to compile, they want to play games,” he said. “It’s a small market, but there’s definitely a market that, honestly, both parties walked away from at a certain point.
“So I’m excited that AMD is going to reinvigorate the [high-end desktop] space. I hope Intel has an answer as well,” Santos added.
Threadripper 7000 Vs. Threadripper Pro 7000 WX: Specs, Features, Price
There are a few key differences between the prosumer-focused Threadripper 7000 CPUs and the professional-minded Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs, and they mainly come down to professional management features, memory channels, PCIe lanes and core count options.
Compared with the Threadripper Pro 5000 series, the Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs offer a 13 percent uplift in instructions per second, a 17 percent boost in single-thread performance, 50 percent threads per node, higher memory bandwidth, higher memory efficiency, more than 90 percent higher I/O bandwidth per PCIe slot and over 60 percent higher cache per node.
The Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series consists of six 350-watt CPUs with core count configurations of 12, 16, 24, 32, 64 and 96, allowing the processors to break the 64-core threshold of the last generation. The frequencies range from a base clock of 2.5GHz and boost clock of up to 5.1GHz for the 96-core option, to a base clock of 4.7GHz and boost clock of up to 5.3GHz for the 12-core option.
The professional workstation CPUs also sport eight channels of memory and 144 PCIe lanes, 128 of which are for the latest connectivity standard, PCIe 5.0.
Each Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPU comes with AMD’s Pro Technologies for security, manageability and software stability, which also appear in the company’s Ryzen Pro chips for standard commercial PCs.
The prosumer-focused Threadripper CPUs, on the other hand, consist of three 350-watt CPUs with core count configurations of 24, 32 and 64, each with the same frequencies and L3 cache sizes as their pro counterparts. But the memory channels are cut in half to four, and the PCIe lanes have been reduced to 80, 48 of which are dedicated to PCIe 5.0. They also don’t come with AMD Pro Technologies.
Both lineups support DDR5 memory and use RDIMM memory modules, which come with error-correction code to prevent data corruption.
The Threadripper 7000 CPUs carry suggested retail prices of $4,999 for the 64-core Threadripper 7980X, $2,499 for the 32-core Threadripper 7970X and $1,499 for the 24-core Threadripper 7960X.
AMD said it did not yet have suggested prices for the Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs.
New Motherboard Socket And Chipset Platforms
The Threadripper 7000 and Threadripper Pro 7000 WX processors are built for the new sTR5 socket, which will be used for two platforms supported by AMD motherboard partners.
The WRX90 platform is built only for Threadripper Pro 7000 WX processors, enabling key features such as eight-channel memory, Pro Technologies and up to 144 PCIe lanes.
By contrast, the TRX50 platform is supported by both Threadripper 7000 and Threadripper Pro 7000 WX processors. But it only supports up to four memory channels and up to 88 PCIe lanes, regardless of whether it’s using the prosumer or professional CPUs.
Comparisons Against Threadripper Pro 5000, Intel Xeon W-3400 CPUs
AMD said the new Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs provide anywhere from a 12 percent to a 46 percent performance boost over the Threadripper Pro 5000 series across a wide range of applications and benchmarks in key workstation segments. Most tests showed improvements of 21 percent or higher.
These segments consist of software and sciences, media and entertainment, design and manufacturing as well as architecture, engineering and construction.
Compared with Intel’s Xeon W-3400 workstation CPUs that released in early 2023, the Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs offered a performance advantage from the high single digits to the triple digits in one case across several key benchmarks for workstations.
For instance, the 96-core Threadripper Pro 7995WX is 123 percent faster for the Chaos V-Ray rendering software, 91 percent faster for Autodesk’s Maya 3-D content creation software, 18 percent faster for Adobe’s Premier Pro video editing software and 9 percent faster for Adobe’s After Effects post-production software compared with Intel’s flagship 56-core Xeon w9-3495X, according to AMD.
The company said its 32-core Threadripper Pro 7975WX can even best Intel’s 36-core Xeon w9-3475X in design and manufacturing applications, running 45 percent faster in SolidWorks, 44 percent faster in Luxion Keyshot, 39 percent faster in Ansys Mechanical and 25 percent faster in PTC Creo.
As for the prosumer side of things, AMD said that its 64-core Threadripper 7980X is anywhere from 4 percent to 94 percent faster than Intel’s 56-core Xeon w9-3495 across several key workstation benchmarks and applications. Most of the handpicked results showed a double-digit edge over Intel.