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AMD Teases 64-Core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X For 2020

'We're just excited there's a lot of action in the processor space,' Maingear CEO Wallace Santos says of AMD's upcoming 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, which is expected to create more competition for Intel in the high-end desktop and workstation markets.

With the launch of AMD's third-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors on Monday, the chipmaker is teasing something big for the high-end desktop market next year: a 64-core CPU workhorse that matches the same number of cores as AMD's most powerful EPYC Rome server processors.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X will come with 64 cores, 128 threads, a 288MB total cache and a 280-watt thermal design power when it launches sometime in 2020. The company said more details will come next year.

[Related: Intel Ramps Up Foundries As CPU Supply 'Remains Extremely Tight']

While it's not known when AMD could divulge more details for the much-anticipated Threadripper 3990X, the chipmaker is scheduled to deliver a presentation at CES in Las Vegas in January.

Wallace Santos, CEO of Maingear, a Kenilworth, N.J-based PC builder that makes AMD- and Intel-based systems for the enthusiast market, called the high number of cores in the Threadripper 3990X "insane," which he said will mostly benefit multi-threaded workstation applications.

"I think it's very niche market," he said.

However, Santos said, "the fact that AMD is pushing the core count higher and prices down" means developers will be incentivized to optimize applications to take advantage of more cores.

"It changes the mindset of the whole industry," he said.

The disclosure of the Threadripper 3990X was made on the same day the chipmaker launched its first two third-generation Threadripper processors — the 24-core Threadripper 3960X and the 32-core Threadripper 3970X — as well as its top mainstream processor, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

The processors, which are based on AMD's 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture, are expected to create more competition for Intel in the high-end desktop and workstation markets. But Intel — which continues to dominate desktop market share, even as AMD Ryzen sales ramp up — is also turning up the heat with its new Core i9 X-series and Xeon W processors, for which it slashed prices by up to 50 percent over the previous generation.

"We're just excited there's a lot of action in the processor space," Santos said.

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