Head-To-Head: AMD Threadripper Platform Vs. Intel Core X Lineup

Enthusiast Platform Lineup

Intel and AMD have been sharpening their focus around the enthusiast market. Intel this spring launched its new Core X platform to equip gamers in the enthusiast segments with extreme performance and mega-tasking capacities. This platform goes head to head with AMD's recently released Threadripper Ryzen processors, which are also targeted at gamers and content creation.

Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., and Sunnyvale, Calib.-based AMD have good reason to battle it out for the enthusiast market. According to Intel, gamers and enthusiast customers represent a market that could grow up to 20 percent yearly, despite an overall sluggish PC market.

Following is a head-to-head comparison between Intel and AMD's new enthusiast platforms.

Threadripper Specs

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 that 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.

"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, AMD senior vice president and general manager of computing and graphics, in a statement. "It’s amazing to see the rate at which we are building innovative and competitive new products through strong execution."

Core X Specs

Intel's processor lineup is led by the new Intel Core i9 processor brand, which has up to 18 cores and 36 threads and is targeted at enthusiast customers. Intel's Core i9 Extreme Edition 9-7980XE, starts at $1,999 and is targeted at advanced gaming, virtual reality and content creation.

The Core i9 Extreme Edition packs two more cores than AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processor, a 16-core, 32-thread model that the company said will launch this summer. While AMD has remained quiet on pricing, it said two weeks ago its workstation-class CPU will debut on a new motherboard platform and include support for four memory channels.

Threadripper Extra Features

According to AMD, every Threadripper X399 platform supporting the 1950X and 1920X features 64 lanes of PCIe with support for up to four GPUs. Threadripper also features quad-channel DDR4 memory and will exclusively feature Alienware for large PC manufacturers.

Core X Extra Features

In addition to new chips, Intel updated its Turbo Boost Max Technology so that systems can now dynamically overclock to higher speeds when necessary. With this new upgraded technology, Intel chips can identify two top-performing cores as the optimal cores and direct critical workloads to them for an overall jump in performance.

All Core X processors also will use Intel's new LGA 2066 socket and run on its new X299 platform, which includes new features like support for 24 lanes of chipset I/O and support for four-channel DDR4 2666 RAM. X299 also supports Intel's recently launched Optane memory, according to Intel.

Threadripper Pricing And Availability

The two models of AMD's new CPU lineup start at $999 for the 16-core version and $799 for the 12-core version – almost $1,000 less than the top Intel Core X processor, the Core i9 Extreme Edition 9-7980XE.

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

Core X Pricing and Availability

Intel's Core i9 family has four lower tiers of processors which range from 10-core to 16-core versions with prices from $999 to $1,699, respectively.

Intel also introduced new Core i7 X-series processors as part of its Core X lineup, ranging from $339 for a quad-core, eight-thread model to $599 for an eight-core, 16-thread model, and a quad-core Core i5 processor starting at $242.

The chip giant has not yet released a shipping date for its Core X platform.