Linux overseer Linus Torvalds has binned Intel on his personal PC and hinted that he hopes to one day run an ARM-powered desktop.
In his weekly State of the Kernel post Torvalds released Linux 5.7 rc7, said the development process has been smooth and commented “Of course, anything can still change, but everything _looks_ all set for a regular release scheduled for next weekend. Knock wood.”
So far, so boring, which could be why Torvalds then offered this remark:
In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was just that I upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be, which doesn't matter so much right now during the calming down period, but I will most definitely notice the upgrade during the next merge window.
Torvalds didn’t divulge any further details about his new rig, but the 3970x is quite the beast, boasting 32 cores and 64 threads at 3.7GHz with the ability to burst up to 4.5GHz, all built on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process. The Register feels Torvalds has probably acquired a whole new PC, as the Threadripper range requires a sTRX4 socket and those debuted on motherboards from late 2019. Indeed, the video below depicts a new Threadripper-based PC built for Torvalds' long-time collaborator Greg Kroah-Hartman.
Whatever PC Torvalds is now running, it has more cores than Intel currently offers in a CPU designed for PCs. Even Chipzilla's high-end CoreX range tops out at 18 cores.
AMD will be over the moon that two high-profile IT pros have adopted their kit to work on the Linux kernel.
Others will cling to the notion that Torvalds expects to one day run an ARM-powered desktop. Perhaps his remarks even mean that when the mythical Year Of Linux On the Desktop comes about it will be the Year of Linux On The ARM Desktop too. ®