AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

New family can wrangle 2TB of RAM, has bandwidth to burn, makes single-socket beefy PCs sing

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AMD has revealed a new range of microprocessors intended for use in workstations.

The Ryzen Threadripper Pro comes in four variants, detailed below, and has been juiced to ensure that users of demanding desktop applications can run reams of RAM and have bulk bandwidth to shunt data around. Here’s what you can get your hands on if so inclined.

Model Cores/Threads Boost speed/base speed (GHz) Total cache (MB) Watts PCIe 4.0 lanes Memory support
3995WX 64/128 Up to 4.2 / 2.7 288 280 128 Up to 2TB
3975WX 32/64 Up to 4.2 / 3.5 144 280 128 Up to 2TB
3955WX 16/32 Up to 4.3 / 3.9 72 280 128 Up to 2TB
3945WX 12/24 Up to 4.3 / 4.0 70 280 128 Up to 2TB

The processors all support eight-channel ECC RDIMM, LRDIMM, and UDIMM DDR4-3200 memory. AMD’s also packed in its Pro security and manageability tech it offers with business desktop parts. Lenovo has signed up as the first customer for the new silicon and will slot it into a forthcoming ThinkStation P620 model sometime in the northern autumn/fall.

Workstation analyst outfit John Peddie Research has opined AMD's latest TSMC-fabbed 7nm silicon could make it hard to justify buying twin-processor workstations. Which is a reflection of the fact that the Xeon E range Intel aims at workstations tops out at 28 cores and 3.6GHz.

The analyst firm also counted around 1.4 million workstation shipments in Q1, when business was a little slow due to a certain virus you may have heard about in recent news.

Even at a more usual 1.6m units per quarter, the workstation market isn’t massive. But as buyers expect to pay hefty sums for such machines, component-makers often see pleasingly high margins in this field. Hence AMD’s interest in a low-volume market.

Resumed, the socket wars have
Lenovo and AMD have form attacking Intel-powered dual-socket computers: in August 2019 the former released the ThinkSystem SR655, which packed a 64-core single-socket AMD Epyc 7002, and promptly pointed out it would make a fine VMware vSphere host and incur lower licensing charges than a dual-socket box. VMware eventually changed its licensing scheme so that 32-plus-core processors count as two processors!

AMD has said the new silicon will be confined to “OEMs and system integrators,” which sadly seems to rule out individual chip sales to enthusiasts who fancy building their own machines based on the new processors. ®

PS: The new products mean Linus Torvalds’ 32-core Threadripper-powered PC is already old hat.

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