Ever since AMD announced its latest enterprise platform, Rome, and the EPYC 7002 series, one question that high-end desktop users have been wondering is when the 64-core hardware will filter down into more mainstream markets. White today AMD is announcing their Threadripper 3000 platform with 24-core and 32-core processors, the other part of AMD’s announcement today is that yes, they will be selling 64-core hardware to the masses, in the form of the Threadripper 3990X.

AMD isn’t giving too many details away just yet. As we predicted, there was room at the top of AMD’s naming strategy to expose more Threadripper hardware: one does not simply stop as the 3970X being the most powerful processor, and the 3990X will certainly take the mantle. AMD is announcing today that the 3990X will have 64 cores, 128 threads, and will have the full 256 MB of L3 cache.

The 3990X will be the high-end desktop equivalent of the EPYC 7742. This means that inside it will have eight chiplets, each with 8 cores enabled. This is compared to the 3960X/3970X being announced today, with 24 and 32 cores respectively, which only have four chiplets. We can tell that the four chiplet designs are that way by the L3 cache: when only four chiplets are active, it has 128 MB of L3 cache, however with all eight chiplets, the 3990X will have 256 MB of L3 cache. That’s a sizeable processor, and seemingly unthinkable for a consumer part. However, as we’ve learned from AMD since introducing Ryzen, they like to go aggressive and offer some level of parity between consumer and enterprise hardware.

One thing that will differentiate the 3990X from the EPYC hardware will be memory and PCIe count. We fully expect (although not confirmed) that the 3990X will have quad channel memory and 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes, compared to EPYC which has eight channel memory and 128 PCIe lanes. AMD has also confirmed that the 3990X will have a TDP above and beyond the EPYC 7742's, with the 3990X coming in at 280W TDP. If this seems familiar, then this is the same TDP as the 24-core and 32-core Threadripper parts. As a result, we do expect the per-core frequency of the 3990X to be higher than the EPYC, but lower than the other Threadrippers.

In our testing of the 3970X 32-core hardware, we saw that in the 280W TDP we had around 75W reserved for non-core activities, and 205W for the cores. Non-core activities in this instance means PCIe, Infinity Fabric, and memory channels. Moving up to the 3990X means double the IF connections, but the others stay the same. So even if that means we reserve 100W for non-core activities, that leaves 180 W for 64 cores, or around 3 W each per core when at full load. Based on what we know about Zen 2 frequency scaling with power, around 6 W per core gives 4.0 GHz, so 3 W per core should offer low-to-mid 3.0 GHz all-core frequencies.

This prediction actually fits well: AMD’s 240 W EPYC 7742 is a 2.35 GHz base, 3.2 GHz turbo, so we should expect frequencies north of that. There’s also the EPYC 7H12, a new part recently announced to cater for the high frequency market. Like the 3990X, it also has a 280W TDP, but a 2.6 GHz base frequency, and a 3.3 GHz turbo. There is no official pricing on the 7H12 as yet.

AnandTech Cores/
Third Generation Threadripper
TR 3990X 64 / 128 2.6+ / 3.3+ ? 256 MB 4 x ? 64 ? 280 W arm
TR 3980X ?* 48 / 96 ? ? 256 MB 4 x ? 64 ? 280 W ? leg
TR 3970X 32 / 64 3.7 / 4.5 128 MB 4x3200 64 280 W $1999
TR 3960X 24 / 48 3.8 / 4.5 128 MB 4x3200 64 280 W $1399
Second Generation Threadripper
TR 2990WX 32 / 64 3.0 / 4.2 64 MB 4x2933 64 250 W $1799
TR 2970WX 24 / 48 3.0 / 4.2 64 MB 4x2933 64 250 W $1299
TR 2950X 16 / 32 3.5 / 4.4 32 MB 4x2933 64 180 W $899
TR 2920X 12 / 24 3.5 / 4.3 32 MB 4x2933 64 180 W $649
Ryzen 3000
Ryzen 9 3950X 16 / 32 3.5 / 4.7 32 MB 2x3200 24 105 W $749
* TR 3980X is a theorized part due to a hole in AMD's naming. Specifications are guesses based on trends and potential hardware support.

AMD is set to launch the Threadripper 3990X in 2020. Unfortunately we don’t get any more info than that at this time, but if we consider the 24-core 3960X at $1399, the 32-core 3970X at $1999, I can easily see this processor being at least $3999, if not more. The EPYC 7742 has an MSRP of $6950, and the 7H12 is higher than that, so the 3990X is going to cost a pretty penny by comparison.

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  • Chaitanya - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    AMD is certainly going all in for WS market.
  • ArcadeEngineer - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    In 2016 the highest core-count desktop processor was ten cores. Amazing how far we've come in a few years (assuming what you do is core-count dependent).
  • Dragonstongue - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    maybe this means AMD stock price shoots up and up as rightfully should be considering the massive ground they have breached since Ryzen first launched to which they have overall gotten better and better at making sure Agesa and such has gotten far far smoother more timely launches.

    I hope in this regard as well that they and their various partners go the extra mile to 100% make certain that core/threads are operating at peak speed as much as possible

    (note I not complaining as I <3 my 3600 (^.^)_7
  • lazarpandar - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    You been under a rock? It's been shooting up!
  • Arnulf - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    I chuckled at the 'arm' and 'leg' :-) Nice write-up!
  • Carmen00 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    That and the title ("Time To Open Your Wallet") made me laugh. Dr Cutress certainly has a lovely sense of humor to go with his technical chops! And I particularly enjoyed the fact that neither is succeeded by a "?" symbol... AMD knows it has the crown here and it'll charge whatever it wants to. Absolutely unimaginable turnaround in a few short years.
  • Thernn - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    If I'm paying 3k for a CPU I'd kinda expect 8 channel at that point... Honestly that feature will make or break the CPU for me as 512GB is just about the bare minimum I'd need for my analyses.

    Otherwise I'll keep waiting for DDR5 and Zen 4.

    I'd like a computer that I can game with and use for my analyses. Currently this doesn't exist.
  • DanNeely - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Supermicro sells Epyc mobos if you need 8 channel ram. Looking at listings on Newegg if you need 2 dimm/channel you'll need to step up from ATX to EEB (rackmount, same physical size as EATX) form factor for your mobo. Without going the SoDimm route an ATX board would have to give up ~4 PCIe slots to cram on 16 dimm slots, which would wipe out the second advantage of Epyc.
  • nandnandnand - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    There were leaks about 8-channel TRX80 and WRX80 variants of Threadripper 3. They got names like sTRX4 right so it seems likely. And you are far from the only one who has wanted more than quad-channel.


    We should know more by CES, January 7-10.

    Waiting for DDR5 and Zen 4 means you might have to wait until late 2021 or mid 2022.
  • twtech - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    I would be concerned if the 3990 has fewer memory channels than the Epyc equivalent - flashbacks to the gimped memory access of the 2990WX that made it inferior for some workloads.

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