AMD takes the wraps off its new high-end chips AMD takes the wraps off its new high-end chips
Two Threadrippers and one Ryzen chip were shown, all built on AMD's 7nm manufacturing process. AMD takes the wraps off its new high-end chips

On Thursday, 7 November 2019, Advanced Micro Devices (better known as AMD) unveiled its latest processors to the world: the Ryzen 9 3950X, the Threadripper 3960X, and the Threadripper 3970X.

All of these new CPUs are built with AMD’s 7nm manufacturing process, so they are powerful yet power-efficient.

What is a “Threadripper”?

Threadripper processors are AMD’s many-cored x86 processors designed for the heaviest of heavy desktop workloads.

They offer more cores than traditional desktop CPUs, and are thus fantastic for any organisation looking to speed up their video and photo editing and data analytics capabilities, or whose daily computing activities include a lot of multi-tasking or running calculation-intensive applications.

More PCIe lanes than ever

The two new Threadrippers come with 24 and 32 cores respectively and boast a ridiculous amount of L3 cache (140MB/144MB!). This is fantastic in and of itself, but more importantly, they support the new PCIe 4.0 standard.

PCIe 4.0 enables super-fast data transfers thanks to more bandwidth per PCIe lane, and more lanes (up to 88!).

This will dramatically affect the performance of important subsystems like storage and graphics, both of which need a lot of PCIe bandwidth to perform at their peak.


In short, Threadrippers are beastly powerful, and the release of two new Threadrippers is good news for anyone looking for AMD’s latest and greatest.

The only catch is these new Threadripper chips will require a new motherboard, as they require boards with AMD’s new sTRX4 socket and TRX40 chipset.

Ryzen 9

The 16-core/32-thread Ryzen 9 chip that AMD also announced is more of a mainstream processor, and is thus aimed at consumers and power users. It comes with a base clock of 3.5GHz but will boost to 4.7GHz on some cores.

Unlike the new Theadrippers, this new Ryzen part drops into existing AM4 motherboards with the Z470, X570, and B450 chipsets, so no board upgrade is needed (although the latest firmware is recommended).

Expect to see notebooks and desktops sporting this part in future SKUs from all of the big PC makers.

Not cheap

While AMD’s core value proposition for years now has been value for money, that doesn’t mean these chips are going to be cheap.

The Ryzen 9 3950X has an RRP of $749, the Threadripper 3960X goes for $1399, and the top-end Threadripper 3970X commands an eye-watering $1999.

At launch, anyway; those prices are sure to come down over time.

Also there’s no confirmation yet of the exact South African pricing for any of the above – it’s just good to know they are coming.

Can’t go wrong

If it’s uncompromising performance you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong waiting for one of these new Threadrippers or building a system with a previous-gen Threadripper chip.

The rest of AMD’s product offerings offer even better value for those looking for something more affordable but still beefy, with their older 2000- and 3000-series Ryzen processors offering the best bang for your buck.

Keep an eye out for notebooks and desktops sporting those – they offer fantastic value and rock-solid performance.

Take a look at our AMD-powered product offerings by clicking here (Tarsus Distribution portal login required).

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