AMD’s much-awaited, much-hyped Threadripper 3000 processors are finally here. In this preview, I’ll quickly go over the different processors in this lineup and compare them with their closest competitors.
The Threadripper 3000 Lineup
In addition to the 24 and 32-core processors that were launched on the 25th, AMD also revealed a surprise 64-core/128-thread desktop processor – slated for release in 2020. Here’s the full Threadripper 3000 lineup:
|Name (Model Number)||Cores/Threads||Base Clock/Boost Clock||Price (USD)|
|Threadripper 3960X||24/48||3.8 GHz/4.5 GHz||$1399|
|Threadripper 3970X||32/64||3.7 GHz/4.5 GHz||$1999|
|Threadripper 3990X||64/128||-/- (TBA)||- (TBA)|
A Quick Verdict: Are they Worth It?
The absolute value champion, for most multi-threaded CPU workloads, is the Threadripper 3960X. Although the 3970X does outshine it by a considerable margin in some tasks, in a few tasks, the performance uplift isn’t worth the price premium. Video editing comes to mind.
That said, if you’re building a PC for workloads that won’t make use of the capabilities of Threadripper’s HEDT platform (quad-channel memory, many more PCI-E lanes, and so on), the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and 3900X CPUs still offer excellent value.
However, if you’re looking for the very best, the AMD Threadripper 3970X is it. It outperforms any CPU on the market today in most popular workloads (rendering, video editing, workstation tasks, etc.)
What About the New Intel Core i9 10980XE? How Does it Compare?
Intel’s ‘new’ processor lineup is sadly not so new after all. It is a refresh of the older 9000-series parts with a few tweaks. However, these tweaks don’t improve performance over last generation – instead, the hardware mitigations for security vulnerabilities seem to have slowed them down in some tasks!
AMD’s launch on the other hand, brings new levels of performance to the table with the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X.
Intel’s 18-core processor is no match for AMD’s offerings, in any task. While previous generations had a significant single-threaded advantage, Threadripper 3000 firmly trounces Intel’s HEDT offerings on that front as well. Spoiler alert – even Adobe workloads, which have traditionally done exceptionally well on Intel processors, have a new performance king!
Does this mean there’s no point buying an Intel HEDT processor? Funnily enough, due to AMD, not necessarily.
Who Can Buy an Intel Core i9 10980XE?
If you’re stuck in the weird situation where you need the power/extensibility of an HEDT platform, decent single-core performance, but don’t have the budget to reach for AMD’s starting price of $1400 (USD), Intel’s 10980XE might have something to offer.
If AMD’s new TRX 40 platform for Threadripper 3000 was backwards compatible, I could have suggested a different route. But due to the lack of flexibility on that front, we’re left with not too many choices for those shopping in the $500-1000 price range and also need access to HEDT features.
Please do keep in mind that the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X CPUs are superior products if you can make do with the mainstream AM4 platform. You can find out more about HEDT vs. mainstream platforms here in our Intel vs AMD post.
Viewport Performance and Rendering Performance – All in One?
Yes. We finally do have a processor that does it all. AMD’s newest Threadripper chips offer snappy viewport performance (on par or better than the Intel Core i9 9900K) without sacrificing any CPU rendering performance.
For those of us who weren’t too happy about maintaining and using separate machines for rendering and viewport tasks, this is the perfect solution.
Our readers have been quite anxious to find out more about Threadripper 3000 ever since it was teased months ago, which is why I felt it prudent to offer a quick preview of these new CPUs. We’ll be covering the best TRX 40 motherboards along with more details about the chipset soon!
As always, if you need any advice/help with your PC builds, do leave a comment below!