Computex: AMD unveils 16-core Ryzen 9 1998X 'Threadripper' and X399 platform


AMD X399 AM4 Ryzen motherboard

AMD X399 platform AM4 Ryzen motherboard

AMD has releaseed more details about its 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 desktop and workstation microprocessor, dubbed ‘Threadripper’, which it first revealed two weeks ago at its analyst day event.

Unveiled at the company’s big Computex event today, the part will compete against Intel’s new Core i9 line that the chip giant showed off just yesterday

The Ryzen 9 1998X will form part of AMD’s high-end desktop X399 platform, which the company also showed off today. It will feature “up to” 16 cores and 32 threads, and offer 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and quad-channel DDR4 memory.

That differs from Intel’s Core i9 and X299 platform, which will see some of the Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X parts unveiled yesterday limited to dual-channel support. Intel’s strategy, of course, is to push people to pay more if they want more PCIe lanes and quad-channel DDR4 memory.

In contrast, the Ryzen 5 and 7 CPUs showed off so far feature ‘only’ 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, as do the standard Kaby Lake microprocessor and Kaby Lake-X, unveiled alongside Skylake-X yesterday. Skylake-X, meanwhile, offers between 28 and 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes, depending on the size of your wallet. The top-of-the-range part will cost just under $2,000. 

“We really believe we’re bringing a new class of performance to the eco-system,” said AMD CEO Lisa Su in the presentation at Computex today.

But AMD still hasn’t yet revealed clock speeds and, more importantly, prices for Threadripper or any of the other Ryzen 9 parts that are no doubt planned.

AMD did, though, show off a 16-core Threadripper blitzing through the same Blender test it used when it launched Ryzen 7 back in March, polishing off the workload in the popular open-source graphics program in a matter of seconds.

AMD also demonstrated the CPU running the new Bethesda game Prey on ‘ultra’ settings at 4K resolution with twin Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, and revealed plans to launch that in late July, a month after the top-of-the-range Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. “Our message is that for the true enthusiast-class performance capability this combination will be an incredible combination,” said Su.

Jim Anderson, meanwhile, senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s Computing and Graphics Business Group, revealed some details about the company’s Ryzen Mobile microprocessor, which will be released just as soon as the company has finished launching Ryzen 3, and got the first Vega-based graphics cards out of the door.

This, he said, “is a combination of our our new Zen cores and our new graphics cores integrated into a single device”, which he promised would enable “beautiful” thin and light laptops and convertibles, including gaming systems.

Next year, the focus will switch to enterprise laptops and workstations, said Anderson. 

At the same event today, the company also announced 20 June as the launch date for its Epyc Zen-based server CPUs, which will see AMD renew its assault on the data centre for the first time in almost a decade. 

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