One of the surprises from AMD’s first year of the newest x86 Zen architecture was the launch of the Threadripper platform. Despite the mainstream Ryzen processors already taking a devastating stab into the high-end desktop market, AMD’s Threadripper offered more cores at a workstation-friendly price. For 2018, the next generation is going to be using AMD’s updated 12nm Zeppelin dies, as well as including a few new tweaks into the system including better boost and faster caches.

This article is still a work in progress, and will be updated as more news comes in.

AMD’s Zeppelin silicon has 8 cores, and the first generation Threadripper uses two of them to get to the top-SKU of 16-cores. Inside the CPU however, there are four pieces of silicon: two active and two inactive. For this second generation of Threadripper, called Threadripper 2 or the Threadripper 2000-series, AMD is going to make these inactive dies into active ones, and substantially increase the core count for the high-end desktop and workstation user.

At the AMD press event at Computex, it was revealed that these new processors would have up to 32 cores in total, mirroring the 32-core versions of EPYC. On EPYC, those processors have four active dies, with eight active cores on each die (four for each CCX). On EPYC however, there are eight memory channels, and AMD’s X399 platform only has support for four channels. For the first generation this meant that each of the two active die would have two memory channels attached – in the second generation Threadripper this is still the case: the two now ‘active’ parts of the chip do not have direct memory access.

This technically adds latency to the platform, however AMD is of the impression that for all but the most memory bound tasks, this should not be an issue (usually it is suggested to just go buy an EPYC for those workloads). While it does put more pressure on the internal Infinity Fabric, AMD ultimately designed Infinity Fabric for scalable scenarios like this between different silicon with different levels of cache and memory access.

Update: AMD has just published a full copy of their slide deck for the Threadripper 2 presentation. In it are a few interesting factoids.

AMD Threadripper CPUs
32-Core Sample
24-Core Sample
Socket TR4 (LGA)
CPU Architecture Zen+ Zen+ Zen Zen
Cores/Threads 32 / 64 24 / 48 16 / 32 12 / 24
Base Frequency 3.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency 3.4 GHz (WIP) 3.4 GHz (WIP) 4.0 GHz 4.0 GHz
L3 Cache 64 MB ? 48 MB ? 32 MB 32 MB
TDP 250W 250W 180W 180W
PCIe 3.0 Lanes 60 + 4
Chipset Support X399
Memory Channels 4
  1. Both the 24-core and 32-core sample CPUs are clocked at 3.0GHz base and 3.4GHz all-core turbo, with the latter being a work-in-progress according to the company.
  2. The 32-core system was equipped with DDR4-3200 memory. This is notable because the Ryzen processors based on the same 12nm Zeppelin dies officially max out at DDR4-2933.
  3. The codename for the processor family is listed as "Colfax". This is the first we've heard this codename from AMD.
  4. Despite the high TDP, both CPUs used in AMD's demos were air-cooled, using AMD's Wraith Ripper Air Cooler

Also announced at the presentation is the state of play of motherboards. According to the motherboard vendors These new Threadripper 2000-series processors will have a peak TDP rating of 250W, which is much higher than 180W we saw on the 1950X. We have been told by partners that the 250W rating is actually conservative, and users should expect lower power consumption in most scenarios. Nonetheless, it was stated by several motherboard vendors that some of the current X399 motherboards on the market might struggle with power delivery to the new parts, and so we are likely to see a motherboard refresh. That is not saying that the current X399 offerings will not work, however they might not offer overclocking to the level that users might expect. At Computex there are new X399 refresh motherboards being demonstrated by a few companies, and we will report on them in due course. Other specifications are expected to match the previous generation, such as PCIe lane counts, despite the newly active dies.

MSI's 19-phase X399 Refresh Motherboard

The launch for these new processors, according to our moles is in early August. This aligns with what AMD stated at the beginning of the year at CES, and is almost a year from the original Threadripper launch.

Pricing on the processors is set to be revealed either today or closer to the launch time. We will update this piece as more information comes in.

It will be interesting if AMD is going to go through the ‘unboxing’ embargo this time around, or just jump straight to full performance reviews. As always, come to AnandTech for the full story.

GIGABYTE's new X399 Refresh Motherboard

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  • Santoval - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    Intel's stunt was comparable and equally useless (but often entertaining) to LN2 stunts. Neither can lead to a commercial product, and both are done for PR purposes.
  • SirPerro - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    Probably. Let's see how rocket science goes when we compare performance per dollar.
  • 12345 - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    They don't want people using it to figure out the clock speeds based on 2nd gen Ryzen scores.
  • cyberguyz - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    I suspect if you used the same cooler on the 32-core threadripper, you would be hitting similar clocks and 'ripping' that 28-core intel a new one.
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    The 32 Core TR will rip it a new one at 4GHz.
  • cyberguyz - Thursday, June 7, 2018 - link

    Here is a comment from an Intel engineer after Itntel hastily folded ujp their drmo & headed to the door when AMD announced their 32-core TR2 (some NSFW language):
  • .Ne0 - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Rocket Science it is !

    Intel 28 core CPU apparently took 1 Kilowatt/hour, and Liquid Nitrogen grade coolant.

    Not everyone can handle that, buy Rocket Scientists can
  • - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    This. Anyone claiming this is the stock form of the upcoming 28-Core HEDT flagship is, frankly, easily manipulated by Intel’s sly PR stunt to suggest otherwise. To the contrary, they are not releasing a 5 GHz 28-core processor when this was no more than overclocking magic show that no regular end user could ever achieve without $10,000+ on hand for the extreme cooling hardware and associated supporting equipment.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    My bet Intel will have two Modes with 28 core chip

    1. 5Ghz water cooled version
    2. 4ghz conventual cooled system - still faster than 32 core TR since intel cores are faster then AMD and even though has 4 less cores.

    As anybody compare the sizes of TR vs Intel 28 Core - TR looks bigger.
  • peevee - Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - link

    "since intel cores are faster then AMD"

    Only in single-thread per core. Where all those multi-core CPUs are used, SMT and HT will be used, and SMT gives +50%, while HT barely +20% (and sometimes -10% or worse, depending on the app).

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