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AMD’s new third-gen Threadripper chips offer 32 cores of power

AMD is heating up its battle with Intel with a slew of high-performance-driven processors. Targeting enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise on performance, AMD unveiled its third-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors, which tops out with a massive 32-core, 64-thread design. This year, there will be two models in the Threadripper powerhouse family: The Ryzen 3960X and the Ryzen 3970X.

Like AMD’s recent CPU and GPU announcements, the 3rd-Gen Threadripper family will utilize AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture, though these high-end silicons are designed to deliver more performance — especially in multi-threaded workloads, so they should be a powerful contender for creatives and workstation users — and power efficiency. Given that Intel’s comparable 10th-gen parts aren’t yet available on the market quite yet, AMD is comparing its new offerings to Intel’s 18-core Core i9-9980XE processor, and the Ryzen 3 Threadripper delivers quite a boost in performance, according to the company’s internal testing.

Performance Preview: 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Processors for Creators

When running Adobe Premiere CC 2019, content creators can expect to see up to 22 percent improvement on the 3960X or up to 47 percent improved performance with the top of the line 3970X, AMD said. Performance when benchmarked with Cinebench r20 is similarly impressive, with the 3960X delivering up to 54 percent and the 3970X delivering almost a 100 percent performance gained when compared to Intel’s 9980XE.

To achieve this level of performance, AMD claimed that the design accommodates 72 available PCIe 4.0 lanes, which leads to a four-time gain in bandwidth compared to second-generation Ryzen models. The 3960X will be available on November 25 starting at $1,399 and comes with a 3.8GHz base clock speed that can be boosted to 4.5GHz. It utilizes a 24-core, 48-thread design. The 32-core 3970X will retail for $1,999 and comes with a 3.7GHz base clock speed that can be boosted to a similar 4.5GHz.

Ryzen 3950X: 16-core desktop processor

If the performance of Threadripper is too rich for your blood, AMD’s Ryzen 3950X processor is designed to take on Intel’s Core i9-9900K, which has been a staple of premium gaming desktops. AMD claims that its 3950X, which joins the 3900X, delivers more performance per watt and absolute wall power performance than even Intel’s upgraded Core i9-9920X processor, which utilizes a 12-core, 24-thread design. For comparison, the 3950X comes with 16 cores and 32 threads with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz that can go as high as 4.7GHz for a starting price of $749, making it competitive against the $1,199 Core i9-9920X.

“And this is kind of that proof that the 3950X is really a bridge between what we used to consider a mainstream platform and high end desktop,” AMD said.

AMD’s internal testing shows that performance of its 3950X silicon matches or outperforms those of Intel’s Core i9-9900K or Core i9-9920X in a lot of popular gaming titles in 1080p, delivering well over 120 FPS on titles like GTA V, Civilization VI, and Hitman. On Fortnite, the 3950X performed at 233 FPS. This performance also translated to content creation tasks, the 3950X was able to outperform the 9900K by 42% on Adobe Premiere and 69% on V-Ray. On Cinebench R20, performance of the 3950X was up to 79 percent better than the Core i9-9900K, according to AMD.

Overall, AMD stated that content creators can expect up to a 27 percent improvement for creators compared to a Core i9-9920X and 2.34 times the energy efficiency all while maintaining similar 1080p gaming performance. The 3950X will also be available on November 25.

Along with its high performance CPUs, AMD also introduced its unlocked Athlon 3000G designed for overclocking. The dual-core, 4-thread processor has a 3.5GHz clock speed and supports Vega 3 graphics in a 35-watt TDP design that will be available starting November 19 at just $49. AMD compared the Athlon 3000G to Intel’s Pentium G5400 processor, and performance of the 3000G bested its rivals in a number of benchmarks and in 720p gaming.

AMD’s 3000G will be available on November 19.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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