Legendary overclocker flips the lid on Threadripper, finds Epyc hardware inside

Ryzen Threadripper

AMD’s Threadripper processors are set to be made available in early August, but they’re already up for sale as part of certain pre-built gaming PCs that launched alongside the company’s Ryzen 3 chips. One eager overclocker has already de-lidded the hardware to see what’s going on under the hood, finding evidence that it might be a re-badged version of the Epyc line of components.

There’s a lot of curiosity about what the Threadripper line has to offer, and so noted overclocking specialist der8auer took it upon himself to do some first-hand research. Thanks to his efforts, we now know a few more details about these components that AMD hadn’t previously made official.

Der8auer had to work outside of his comfort zone to gain access to the inner workings of the chip, according to a report from Hexus. He was on the road when he managed to get his hands on the processor, so rather than his standard set of tools, he was forced to make use of several razor blades and a pair of hot air soldering guns.

The lid didn’t come away as easily as expected when 180-degree heat was applied, despite the temperature being slightly higher than the melting point of indium solder. There were some concerns about damaging the chip itself, but in the end a combination of pressure from above and several razor blades did the job.

Inside the component, der8auer found something rather surprising — rather than the two dies he was anticipating, there were four, resembling the layout of AMD’s Epyc chips. He attempted to use temperature probes to figure out which dies were active when the chip was in use, but unfortunately it failed shortly after being powered on, likely as a result of the de-lidding process.

AMD did provide some more details on the construction to Hexus. Apparently, two of the four dies in the 16-core 32-thread chip are completely unused. There are various theories as to why this might be the case, ranging from the company simply re-using the Epyc layout to cut costs, to the assertion that two of the dies are really just spacers, as reported by PC World.

We’ll know more about the specifics of the Threadripper line when the high-end CPU is made available next month. At present, the parts are only available as part of pre-assembled PCs offered by companies like Dell and CyberPowerPC, as documented by Tech Report.