Thursday, November 7th 2019

AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3950X, Details 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, unlocked Athlon 3000G

AMD today announced four new desktop processors across three very diverse markets. To begin with, the company crowned its socket AM4 mainstream desktop platform with the mighty new Ryzen 9 3950X processor. Next up, it released its new baseline entry-level APU, the Athlon 3000G. Lastly, it detailed the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor family with two initial models, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and the flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The company also formally released its AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode, and with it, introduced a killer new feature for all "Zen 2" based Ryzen processors, called ECO Mode.

The Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core/32-thread processor in the AM4 package, compatible with all socket AM4 motherboards, provided they have the latest BIOS update with AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode. The processor comes with clock-speeds of 3.50 GHz base, with 4.70 GHz maximum boost frequency, and the same 105 W TDP as the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X. With 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 64 MB of shared L3 cache, the chip has a mammoth 72 MB of "total cache."
According to performance numbers put out by AMD, the Ryzen 9 3950X offers up to 22 percent higher single-threaded performance than the Ryzen 7 2700X as tested in Cinebench R20, and a whopping 79 percent higher multi-threaded performance than the Core i9-9900K. The company also claims gaming performance parity with the i9-9900K. The company also claims huge performance-per-Watt gains over the i9-9900K. Available for purchase from November 25, 2019, the Ryzen 9 3950X is priced at USD $749 (MSRP). The retail PIB box package lacks a cooling solution, and AMD recommends at least a 240 mm x 140 mm AIO liquid CPU cooler to go with this chip.
AMD also sealed the bottom end of its socket AM4 processor lineup with the new Athlon 3000G, which adds a few segment-first features. The 3000G is based on the 12 nm "Picasso" silicon that combines CPU cores based on the "Zen+" microarchitecture with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The 3000G is configured with a 2-core/4-thread CPU and the Radeon Vega 3 onboard graphics that has 3 "Vega" NGCUs. The CPU is clocked at 3.50 GHz, which is a 300 MHz gain over the Athlon 200GE. This time around, AMD has also provided an unlocked base-clock multiplier for the CPU, letting you overclock it. The Radeon Vega 3 iGPU is configured with 192 stream processors, and 1100 MHz engine clock, a 100 MHz gain over that of the 200GE. Available for purchase from November 19, 2019, the Athlon 3000G is priced at just USD $49, and could make for an entertaining little toy for enthusiasts, as well as a formidable chip for home-theater, NAS, or other low-power desktop builds.
Moving on to the most exciting part of the day's announcements, AMD unveiled its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processor series, debuting with two models, the Threadripper 3960X and the Threadripper 3970X. The two are based on the new sTRX4 CPU socket, and are being launched alongside the new AMD TRX40 chipset. The socket itself looks physically similar to the older TR4 socket, and offers cooler compatibility, meaning that any CPU cooler or water-block that's compatible with TR4 will be compatible with sTRX4 as well. Your only consideration should be the cooler's thermal load capacity, as both the processors being announced today have a TDP rating of 280 W. The 3rd gen Ryzen processors themselves have no backwards-compatibility with older AMD X399 chipset motherboards, nor would older Threadrippers work on TRX40 chipset motherboards.
As for the processors themselves, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X is a 24-core/48-thread beast priced at USD $1,399 (same exact price as the previous generation 24-core Threadripper 2970WX). The 3960X offers frequencies of 3.80 GHz base with up 4.50 GHz maximum boost, and a gargantuan 140 MB total cache (L2+L3). The Threadripper 3970X, on the other hand, is a 32-core/64-thread monstrosity priced at USD $1,999. Despite its extreme core-count, it doesn't skimp on clock-speeds, offering 3.70 GHz nominal clocks, and 4.50 GHz maximum boost frequency. Both chips will be available to purchase on November 25, 2019.

Interestingly, AMD has launched no HEDT chips priced under $1000 this time around, which is where Intel retreated its 10th generation Core X lineup to. AMD says that its 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper chips are still competitive with Intel's HEDT chips, and suggested that consumers to pick up those chips instead. We interpret this as AMD preparing a round of price-cuts to 2nd gen Threadrippers already in the market, and possibly getting its motherboard partners to do the same with their X399 motherboards.

The 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper is a derivative of the company's "Rome" multi-chip module, featuring five chips - four 7 nm "Zen 2" 8-core CPU chiplets (or CCDs), and one 14 nm I/O Controller die (or ICOD). The four CCDs talk to the ICOD over the Infinity Fabric interconnect, which has doubled in bandwidth over the previous generation. The ICOD on the sTRX4 Threadrippers are configured with a monolithic quad-channel DDR4 memory interface that supports up to 2 TB of memory, including ECC support.
The PCI-Express root-complex of the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper is massive, and fascinating. It puts out a total of 64 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes, wired out as follows:
  • 48 lanes toward PCI-Express x16 slots (x16/x16/x16), which can be further segmented two x8 slots, each
  • 8 lanes toward chipset-bus. That's right, AMD is using an extra-wide PCI-Express 4.0 x8 pipe between the CPU and the TRX40 chipset
  • 8 general purpose lanes, either configured as two M.2 NVMe slots with x4 wiring, each, or as x4 motherboard slots, or even additional SATA ports
As described in the list above, the move to bolster chipset-bus with PCI-Express 4.0 x8, quadrupling bandwidth over the previous generation TR4 platform (which uses PCI-Express 3.0 x4), is probably one of the reasons AMD had to come up with a new CPU socket.

The AMD TRX40 chipset is physically similar to the X570 and is designed in-house by AMD for GlobalFoundries 12 nm FinFET node. Its PCI-Express gen 4.0 switch is configured differently to accommodate the wider x8 chipset-bus. The TRX40's PCIe budget is laid out as follows.
  • 8 lanes toward chipset-bus (this can't be changed)
  • 8 general purpose lanes (for external onboard devices such as GbE or WLAN controllers, additional USB controllers, etc., or even wired out as slots)
  • Bloc of 4 lanes configurable as four SATA 6 Gbps ports, general purpose lanes for slots, or an M.2/U.2 NVMe connection with x4 wiring
  • A second such bloc of 4 lanes
For a motherboard that has at least four SATA 6 Gbps ports, the TRX40 chipset hence effectively puts out 12 downstream PCIe gen 4.0 lanes.
Lastly, AMD announced a fascinating new platform feature called ECO Mode. Applicable to all socket AM4 processors that have "Zen 2" CPU cores (Ryzen 5 3500 and above), ECO Mode is essentially a cTDP (configurable TDP) implementation for the desktop platform. You flick a toggle in Ryzen Master, and the processor's TDP is capped at 65 Watts on-the-fly. So when not gaming or doing serious work, you can turn on ECO Mode and ensure your processor never draws more than 65 Watts. For the mighty Ryzen 9 3950X, ECO Mode offers 77 percent performance, but 44 percent lower power-draw, and 7°C lower temperatures.

The entire slide-deck follows.
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112 Comments on AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3950X, Details 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, unlocked Athlon 3000G

#26
Metroid
September has become November and intel most likely, done for. Now the only thing that matters is to see if 16 cores 32 threads really work without problems with dual channel. I would never buy the 3950x before the benchmarks, so I advise any to do the same..
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#28
phanbuey
It was only a matter of time before the sticker price was going to creep up.

Intel will be price / perf for a while then there will be a 'transition' generation like the original conroe vs K10 where we will get an e6600 for cheap, then they will go back to premium pricing.

Metroid
September has become November and intel most likely, done for. Now the only thing that matters is to see if 16 cores 32 threads really work without problems with dual channel. I would never buy the 3950x before the benchmarks, so I advise any to do the same..
It will just be a faster and slightly hotter 3900x methinks... Not sure it will be worth the $$ for the large majority of use cases.
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#29
kapone32
The silver lining on the dark cloud of TR40 will be that people will still be able to get into HEDT but they will have to get X399. I can see X399 boards like the Gigabyte Designaire dropping to under $400 and some of the other ones like As Rock Phantom and Asus Prime dropping to the mid $200 range. When the 3950X goes into stores the 2950X should be around $500 and the 2920X around $300. This should put the 1900X under $200 and the 1920X in the range of $250. The 1950X will probably be $350 or $400. I know that the IPC gains are realized in Ryzen2 TR4 processors but with all of that throughput X399 should satisfy most enthusiasts wishes. As far as the 3950X having 44 PCI-E lanes they would have to release new boards under X570 as no board currently supports that.
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#30
Tsukiyomi91
at least AMD is worth every cent than (sh)Intel's current offerings. I don't mind spending $750 for such beastly CPU on the mainstream platform. As long it floors the i9-9900K or KS (whatever Intel wanna name it), that's good for me. Also, imagine enabling ECO Mode on the 3950X, dropping the TDP to 65W when doing light work. on a 240mm AIO CLC or custom loop, temps will be in the low 40C or cooler. Intel is done for. Losing more grounds to AMD if they weren't so full of themselves, recycling the old 14nm from Skylake all the way to Ice Lake or whatever-Lake they're releasing. Also, adding more PCIe lanes & reserving for HEDTs is a big mistake. Too little too late.
Posted on Reply
#31
DeOdView
neatfeatguy
Wish I had $1100 to get a new CPU/MB/RAM, I wouldn't mind having a 3950x just for the sake of having one....

Then again, I wish I had $500-600 for a 3700x plus MB/RAM.

It will be nice to read through the reviews when they get released. I just feels good to see that AMD is back in the game after all these years of playing catch up.
LOL At least now I know I'm not alone. I grew up.... urghh... ok OLD...

RH92
+ 600 dollars for 8 more cores when comparing 3970X and 3960X is just a HUGE SCAM considering 3700X cost 330 dollars ( that's including the substrate , IMC die , IHS , reatail package , margins etc etc ) ! AMD deserves a lot of credit but they also deserve a lot of flak when they do things like this ......
What is your thought on Intel?
Posted on Reply
#32
rblc
New gen HEDT CPU

Excellent 2nd gen Threadripper was for enthusiasts and scientists. Sorry AMD, but 3rd gen Threadripper is for scientists (workstations) only. Sad to say, but old/new 10980XE will be better choice for enthusiasts than new 3rd gen Threadripper (server CPU). And because difference between 3950 a 3960 is so BIG, 10980XE will be new HEDT entry point CPU soon.

Bye, bye Threadripper.
Posted on Reply
#33
kapone32
rblc
New gen HEDT CPU

Excellent 2nd gen Threadripper was for enthusiasts and scientists. Sorry AMD, but 3rd gen Threadripper is for scientists (workstations) only. Sad to say, but old/new 10980XE will be better choice for enthusiasts than new 3rd gen Threadripper (server CPU). And because difference between 3950 a 3960 is so BIG, 10980XE will be new HEDT entry point CPU soon.

Bye, bye Threadripper.
Umm I don't think so X399 will still be viable and provide more PCI_E lanes than 10980XE.
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#34
GoldenX
Kinda lame we don't have 4 core Zen2 options.
Why do people insist on using a 32 core CPU for gaming? It's a goddamn workstation CPU, it's intended for that kind of work load only.
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#35
TheinsanegamerN
These are incredibly powerful chips. 32 cores, 128MB of L3 cache, 4.5 GHz boost speed, 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes....that is a LOT of tech in a very small space. Sure, its 4x the price for 2x the cores and cahce of a 3950x, but you also get more then double the PCIE 4.0 lanes, from 20 to 44 (THAT aint cheap) plus additional lanes for NVMe and SATA storage, a quad channel DDR4 controller, in a niche market. It's a newer, more powerful platform with better expansion opportunity.

But apparently AMD isnt allowed to sell high margin CPUs. If they are not barrgins, AMD is no better then hitler to the peanut gallery. You guys realize the $500 12 core 3900x isnt going away, right? You can still get lots of cores on the cheap, stop whining you dont have the money for a $2K CPU. If you want AMD to compete they need the money to fight intel's massive R+D budget.
Posted on Reply
#36
Nater
Deathy
Shouldn't the $1400 price tag also be a scam then? 3700x times 3 is 24 cores for $990? Seems to me the 3970x should be priced at $1870 if you look at the base price for the entry level 3960x (1400 : 24 * 32). Looking at it that way, it is $130 more expensive, which is in line with other processors. I can get the 3000G for $50, 2C/4T, but I cannot get a 8C/16T CPU from AMD for $200. Where is your outrage there?

Either everything is a scam or people will spend the money on the CPU that best suits their need. It's not like there is false or deceptive advertising or they are forced to buy AMD at gun point. You really need to adjust your outrage meter to normal, non-internet levels.


How does the 3950x on AM4 get that many PCIe lanes? Are you counting the X570 chipset in there as well? AM4 CPUs generally only have 16+4+4 (with some APUs even less I think).
I'm with you. I see it from another lens as well - I don't have to build a WHOLE other computer to get nearly the same performance. 1x 32 core threadripper system is going to be cheaper/easier than 4x 8c Ryzen rigs. I shudder at just opening all the boxes and assembly alone. You're paying a small premium to get it all under one hood, but it sure beats having to manage 4 times the hardware and hoping your software supports running over a network.
Posted on Reply
#37
xkm1948
Pricing is a bit meh considering Intel's new pricing system for their HEDT.

I assume no AVX-512. Also now officially confirmed no X399 support for Gen3 TR so no upgrade path for the TR system we have in lab. Real bummer.

I will wait around and see some scientific computing benchmark first.
Posted on Reply
#38
Tomgang
GoldenX
Kinda lame we don't have 4 core Zen2 options.
Why do people insist on using a 32 core CPU for gaming? It's a goddamn workstation CPU, it's intended for that kind of work load only.
First of buying a quad-core for gaming now is not something I will recommend. Games are moving away from using 4 cores. Today it's 6 cores and better yet 12 threads that is the norm and besides that I also see more and more people complaining about stuttering with a quad-core in games as well. These days my recommendation for games are 6 core/12 threads like ryzen 5 3600.

I would never chose a quad-core cpu today for gaming unless I whas so dam poor I cut not afford anything better.
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#39
techguymaxc
TheGuruStud
You NEVER bought AMD before.
I've deleted the vitriol in your post and will respond to this statement.

My first AMD CPU was an AM5x86-P100, a Socket 7 CPU which was a drop-in upgrade for a 486. Overclocked to 133MHz via dip switch. Very cool chip. Both figuratively, and literally, as these were in the days before heatsinks became necessary to cool desktop CPUs.

I've also owned the following AMD CPUs, during what I consider to be their heyday:
Athlon XP 1700+, and 2800+
Athlon 64 3000+
Opteron 175

I've also owned AMD-powered laptops, and an Athlon II X3 460.

I bought and overclocked my first AMD CPU likely before you were even born.

As for Radeon GPUs, I owned the very first model, and many thereafter, including numerous Crossfire systems (early adopter there as well, anyone remember Master and slave cards?)

I buy the best hardware for my budget and use-case.
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#40
gamefoo21
Jeebus that R9 3950X is going to be a monster power pig if it's stock cooler is a 280mm AIO.

Consider that the Fury X stock as a rock, running Fur Mark hits 47'C loaded and it's running a single 120mm rad...

That card was crunching 250W...

Not that I mind, hopefully it drives the 3900X prices down.
Posted on Reply
#41
Tomgang
All these cores makes me confused:confused:

How about we go back to single core and no ht/smt:p
Posted on Reply
#42
dicktracy
rblc
New gen HEDT CPU

Excellent 2nd gen Threadripper was for enthusiasts and scientists. Sorry AMD, but 3rd gen Threadripper is for scientists (workstations) only. Sad to say, but old/new 10980XE will be better choice for enthusiasts than new 3rd gen Threadripper (server CPU). And because difference between 3950 a 3960 is so BIG, 10980XE will be new HEDT entry point CPU soon.

Bye, bye Threadripper.
It's more targeted for Intel HEDT users than TR ones. $2000 for the 7980XE wasn't a problem for them and AMD knows it. Only people who loses from this isn't even Intel fanboys but the AMD side.
Posted on Reply
#43
heflys20
champsilva
90% best case scenario, but the 10980XE 18c/36t costs less than half the price.
Well, the 3970x is 32c/64t, plus features PCI 4.0...
Posted on Reply
#44
Deathy
OctavianPrime
From what I've read/seen, it's going to be specific X570 boards that have this many lanes available, unlikely that every X570 board will have/support them.
You really should state so and not just refer to a CPU (3950x) with 44 PCIe lanes, which is false. The AM4 Zen 2 CPUs have 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes of which, 4 are reserved for the chipset communication (I have not seen a non-chipset motherboard in the wild, although it should be possible in theory, the AMD CPUs are SoCs after all). And the X570 chipset has 20 4.0 lanes of which 4 are reserved for communication with the CPU. So you have a total of 36 PCIe 4.0 lanes that can be used for graphics cards, storage, controllers and other slots. That is the CPU plus X570 chipset and goes for every Zen 2 CPU, not just the 3950x. But that is also not the point here, since you can pair the 3950x with other motherboards, thus losing your stated PCIe lanes. It is much better to clearly state what you are talking about.
Posted on Reply
#45
HwGeek
Robert from AMD came to visit:
Posted on Reply
#46
champsilva
heflys20
Well, the 3970x is 32c/64t, plus features PCI 4.0...
Double the price, AVG 60% performance for 100% price increase. Not sure if it's a good deal

Well you can also add some features sets that Intel has and AMD doesnot.

Plus some optimized softwares.
Posted on Reply
#47
techguymaxc
champsilva
Double the price, AVG 60% performance for 100% price increase. Not sure if it's a good deal

Well you can also add some features sets that Intel has and AMD doesnot.

Plus some optimized softwares.
I don't know that it's fair to say the 3970x will be 60% faster than the 9980xe/10980xe on average. The average seems to be somewhere in the 40-50% range, with outliers at 36% and 90% in Cinebench, which is basically a cache benchmark at this point.

Don't get me wrong, 40-50% faster than Intel's flagship HEDT part (excluding the insane W-3175x) is nothing to sneeze at. It's just not worth the cost for me at $2500-$3000 for a platform upgrade to get another 40-50% performance.
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#48
heflys20
champsilva
Double the price, AVG 60% performance for 100% price increase. Not sure if it's a good deal
For people who have the budget and want top performance, it's probably worth it.
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#49
kapone32
heflys20
For people who have the budget and want top performance, it's probably worth it.
I would be interesting if game developers used the new TR4 to create games.
Posted on Reply
#50
techguymaxc
heflys20
For people who have the budget and want top performance, it's probably worth it.
That's a personal decision. I would argue that many existing HEDT users will not take this upgrade path due to cost.

For those that have yet to buy into an HEDT platform though, if the budget is there it's a no-brainer. Though personally I'll be waiting to see what a theoretical 3990WX looks like before I decide to upgrade.
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