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

#51
Nater
techguymaxc
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.
If you're using the system to make money, it's essentially monopoly money. I took our secretary/accountant/HR gal from a dual core i3/4GB/HDD to a Ryzen 5 3600X/16GB/NVMe and she gets all her work done in about 2 hours, instead of being frustrated ALL day. :p
Posted on Reply
#52
heflys20
techguymaxc
That's a personal decision. I would argue that many existing HEDT users will not take this upgrade path due to cost.
That's my point though, for those who can afford it and desire the performance; it's a non-factor.
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#53
techguymaxc
Nater
If you're using the system to make money, it's essentially monopoly money. I took our secretary/accountant/HR gal from a dual core i3/4GB/HDD to a Ryzen 5 3600X/16GB/NVMe and she gets all her work done in about 2 hours, instead of being frustrated ALL day. :p
Time is money, though it doesn't matter nearly as much how long a task takes when you're dealing with salaried employees ;)

heflys20
That's my point though, for those who can afford it and desire the performance; it's a non-factor.
You're missing the nuance though. I can afford it. I desire the performance. Just not enough to justify it. Silly as it may sound, the value proposition just isn't there. Again though, 64-cores might just do the trick...
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#54
Nater
techguymaxc
Time is money, though it doesn't matter nearly as much how long a task takes when you're dealing with salaried employees ;)
Hey now! Just cause I'm on TPU all day at work doesn't mean the boss shouldn't approve some new capital expenditures! This i7 6700 is feeling mighty sluggish! If I had something newer I'd have more time to screw off at work!
Posted on Reply
#55
RH92
Deathy
Shouldn't the $1400 price tag also be a scam then? 3700x times 3 is 24 cores for $990?
No not really because we are talking about two different families that offer different features hence why i only compared 3970X to 3960X and used 3700X to illustrate the cost of 8 cores based on Zen 2.

Deathy
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?
What you forget is that the $50 3000G is based on Zen+ not Zen 2 , you can get Zen+ 8C/16T for as low as $170 ( R7 2700 ) so there is no reason for outrage there hence why you don't see any !

Deathy
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.
My outrage meter is right where it should be pal , im calling out the fact that paying 600 dollars for 8 more cores between two products of the same family is nothing short of a rip-off , i don't need to be forced to buy said product in order to call this out . Funnily enough everyone goes berserk when companies like Intel or Nvidia propose product with similar awful ''relative value'' ( to my knowledge nobody forced them to buy said products at gun point either ) but yet same peoples become indiferent to this topic when it's about AMD ! Therefore i would rather advise you to tone down your complacency meter to normal when it comes to AMD .
Posted on Reply
#56
HTC
TR prices are too high, IMO: around $1199 for 3960X and $1749 for 3970X would be much more appealing. Add to that, like with X570, prices for new TR boards are also too high: board makers are also trying to milk it.

The conjunction of this may actually drive prospective customers AWAY from TR 3000 series and go for either TR 2000 series or go Intel instead.
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#57
Durvelle27
Man that 3000G looks very interesting indeed. Not to mention the 3950X
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#58
thesmokingman
HTC
TR prices are too high, IMO: around $1199 for 3960X and $1749 for 3970X would be much more appealing. Add to that, like with X570, prices for new TR boards are also too high: board makers are also trying to milk it.

The conjunction of this may actually drive prospective customers AWAY from TR 3000 series and go for either TR 2000 series or go Intel instead.
Most ppl went HEDT just to go HEDT. For those people the 3950x/3900x should fit the bill. AMD has imo redefined what HEDT is starting at 24 cores. That's some serious high core counts! Previously, HEDT was basically not much of anything but high $ bling for epeen. HEDT now is serious workstation bizness. The pricing is inline with those who are making a living with HEDT in production/content.
Posted on Reply
#59
R0H1T
heflys20
That's my point though, for those who can afford it and desire the performance; it's a non-factor.
Curious thought process, I wonder if perf/W & arguably perf/$ comes into this? TR wins by a landslide in the former & at the latter as well, at least till the price drop on Intel HEDT goes worldwide!
Posted on Reply
#60
thesmokingman
R0H1T
Curious thought process, I wonder if perf/W & arguably perf/$ comes into this? TR wins by a landslide in the former & at the latter as well, at least till the price drop on Intel HEDT goes worldwide!
Intel HEDT is competing with AMD's desktops man. They have their hands full as is with the 3900xc/3950x.
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#61
R0H1T
That is true, however the desktop platform still lags in terms of connectivity (+storage) options & I guess ECC support? I know not everybody will need that, but for anyone not willing to start their workstation life at $1400 I'd say AMD has given Intel half a leg through the font door. Now the original TR & TR2 are still here, but for me this price is a bit on the higher side though I do expect it may come down depending on the sales.
Posted on Reply
#62
Steevo
Slizzo
Are we also forgetting that you get 64 PCI-E lanes, 2 more memory channels, and a host of other features for those $600 extra dollars?
Not to mention the quality of the dies probably make them rare to hit those clocks with that low TDP.

Supply and demand.

But he probably doesn't mind paying more per Watt, core, performance of Intel.
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#63
moproblems99
Oh AMD, enjoy the top. Charge what those who came before you established as the market. Revel in the complaints that your products are too expensive when the products of those before you would have been eagerly gobbled up because they were the best and the best costs money.

Now, get off your ass and give us a good GPU.
Posted on Reply
#64
thesmokingman
R0H1T
That is true, however the desktop platform still lags in terms of connectivity (+storage) options & I guess ECC support? I know not everybody will need that, but for anyone not willing to start their workstation life at $1400 I'd say AMD has given Intel half a leg through the font door. Now the original TR & TR2 are still here, but for me this price is a bit on the higher side though I do expect it may come down depending on the sales.
I don't know about anybody else but it's pretty simple to me. If you're using RAID cards, you are sinking a lot of money into the equation so the choice is clear. Those who were epeening with HEDT, yea I can see those complaining on costs. But those guys need to get real with it.

Half a leg? How do you mean? If those who are looking at multicore IPC, Intel has already lost the conversation.
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#65
heflys20
R0H1T
Curious thought process, I wonder if perf/W & arguably perf/$ comes into this? TR wins by a landslide in the former & at the latter as well, at least till the price drop on Intel HEDT goes worldwide!
I guess I'm of the assumption that a number of people considering processors in this extreme price range (particularly with this level of performance) would consider those things slightly irrelevant; with top performance being the major draw. Regardless, as evidenced by responses, it seems that I am wrong. I assume Intel has already priced their upcoming HEDT' accordingly (compared to last generation), since it's possible that the 3950x might even give them some slight trouble. I expect their prices to rise over time (due to supply), actually. This goes for TR, too. All this is moot until official reviews though, IMHO.
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#66
Durvelle27
R0H1T
That is true, however the desktop platform still lags in terms of connectivity (+storage) options & I guess ECC support? I know not everybody will need that, but for anyone not willing to start their workstation life at $1400 I'd say AMD has given Intel half a leg through the font door. Now the original TR & TR2 are still here, but for me this price is a bit on the higher side though I do expect it may come down depending on the sales.
Desktop Zen supports ECC depending on the board. I’ve used ECC RAM with no issues
Posted on Reply
#67
thesmokingman
Durvelle27
Desktop Zen supports ECC depending on the board. I’ve used ECC RAM with no issues
Oh yea, this. Forgot to mention this in my post above.
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#68
Mamya3084
Dammit, the new TR prices means I don't think we'll see cheap used 2950x CPUs for sale any time soon.
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#69
Vya Domus
phanbuey
It was only a matter of time before the sticker price was going to creep up.
Did it ? The 3960X is better than the previous flagship 2990WX and cheaper, so how exactly did the price creep up ? The 3970X is more expensive, sure, but it's also notably faster.

The performance/dollar still went up, it's extremely unrealistic to expect anything else. People have to realize that their AM4 platform is already competitive to Intel's current HEDT lineup, that's crazy and there is not much wiggle room for AMD to differentiate TR in terms of pricing.

GoldenX
Kinda lame we don't have 4 core Zen2 options.
I hope they disappear, let us move into 2020 please. High core counts are the future. Let me put it this way, compared to say 10 years ago, a quad core occupies probably around an order of magnitude less die space, it's time to move on.
Posted on Reply
#70
phanbuey
Vya Domus
Did it ? The 3960X is better than the previous flagship 2990WX and cheaper, so how exactly did the price creep up ? The 3970X is more expensive, sure, but it's also notably faster.

The performance/dollar still went up, it's extremely unrealistic to expect anything else. People have to realize that their AM4 platform is already competitive to Intel's current HEDT lineup, that's crazy and there is not much wiggle room for AMD to differentiate TR in terms of pricing.

I hope they disappear, let us move into 2020 please. High core counts are the future. Let me put it this way, compared to say 10 years ago, a quad core occupies probably around an order of magnitude less die space, it's time to move on.
Yeah of course they did... every generation is going to be better than the one before it (unless you're intel for the past 6 years) - the 32C part from a year ago was $1800, the new part is $2k - that's price creep. Is it a massive change? no not really; hence 'creep' next gen if it's out in front will be a bit more, and then a bit more etc.

you can make the $/performance argument somewhat, but this is just history repeating itself... AMD took the lead with K10 back in the day and then slowly increased prices until:


until a year later intel came out with a $183 chip that would smash that $1k chip.

So yeah... I would stand by the price creep statement given how fast technology advances. I think zen offered people sub-$200 eight core processors when just a little over two years ago you would have to spend $1k with intel shows that the pace of advancement hasn't slowed all that much, and neither has the pricing behavior of those with the fastest tech.
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#71
Cheeseball
They should've aimed the 3960X at $1,099 (as an entry price into the HEDT platform) and the 3970X at $1,399. This would help those to swallow the combined CPU, memory and TRX40 motherboard overall cost.

I would reserve a potential "3990WX" 64-core part at $1,999 since this may be the top dog for HEDT.
Posted on Reply
#72
bug
Tsukiyomi91
I don't want the 3rd gen Threadripper. I want that R9 3950X!
Quite honestly, if you need that many cores, you probably also need to feed them, so why not go quad-channel?
Posted on Reply
#73
GoldenX
Tomgang
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.
Right, because the only use for a PC is gaming.
Posted on Reply
#74
ShrimpBrime
phanbuey
Yeah of course they did... every generation is going to be better than the one before it (unless you're intel for the past 6 years) - the 32C part from a year ago was $1800, the new part is $2k - that's price creep. Is it a massive change? no not really; hence 'creep' next gen if it's out in front will be a bit more, and then a bit more etc.

you can make the $/performance argument somewhat, but this is just history repeating itself... AMD took the lead with K10 back in the day and then slowly increased prices until:


until a year later intel came out with a $183 chip that would smash that $1k chip.

So yeah... I would stand by the price creep statement given how fast technology advances. I think zen offered people sub-$200 eight core processors when just a little over two years ago you would have to spend $1k with intel shows that the pace of advancement hasn't slowed all that much, and neither has the pricing behavior of those with the fastest tech.
No no no. this is all incorrect my friend. K10 was being clobbered by Core 2 duo/quad.

you must be thinking back as far as socket 754 and s939 Athlons (K8) and Opterons. Am2 was washed by Intel. (k10)

AM2+ Phenom quad core Agena suffered horribly by TLB errata. smashed by core 2 quads.

By the AM2 platform, Intel had already passed AMD with core 2 duo which was released at the end (if memory serves) of the Socket 939 era of chips like FX-55 and FX-57 ect. Opteron was the way to go on this platform though.

So I think AMD was beating out the Netburst processors. AMD had nothing with K10 on Intel ever.
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#75
bug
GoldenX
Right, because the only use for a PC is gaming.
The guy was specifically talking about building a gaming PC.
I've arguing against the need for many cores for years, but when $200 buys you 6 cores/12 threads, how much are you saving by sticking with a quad core? My new 3600 is now sitting on my desk, hoping it'll get a nice B550 mobo in time for Christmas ;)
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