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AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper MCM Configuration Confirmed, More Details

Tech Day slides leaked to the web by Kitguru provide a confirmation of how AMD is wiring out the additional two dies on the 24-core and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2000-series MCMs on the socket TR4 platform. We had speculated that because the quad-channel DDR4 memory and PCIe interfaces are wired to two diagonally-opposite dies on AMD X399 chipset motherboards; in the interest of backwards compatibility, AMD could wire out memory and PCIe from just two out of four dies on the multi-chip module, and have the two additional dies seek memory and PCIe over the InfinityFabric interfaces.

The obvious trade-offs with this design choice is that latencies to the dies with indirect memory/PCIe access are higher, and that reflects heavily in AMD's own performance figures for comparing the 32-core 2990WX with the 16-core 2950X from the same generation. The 2990WX is "only" up to 64 percent faster than 2950X at Cinebench R15 nT, despite having double the number of cores. To its credit, the 2950X has higher clock-speeds (3.50 GHz nominal with 4.40 GHz boost) than the 2990WX (3.00 GHz nominal with 4.00 GHz boost). The presentation also puts out interesting bits of information such as AMD's own performance numbers showing 10-15 percent performance gains between the 2950X and the 1950X; and performance gains of the 2990WX over Intel Core i9-7980XE.

AMD Announces 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper 2000, up to 32 Cores/64 Threads!

AMD announced its second-generation Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processor series, succeeding its lean and successful first-generation that disrupted much of Intel's Core X HEDT series, forcing Intel to open up new high-core-count (HCC) market segments beyond its traditional $1000 price-point. AMD's 16-core $999 1950X proved competitive with even Intel's 12-core and 14-core SKUs priced well above the $1200-mark; and now AMD looks to beat Intel at its game, with the introduction of new 24-core and 32-core SKUs at prices that are sure to spell trouble for Intel's Core X HCC lineup. The lineup is partially open to pre-orders, with two SKUs launching within August (including the 32-core one), and two others in October.

At the heart of AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper is the new 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" die, which made its debut with the 2nd Generation Ryzen AM4 family. This die proved to introduce 3-5 percent IPC improvements in single-threaded tasks, and multi-threaded improvements with an improved Precision Boost II algorithm, which boosted frequencies of each of 8 cores on-die. The Threadripper is still a multi-chip module, with 2 to 4 of these dies, depending on the SKU. There are four of these - the 12-core/24-thread Threadripper 2920X, the 16-core/32-thread Threadripper 2950X; the 24-core/48-thread Threadripper 2970WX, and the flagship 32-core/64-thread Threadripper 2990WX.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Cinebench Numbers Out

AMD France blurted out the Cinebench R15 score of the upcoming Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX 32-core/64-thread HEDT processor. The web-design team of AMD's French website inadvertently posted Cinebench R15 numbers of the 2990WX, along with their own tested numbers of Intel's current flagship, the Core i9-7980XE. Cinebench is AMD's favorite multi-threaded benchmark, and it should come as no surprise that its new 32-core/64-thread 2990WX absolutely smashes the 18-core/36-thread i9-7980XE.

The Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX has an nT (multi-threaded) score of 5,099 points, compared to 3,355 points scored by the i9-7980XE. The comparison saw memory (4x 8 GB DDR4-3200), graphics (NVIDIA GTX 1080), and storage (Samsung 850 Pro) constant between the two machines. The Intel machine featured a GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 motherboard, while the AMD machine used an unnamed socket TR4 motherboard. CPU cooling was not mentioned. AMD was, of course, quick to redact the web-page, but the Internet never forgets.

Intel to Kill off The "Extreme Edition" Brand Extension

Intel is allegedly killing off the "Extreme Edition" brand extension it has been using to denote its flagship client-segment products, such as processors and NUCs. This, according to industry observer François Piednoël. This could also mean the retirement of related elements such as the iconic Intel Skull, and the black and silver packaging. What Intel is replacing this moniker with, remains a mystery.

Intel currently assigns the "Extreme" extension to only one client-segment product, the Core i9-7980XE. With the advent of the 28-core client-segment processor on a new motherboard platform, Intel could find itself tough to justify the extension on the "Basin Falls" (LGA2066) platform. The company is planning to launch new 20-core and 22-core LGA2066 processors, besides its 28-core processor on the new platform. The Extreme extension is also used on the company's "Skull Canyon" NUC.

Intel's 28-core HEDT Processor a Panic Reaction to 32-core Threadripper

At Computex 2018, we witnessed two major HEDT (high-end desktop) processor announcements. Intel unveiled a client-segment implementation of its "Skylake XCC" (extreme core count) silicon, which requires a new motherboard, while AMD announced a doubling in core-counts of its Ryzen Threadripper family, with the introduction of new 24-core and 32-core models, which are multi-chip modules of its new 12 nm "Zen+" die, and compatible with existing X399 chipset motherboards. With frantic increases in core counts, the practicality of these chips to even the most hardcore enthusiast or productivity professional diminishes. The Computex 2018 demos reek of a pissing-contest between the x86 processor giants, with AMD having an upper hand.

The HEDT segment is intended to occupy the space between client desktops and serious scalar workstations. Intel is frantically putting together a new HEDT platform positioned above its current LGA2066 (X299) platform, built around its Purley enterprise platform, and a variant of the LGA3647 socket (this chip + your X299 motherboard is no bueno). This socket is needed to wire out the 28-core Skylake XCC (extreme core count) silicon, which has a six-channel DDR4 memory interface. The company put up a live demo at the teaser of this unnamed processor, where it was running at 5.00 GHz, which led many to believe that the processor runs at that speed out of the box, at least at its maximum Turbo Boost state, if not nominal clock. Intel admitted to "Tom's Hardware," that it "forgot" to mention to the crowds that the chip was overclocked.

Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core CPU @ 6.1 GHz on All Cores, Consumes up to 1000 W

Overclocker extraordinaire Der8auer has been able to put Intel's flagship, HCC HEDT 7980XE CPU, through its paces under extreme cooling, which resulted in a veritable show of force from the blue giant. Intel's $1,979, 18-core, 36-thread CPU has cemented itself as the flagship consumer CPU of choice, surpassing AMD's 1950X Threadripper in all fields. And yes, we do mean single-core and multi-core benchmarks, but also power consumption figures.

With 18 cores in need of adequate cooling, every piece of real-estate that may serve as an heatsink of sorts comes at a premium; that is why thermal paste for this Intel processor was applied not only to the CPU die itself, but also to the entire PCB around it. Der8auer says that doing this allows heat to be better dissipated form the CPU die, allowing for up to 400 MHz increased clock-speeds under load. Direct contact with the die was also tried, and achieved by cutting off the central pat of the IHS, while keeping the edges of it as a way of better load balancing the weight of the cooler (in this case, an LN2 cooler) over the CPU's PCB, in order to avoid different amounts of pressure on the CPU pins. However, the extreme overclocker ended up not recommending that venue, for it didn't offer consistent success in their extreme cooling efforts.

Intel Announces Availability of Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X

Intel expanded the upper end of its Core X "Skylake-X" HEDT processor family, with the introduction of the Core i9-7980XE 18-core flagship processor, and the i9-7960X 16-core processor. Designed to give pro-sumers and PC enthusiasts extreme mega-tasking performance, the i9-7980XE features all components physically present on the 14 nm "Skylake-X" silicon, featuring 18 cores, with HyperThreading enabling 36 threads; 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, 24.75 MB of shared L3 cache, and rather restrained clock speeds of 2.60 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds of 4.20 GHz, and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency of 4.40 GHz.

Despite its gargantuan core-count, the TDP of this chip is rated at 165W, lower than the 180W rated for competing Ryzen Threadripper processors. The other high-end processor launched by Intel is the Core i9-7960X. This 16-core/32-thread chip features clock speeds of 2.80 GHz, with 4.20 GHz Turbo Boost, and 4.40 GHz Turbo Boost Max 3.0. It features 22 MB of shared L3 cache, and 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core. The Core i9-7980XE is priced at USD $1,999 in the retail channel; while the Core i9-7960X goes for $1,699.

Intel's 18-core Core i9-7980XE Benchmarks Surface

A user on Coolenjoy has apparently gotten his hands on Intel's upcoming i9-7980XE silicon, putting it through its paces on Cinebench and a number of other benchmarks. The 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE is set to be Intel's most advanced HEDT processor of all time by a wide margin - both in number of cores and pricing. It seems that even in the face of a competitive AMD, that puts value towards core counts with its $999 Threadripper 1950X 16-core, 32-thread CPU, Intel still sees it fit to charge an arm, a leg, and both of your kidneys for a 2-core advantage. Intel's XE processors have become more synonymous of eXtremely Expensive and less about being eXtreme Edition over the years, and the i9-7980XE, with its $1999 price-tag, does nothing to alleviate the issue. This is a halo product, though - the most advanced HEDT processor in the world. And with it being as niche a product as it is, it actually makes some kind of sense for it to be so expensive - an immoral, "where has the world gone" kind of sense, but still, some measure of it.

Intel's Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X HEDT CPUs to use TIM; Won't be Soldered

If you had your eyes on those new Intel HEDT processors, which were posted just today with some... Interesting... price-points, you'll be a little miffed to know that Intel has gone on and done it again. The few cents per unit that soldering the CPU would add to the manufacturing costs of Intel's HEDT processors (starting at $999, tray-friendly prices) could definitely bring the blue giant to the red. As such, the company has decided to do away with solder even on its HEDT line of high-performance, eye-wateringly-expensive CPUs in favor of their dreaded TIM.

The news have been confirmed by der8auer, a renowned overclocker. And as you have probably seen in our own VSG's review (and if you haven't shame on you and click that link right away), delidding Intel's CPU's and ridding them of their TIM can improve temperatures by up to a staggering 21 ºC (case in point, an i7-7700K). And that's a quad-core CPU; imagine an Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-core processor sitting under that TIM, and overclocking it to boot. Those are more than four times the cores under an equally bad thermal interface; add to that the likely presence of a thermally-insulating air-gap, and you can imagine where this is going. If you are planning on going for Intel's HEDT platform, you better take those delidding tools off your shelf.

Update: Check this video here for some more information. Turns out both Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X will make use of the referred TIM, but Skylake-X dies, which make use of a stacked PCB, won't be deliddable with current tools. A new tool is going to be developed by der8auer alongside ASUS for these chips.

The Slumbering Giant Wakes: Intel to Introduce 18-core X-Series Processors?

Videocardz is advancing an exclusive in that Intel seems to be about to introduce even more cores in a single package than previously thought. Intel's X299 platform, which we've just started officially started seeing some motherboards for (just scroll down on our news feed), looks to be the awakening of a slumbering giant. But you don't have to believe me on this: before we ever knew of AMD's Ryzen line of processors (much less about their Threadripper line), leaks on Intel's Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors only showed core counts up to 10-cores - in line with previous Intel HEDT platforms (see below image.) Cue more recent leaks, and it would seem that Intel is increasing the core-counts on its upcoming platform on a daily basis - especially if the most recent leak referencing 14, 16 and 18-core parts pans out. (I am reminded of a "moar cores" meme that used to float around the web. Maybe one of you in the comments can find it for me?)

A new, leaked slide on Intel's X-series processors shows 18, 16, 14, and 12-core configurations as being available on the upcoming X299 platform, leveraging Intel's turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 (which is apparently only available on Intel's Core i9-7820X, 7900X, 7920X (which we know to be a 12-core part), 7940X (probably the 14-core), 7960X (16-core) and the punchline 7980XE 18-core processor, which should see a price as eye-watering as that name tumbles around on the tip of the tongue. There is also mention of a "Rebalanced Intel Smart Cache hierarchy". But you don't want me to be rambling on about this. You want to comment about this story. Feel free to partake in a joyous conversation over these news (I'll also leave you with a bonus picture of some purported, upcoming Intel X-series packaging efforts. They're certainly colorful.)
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