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AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen Probable SKUs, Specs, Pricing Leaked?

One of our readers tipped us off with a very plausible looking image that drops a motherlode of information about what AMD's 2nd generation Ryzen (aka Ryzen 3000 series) processor lineup could look like. This includes a vast selection of SKUs, their CPU and iGPU core configurations, clock-speeds, and OEM channel pricing. The list speaks of a reentry for 7th generation A-series "Excavator" as Duron X4 series, followed by Duron 300GE-series based on a highly cut down "Raven Ridge," Athlon 300GE 2-core/4-thread based on an implausible "Zen+ 12 nm" APU die, followed by quad-core Ryzen 3 3000 series processors with and without iGPUs, making up the company's entry-level product lineup.

The core counts seem to jump from 4-core straight to 8-core, with no 6-core in between, for the Ryzen 5 series. This is also where AMD's new IP, the 7 nm "Zen 2" architecture, begins. There appears to be a large APU die (or a 3-chip MCM) with an 8-core CPU and 20-CU iGPU, which makes up certain Ryzen 5 SKUs. These chips are either 8-core/8-thread or 8-core/16-thread. The Ryzen 7 series is made up of 12-core/24-thread processors that are devoid of iGPU. The new Ryzen 9 series extension caps off the lineup with 16-core/32-thread SKUs. And these are just socket AM4.

ASRock Intros X399 Phantom Gaming 6 Motherboard for AMD Threadripper X

ASRock today launched the X399 Phantom Gaming 6, its latest addition to the popular Phantom Gaming series for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. Note that this board only supports up to 16-core Threadripper models, the 24-core and 32-core Threadripper WX series are not supported. The Phantom Gaming features premium components (power delivery is kept clean and stable with Digital PWM, 8 Power Phase & Dr. MOS)and a relatively subdued, black-gray-red design - and like most hardware these days, it's gamer-oriented and branded. 2.5 Gbps Ethernet is one of the key features as ASRock paints it, and there is a grand total of 3x Ultra M.2 connectors and a full-length 22110 (110 mm) slot with full-coverage heatsink.

GIGABYTE Intros X399 Aorus Pro Motherboard at $270

GIGABYTE began shipping its second socket AMD TR4 motherboard since 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper launch, the X399 Aorus Pro. If you've been paying attention to GIGABYTE's new nomenclature for Aorus, the "Pro" SKU is slotted between what was "Gaming 3" and "Gaming 5," making this GIGABYTE's most affordable TR4 motherboard, positioned below the X399 Gaming 7, and a far cry from the range-topping X399 Aorus Xtreme. The board ships with out-of-the-box support for 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper processors. GIGABYTE appears to have reused the same exact PCB as the X399 Gaming 7, but with aesthetic updates and cost-cutting. The board's design scheme (I/O shroud and heatsink designs) are somewhat aligned with its newer generation design aesthetic introduced with its Z390 Aorus family.

Cost cutting over the X399 Gaming 7 comes in the form of the I/O shroud no longer running the entire length of the PCB, only one out of three M.2 slots getting a SSD heatsink, only two out of five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots getting full metal reinforcement, and the lack of a WLAN module. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX, and uses an 8-phase VRM to power the CPU. Expansion slot layout is unchanged from the Gaming 7, with two x16 slots running at x16, and two taking 8 lanes from them. A fifth x16 slot is gen 2.0 x4. All three M.2 PCIe slots are wired to the CPU. The onboard audio solution is carried over, with Realtek ALC1220 CODEC, WIMA capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The sole networking interface is a 1 GbE pulled by an Intel i211-AT controller. Available now, the GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Pro is priced at $270, a whole Benjamin cheaper than what the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 launched at.

AMD Zen 2 "Rome" MCM Pictured Up Close

Here is the clearest picture of AMD "Rome," codename for the company's next-generation EPYC socket SP3r2 processor, which is a multi-chip module of 9 chiplets (up from four). While first-generation EPYC MCMs (and Ryzen Threadripper) were essentially "4P-on-a-stick," the new "Rome" MCM takes the concept further, by introducing a new centralized uncore component called the I/O die. Up to eight 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU dies surround this large 14 nm die, and connect to it via substrate, using InfinityFabric, without needing a silicon interposer. Each CPU chiplet features 8 cores, and hence we have 64 cores in total.

The CPU dies themselves are significantly smaller than current-generation "Zeppelin" dies, although looking at their size, we're not sure if they're packing disabled integrated memory controllers or PCIe roots anymore. While the transition to 7 nm can be expected to significantly reduce die size, groups of two dies appear to be making up the die-area of a single "Zeppelin." It's possible that the CPU chiplets in "Rome" physically lack an integrated northbridge and southbridge, and only feature a broad InfinityFabric interface. The I/O die handles memory, PCIe, and southbridge functions, featuring an 8-channel DDR4 memory interface that's as monolithic as Intel's implementations, a PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complex, and other I/O.

AMD Could Solve Memory Bottlenecks of its MCM CPUs by Disintegrating the Northbridge

AMD sprung back to competitiveness in the datacenter market with its EPYC enterprise processors, which are multi-chip modules of up to four 8-core dies. Each die has its own integrated northbridge, which controls 2-channel DDR4 memory, and a 32-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex. In applications that can not only utilize more cores, but also that are memory bandwidth intensive, this approach to non-localized memory presents design bottlenecks. The Ryzen Threadripper WX family highlights many of these bottlenecks, where video encoding benchmarks that are memory-intensive see performance drops as dies without direct access to I/O are starved of memory bandwidth. AMD's solution to this problem is by designing CPU dies with a disabled northbridge (the part of the die with memory controllers and PCIe root complex). This solution could be implemented in its upcoming 2nd generation EPYC processors, codenamed "Rome."

With its "Zen 2" generation, AMD could develop CPU dies in which the integrated northrbidge can be completely disabled (just like the "compute dies" on Threadripper WX processors, which don't have direct memory/PCIe access relying entirely on InfinityFabric). These dies talk to an external die called "System Controller" over a broader InfinityFabric interface. AMD's next-generation MCMs could see a centralized System Controller die that's surrounded by CPU dies, which could all be sitting on a silicon interposer, the same kind found on "Vega 10" and "Fiji" GPUs. An interposer is a silicon die that facilitates high-density microscopic wiring between dies in an MCM. These explosive speculative details and more were put out by Singapore-based @chiakokhua, aka The Retired Engineer, a retired VLSI engineer, who drew block diagrams himself.

AMD Expands 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper Desktop Processor Line-up, Powering Ultimate Computing Experiences, Available Today From $649

[Editor's Note: Our review of the Ryzen Threadripper 2920X is out already, and that of the Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX will follow soon after.]

Today, AMD announced availability of two additional 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor models, 2970WX with 24 cores and 48 threads and the Ryzen Threadripper 2920X with 12 cores and 24 threads. The Ryzen Threadripper WX series commands class-leading core counts, purpose-built for prosumers focused on raw computational power for the heaviest workloads. In turn, Ryzen Threadripper X series provides enthusiasts, gamers, and streamers high performance with a beautiful and smooth gaming experience based on higher base and boost processor clock speeds than the previous generation.

"The dramatic transformation in the HEDT and overall PC market is driven by AMD leadership and innovation, and the AMD Ryzen Threadripper family is central to this global excitement," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "We are expanding this excitement while also ensuring the HEDT market remains accessible to a broader range of creators and gamers with two new Threadripper processors that start at $649."

Alpenföhn Intros Matterhorn Threadripper CPU Cooler

Alpenföhn today introduced the Matterhorn Threadripper, a variant of its popular Matterhorn series tower-type CPU air coolers, which supports AMD socket TR4 (SP3r2). The cooler comes with an enlarged copper base, which offers full coverage of the Ryzen Threadripper IHS. Six 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes convey heat from this base through the aluminium fin-stack.

The cooler ships with a re-tuned Wingboost 2 120 mm fan, which spins between 500 - 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 106 m³h of air, with noise output as low as 18.2 dBA. Both the fins and the heat pipes feature a ceramic black coating that works to increase surface area for heat dissipation. A tube of Alpenföhn Permafrost TIM comes included. Measuring 138 mm x 100 mm x 158 mm (WxDxH), the cooler weighs about 1 kg. The company did not mention the thermal load limits of the cooler, and whether it's recommended for even the 250W TDP models such as the Threadripper 2990WX. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Expresses its Displeasure Over Intel's PT Benchmarks for 9th Gen Core

AMD gave its first major reaction to the Principled Technologies (PT) controversy, in which it came out strongly against the questionable methods PT employed, in its performance comparison between the Core i9-9900K and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, in addition to certain other Ryzen Threadripper series products. In its response, AMD made its official position on controversy clear - it is not happy with PT.

AMD prepared a long list of flaws with PT's original testing, and the areas where it did not correct the mistakes in its second testing. The company also put out a list of its own "best practices" for comparative benchmarking, which prescribes "sanitizing the operating system," "sanitizing the platform" for stock vs. overclocked testing, "sanitizing the data," and to not create a vast disconnect between the test environment and the real-world.

be quiet! Announces Dark Rock Pro TR4: High-end Air Cooler for AMD Ryzen Threadripper

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for twelve consecutive years, announces Dark Rock Pro TR4, its high-end air cooler for AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors. Dark Rock Pro TR4 is part of the Dark Rock 4 cooler family and features a large base plate, optimized for Socket TR4 CPUs. With a sleek design and smart optimizations, Dark Rock Pro TR4 targets demanding workstation users needing the best performance at extremely low noise levels.

New PT Data: i9-9900K is 66% Pricier While Being Just 12% Faster than 2700X at Gaming

Principled Technologies (PT), which Intel paid to obtain some very outrageous test results for its Core i9-9900K eight-core processor launch event test-results, revised its benchmark data by improving its testing methodology partially. Initial tests by the outfit comparing Core i9-9900K to the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, sprung up false and misleading results because PT tested the AMD chip with half its cores effectively disabled, and crippled its memory controller with an extremely sub-optimal memory configuration (4-module + dual-rank clocked high, leaving the motherboard to significantly loosen up timings).

The original testing provided us with such gems as the i9-9900K "being up to 50 percent faster than 2700X at gaming." As part of its revised testing, while Principled Technologies corrected half its rookie-mistakes, by running the 2700X in the default "Creator Mode" that enables all 8 cores; it didn't correct the sub-optimal memory. Despite this, the data shows gaming performance percentage-differences between the i9-9900K and the 2700X narrow down to single-digit or around 12.39 percent on average, seldom crossing 20 percent. This is a significant departure from the earlier testing, which skewed the average on the basis of >40% differences in some games, due to half the cores being effectively disabled on the 2700X. The bottom-line of PT's new data is this: the Core i9-9900K is roughly 12 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 2700X at gaming, while being a whopping 66% pricier ($319 vs. $530 average online prices).

Thermaltake Intros Pacific W6 CPU Block for Ryzen Threadripper

Thermaltake introduced the Pacific W6, a CPU water block for AMD socket TR4, suitable for Ryzen Threadripper processors, including the WX-series. The block offers full coverage of the socket TR4 processor integrated heatspreader, and the micro-fin lattice that dissipates heat to the coolant covers all four corners of the base where you'd expect the four dies of the MCM to be.

The primary material is nickel-plated copper with a mirror finish at the base, while the top is acrylic with a silicone periphery that diffuses RGB LEDs. Measuring 85 mm x 117 mm x 26.2 mm (WxDxH, without fittings), the Pacific W6 weighs about 400 g. It's capable of handling thermal loads of up to 250W, and supports standard G 1/4 fittings. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel HEDT Platform to be Forked into Z399 and X599

Intel could very soon fork its high-end desktop platform into two, with the introduction of the new Z399 socket LGA2066 chipset later this quarter; and the fabled X599 chipset powering LGA3647 processors. The move is probably triggered by AMD's introduction of new 24-core and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper processors that wipe out competitiveness of its existing "Basin Falls" X299 platform. The X599 could essentially be a C629 with the addition of some client-segment features (and the subtraction of some enterprise-segment ones), whereas the Z399 is a whole different beast.

With the introduction X599 and LGA3647, Intel could restore competitiveness at the >$1,500 market segment with new 24-core, 26-core, and 28-core "Skylake-X" XCC (extended/extreme core count) processors; whereas the introduction of Z399 could be necessitated with a that of a new 22-core chip for the LGA2066 socket, from which Intel can carve out new 20-core and 22-core SKUs. Existing Skylake-X LCC and HCC chips could be forwards-compatible with Z399, and X299 motherboards could still be eligible for supporting new 20-core and 22-core processors via BIOS updates. The Z399 could introduce a handful of new client-segment features Intel is introducing with the Z390.

ASUS Launches its ROG Ryujin Line of AIO Liquid CPU Coolers for AMD TR4

ASUS today launched the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Ryujin line of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. Positioned above the ROG Ryuo series, which opened to pre-orders earlier this month, the Ryujin was first showcased at the 2018 Computex. These coolers are characterized by a somewhat square pump-block design that resembles a that of a chipset heatsink; but is embedded with a 1.77-inch color OLED display that shows an animated ROG logo by default, but can be reprogrammed to show just about anything, such as clan logos, live CPU temperature/load monitoring, etc. Another innovation that sets the Ryujin pump-block apart from every other Asetek cooler out there, is a tiny lateral-blower fan embedded into the block, which ASUS claims can bring down CPU VRM and M.2 SSD temperatures by up to 20°C.

The Ryujin series comes in two variants based on radiator size, the Ryujin 240 (120 mm x 240 mm radiator), and Ryujin 360 (120 mm x 360 mm radiator). These are 27 mm-thick aluminium radiators, which are ventilated by matte-black Noctua IndustrialPPC 120 mm PWM fans that are part of the package. These fans each spin between 450 to 2,000 RPM, pushing up to 121.8 CFM of air, with noise output up to 31 dBA. As we mentioned earlier, the product pages for both models mentions that the coolers only support AMD socket TR4, with full coverage for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper integrated heatspreader. This could help ASUS command a slightly high price, given that it's catering only to the market that can afford HEDT processors.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.11.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostics utility. Version 2.11.0 introduces support for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series "Turing" graphics cards, including the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070. Support is also added for a few exotic OEM variants we discovered over the months, including GTX 750 Ti (GM107-A), GTX 1050 Ti Mobile 4 GB, Quadro P1000, Tesla P100 DGXS, GeForce 9200. From the AMD stable, we add support for "Vega 20," "Fenghuang" semi-custom SoC for Zhongshan Subor, Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U, 5 Pro 2400G, 3 Pro 2200G, 3 Pro 2300U, 3 2200GE, Athlon 200GE, and Embedded V1807B. Intel UHD 610, UHD P630 (Xeon), Coffee Lake GT3e (i5-8259U), are now supported.

Among the new features are system RAM usage sensors, temperature monitoring offsets for AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000 series processors, and the ability to identify USB-C display output, GDDR6 memory standard, and 16 Gbit density memory chips. Several under-the-hood improvements were made, including WDDM-based memory monitoring for AMD GPUs, replacing ADL sensors that tend to be buggy. GPU-Z also cleans up QueryExternal files from your Temp folder. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.11.0

The change-log follows.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 399.24 Game Ready Drivers with Fix for Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

NVIDIA today released GeForce 399.24 WHQL "Game Ready" drivers. These drivers come with optimization for the month's biggest AAA game launch: "Shadow of the Tomb Raider," in addition to "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" - open beta, and "Assetto Corsa Competizione" - early access. There aren't too many issues fixed with this release. Apparently it addresses a performance drop when using NVIDIA cards on a 32-core/64-thread processor, like the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. It also addresses drivers not correctly installing on machines with ye olde Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 399.24 WHQL

AMD X499 Chipset Alive, Could See CES 2019 Unveil

AMD is going ahead with its plans to launch a new HEDT platform chipset dubbed X499, according to a HD Technologia report. Originally rumored to launch alongside the 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper family, X499 was delayed indefinitely, and the current X399 chipset continued as AMD's premier HEDT chipset, with existing motherboards receiving BIOS updates to support 2nd Gen Threadrippers, and some motherboard manufacturers launching newer models with beefed up CPU VRM designs to better cope with the 24-core and 32-core Threadrippers.

AMD X499 is reportedly back on the company's roadmap, and slated for a CES 2019 unveiling (January). What's interesting here is AMD sticking to the model number "499" after it emerged that Intel's next HEDT chipset could be named "X599." There's no information on what X499 brings to the table, but there are two big areas for improvement: first, the downstream PCI-Express connectivity needs to be updated to current PCI-Express gen 3.0 standards; and second, unless Threadripper WX processors are hardwired to only support quad-channel memory; X499 could introduce 8-channel memory, which could make it even more competitive against Intel's upcoming 28-core HEDT processor that has 6-channel memory.

AMD Cuts Prices of First Gen Ryzen Threadripper Processors

With the arrival of its 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors, AMD cut prices of the socket-compatible first-generation parts. A highlight of this move is the availability of the 12-core/24-thread Threadripper 1920X at $399. This chip trades blows with the Core i9-7900X in multi-threaded tasks, and considering stores are still listing Intel's 6-core/12-thread Core i7-7800X at $390 and the 8-core/16-thread i7-7820X at $469, could make for a better alternative, with more PCIe lanes. The 8-core/16-thread Threadripper 1900X is now down to $299, or less than the SEP price of the Ryzen 7 2700X. The 1900X still gives you 64-lane PCIe and quad-channel memory.

AMD Launches World's Most Powerful Desktop Processor: 2nd Generation Threadripper

AMD today announced the availability of world's most powerful desktop processor, the 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX processor with 32 cores and 64 threads. Designed to power the ultimate computing experiences, 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors are built using 12 nm "Zen+" x86 processor architecture and offer the most threads on any desktop processor with the flagship model delivering up to 53% greater performance than the competition's flagship model. Second Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors support the most I/O, and are compatible with existing AMD X399 chipset motherboards via a simple BIOS update, offering builders a broad choice for designing the ultimate high-end desktop or workstation PC.

"We created Ryzen Threadripper processors because we saw an opportunity to deliver unheard-of levels of multithreaded computing for the demanding needs of creators, gamers, and PC enthusiasts in the HEDT market," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With the 2nd Gen processor family we took that challenge to a whole new level - delivering the biggest, most powerful desktop processor the world has ever seen."

Cooler Master Announces the Wraith Ripper for 2nd Generation Threadripper

Cooler Master, a global leader in computer hardware and peripherals manufacturing, announces the Wraith Ripper, the official air cooler for the 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper desktop processor, as part of an exclusive partnership with AMD. The Wraith Ripper is designed, specifically, to keep the 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper cool under the most strenuous conditions and manage up to 250W TDP.

MSI Announces the MEG X399 Creation Motherboard

MSI today announced the MEG X399 Creation, its flagship socket TR4 motherboard, with out of the box support for 2nd generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000 processors. The company showed off this board at the 2018 Computex, held this June. Although built in the ATX form-factor, this board is recommended only for EATX-capable cases. The highlight of this board is its gargantuan 19-phase CPU VRM that's optimized for overclocking event the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 4-pin Molex. Heat drawn from the CPU VRM MOSFETS is dissipated not just by a large heatsink that spans almost the entire width of the board, but also a secondary heatsink cooling the SoC phases, via a heat-pipe. The huge chipset heatsink cools not just the X399 chipset, but also three M.2-NVMe slots (two M.2-22110 and one M.2-2280). You get 4 more M.2-2280 slots over the new M.2-Xpander Aero, which is a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 riser card that converts the slot to four M.2-2280 slots with x4 wiring, ventilating them with a 100 mm fan. It ends up looking like a graphics card in doing so.

Expansion includes eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 2048 GB of DDR4 ECC memory; four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (full-time x16/x8/x16/x4), and an x1. Storage connectivity includes 7 M.2-NVMe slots (3 onboard, 4 via the included M.2-Xpander Aero accessory); and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Connectivity includes MSI's highest-grade onboard audio solution combining an ALC1220 with a headphones amplifier, and audio-grade capacitors; and two 1 GbE interfaces driven by Intel i219-V controllers (10 GbE is a notable absentee); and 802.11ac + BT 5.0 WLAN. You get 10 USB 3.1 ports on the rear panel (including a type-C port), and four USB 3.1 ports via front-panel headers). RGB LED diffusers dot the rear I/O shroud, the chipset heatsink, and the reverse side of the PCB. The board is expected to be priced around $500.

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.

Exposed: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, 2950X Get Unboxed

That didn't take long - from the moment we've put our eyes on AMD's premium packaging for their new Threadripper 2 lineup, we're getting images that slowly expose the workings and ritual of unboxing these feats of silicon, engineering, and human ingenuity. The original video has, in the meantime, been taken down, but of course, whatever hits the web, stays in the web, and screenshots abound that give us a taste of what to expect.

GIGABYTE Announces the AORUS X399 XTREME Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with out-of-the-box compatibility with 2nd generation 32-core Threadrippers. The new Aorus X399 XTREME board is part of a new breed of X399-TR4 motherboards launched/unveiled in the past few months, with reinforced VRM to cope better with the upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core processors, such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation. A brochure of this board was leaked to the web last month, and now we see it in the flesh. Technically still an ATX board, the Aorus X399 Xtreme is slightly broader, and is recommended to be installed in EATX-capable cases. Power is drawn from a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU.

Expansion includes four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8), and an x1 slot. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 slots with gen 3.0 x4 wiring, each; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports, from which four come directly from the CPU. The onboard audio is top of the line, with an ESS Sabre DAC working the main stereo out, and a Realtek ALC1220VB handling the other 8 channels. The Sabre is slaved to the ALC1220VB, so the system only sees one audio controller. There are four network interfaces - a 10 GbE driven by an Aquantia-made controller, two 1 GbE pulled by Intel i219-V, and an 802.11ac driven by an Intel 9260 WLAN card, which also handles Bluetooth 5.0. There are 10 USB 3.1 ports at the integrated rear panel (eight running at 5 Gbps, and two at 10 Gbps, one of which is type-C). Four other 5 Gbps ports are wired internally. Of course there's the full-shebang of RGB lighting and control. Available from 8th August, the board will be priced at USD $499.99.

AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper Retail Boxes Pictured

AMD is known for some of the most quirky retail packaging. It sold its first FX-series processor in tin boxes, and its first Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors came in an unusually shaped box that made unpacking the processor an experience unto itself. With its second generation, AMD is poised to introduce new 24-core and 32-core SKUs, presenting the company with an opportunity to make its retail boxes even more grandiose on store shelves.

The new box features a rounded-rectangular front and rear side. A large acrylic window dominates the front, with polygonal bellows leading up to an inner case that shows off the processor as if its a piece of jewelry. This window opens up like an airtight Tupperware box, with a lock on the top, and a hinge at the bottom. Inside, there's a small orange LED lightshow powered by a couple of 2032 button cells. The reverse side also has an acrylic window looking up to the translucent orange back of the inner case, showing you the LGA of the chip. The product logo is unchanged, but a catchphrase has been added - Unlocked, Unrestrained, Uncompromising.
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