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AMD officially releases Ryzen Threadripper 1900X

by Tarinder Sandhu on 31 August 2017, 14:01

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadlaj

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AMD brought some serious CPU horsepower to the table when it announced a trio of Ryzen Threadripper CPUs earlier in the month. At that time, however, only the 1950X and 1920X were available. Understandably so, as AMD wanted to hit Intel with the heavy guns first.

As a quick recap, here is how the trio of high-end desktop chips compare against one another and a whole host of other Ryzen processors.

AMD Ryzen product range

Model
Cores / Threads
TDP
L3 Cache
Base Clock
Turbo Clock
XFR
DDR4 Support
Package
Price
AMD Ryzen Threadripper
Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
16 / 32
180W
32MB
3.4GHz
4.0GHz
200MHz
Quad 2666
TR4
$999
Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
12 / 24
180W
32MB
3.5GHz
4.0GHz
200MHz
Quad 2666
TR4
$799
Ryzen Threadripper 1900X
8 / 16
180W
16MB
3.8GHz
4.0GHz
200MHz
Quad 2666
TR4
$549
AMD Ryzen 7
Ryzen 7 1800X
8 / 16
95W
16MB
3.6GHz
4.0GHz
100MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$499
Ryzen 7 1700X
8 / 16
95W
16MB
3.4GHz
3.8GHz
100MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$399
Ryzen 7 1700
8 / 16
65W
16MB
3.0GHz
3.7GHz
50MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$329
AMD Ryzen 5
Ryzen 5 1600X
6 / 12
95W
16MB
3.6GHz
4.0GHz
100MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$249
Ryzen 5 1600
6 / 12
65W
16MB
3.2GHz
3.6GHz
100MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$219
Ryzen 5 1500X
4 / 8
65W
16MB
3.5GHz
3.7GHz
200MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$189
Ryzen 5 1400
4 / 8
65W
8MB
3.2GHz
3.4GHz
50MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$169
AMD Ryzen 3
Ryzen 3 1300X
4 / 4
65W
8MB
3.5GHz
3.7GHz
200MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$129
Ryzen 3 1200
4 / 4
65W
8MB
3.1GHz
3.4GHz
50MHz
Dual 2666
AM4
$109

We mention Threadripper again as today sees the full retail availability of the eight-core, 16-thread 1900X model, priced at $549 (£499?). Some may argue that there is little point or need for this chip because it isn't a whole lot better than the widely available Ryzen 7 1800X from a performance perspective, especially as that chip is now available for $459 (£439) right now.

It seems as if AMD is aware of this potential positioning quandary and has sought to delineate the key performance and platform differences on a press conference call yesterday.

Threadripper 1900X is great for productivity, not so great at gaming

The 1900X shares familial characteristics with other Threadripper CPUs, and this means that AMD chooses the best-performing five per cent of wafers and allocates them to the high-end desktop platform. A direct consequence, the company says, is being able to run the chips at higher speeds, with the 1900X operating at 3.9GHz all-core turbo clock, which is obviously higher than Ryzen 7 1800X.

That being the case, AMD's own numbers show it to be faster at heavily-loaded applications than the AM4 alternative. Of course, one could argue that ramping up full-socket processor power from 95W to 180W enables higher speeds through increased voltage whilst having access to quad-channel memory certainly doesn't hurt performance. At stock, we're looking at 10 per cent advantage.

However, it's not all good news for Threadripper 1900X. Having to run communications across two diagonal dies doesn't do it any favours when gaming, because the clockspeed and memory bandwidth advantage is wiped out when we look at lowish-resolution gaming. The Ryzen 7 1800X is faster in three of AMD's own benchmarks. Putting that into context, Intel's Core series still tends to be better at gaming than any Ryzen, even as we increase the resolution to a more GPU-taxing 2,560x1,440.

Threadripper is a platform story

We could have intuited the above without recoursing to benchmarks, and we already know about the surfeit of memory channels, USB and PCIe lanes on the X399 platform. What made the call newsworthy was the announcement that AMD will be bringing in bootable NVMe RAID for the X399 chipset on September 25, to be made available via a BIOS update across all compatible motherboards.

The NVMe RAID driver will offer bootable RAID 0, 1 and 10 modes for up to ten devices, thus leveraging that inherent PCIe goodness in the chipset. Unlike Intel whose latest Skylake-X Virtual RAID (VROC, X299 platform) is solely software driven and based on the CPU and only available at extra cost, AMD is going down the free, SSD vendor-agnostic route with the X399 implementation. It is unclear at this juncture whether AMD will run RAID on the CPU, a la Intel, or has specific hardware baked into the chipset.

It doesn't make much sense to consider the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X if you're solely going to play games or indulge in some lightly-threaded work; the Ryzen 7 1800X is a better, cheaper bet. AMD pushes the 1900X as the entry point into massive platform-wide connectivity and easy upgrade to more cores and threads as budgets permit.

Adding in NVMe RAID on X399 appears to be a move to further differentiate it from the Ryzen 7 line, and AMD representatives were adamant that this feature won't find a home on the performance X370 chipset any time soon.

We'll be doing our own Ryzen Threadripper 1900X testing in due course, so stay tuned for the review.



HEXUS Forums :: 27 Comments

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Its a shame AMD didn't use some of the binned Ryzen chips for the Ryzen 7 1800X. They could have probably made a 4.0~4.2GHZ part instead.
AMD will be bringing in bootable NVMe RAID for the X399 chipset on September 25, to be made available via a BIOS update across all compatible motherboards.

The NVMe RAID driver will offer bootable RAID 0, 1 and 10 modes for up to ten devices, thus leveraging that inherent PCIe goodness in the chipset.

What's the use case for a bootable array of 10 NVME drives?! :confused:

CAT-THE-FIFTH
Its a shame AMD didn't use some of the binned Ryzen chips for the Ryzen 7 1800X. They could have probably made a 4.0~4.2GHZ part instead.

Don't forget that the 1900X is dies with half the cores disabled, and retains that 180W TDP. What we're seeing here is basically the clocks that AMD would have achieved if they'd made the 1500X a 95W part instead of a 65W part….
It seems to me that the main reason anyone would get the 1900X is to have a “budget” Threadripper system for now, with a view to swapping the CPU out at a later date when their wallet recovers.
What's the use case for a bootable array of 10 NVME drives?!

1. I want it to say that I have it
2. 2x Raid 10 with spare(s)
3. Speed
4. Video editing with scratch array
5. Mad skillz
iworrall
It seems to me that the main reason anyone would get the 1900X is to have a “budget” Threadripper system for now, with a view to swapping the CPU out at a later date when their wallet recovers.

As I mentioned in one of the previous Threadripper threads, there are use cases for the extra memory bandwidth, as well as the comparatively huge amount of IO Threadripper enabled (up to 64 PCIe lanes, although 4 of those are taken up by the X399 chipset). They're pretty niche, but they do exist.

The fact that AMD used the TDP to ramp up the clockspeeds means you're getting better MT performance than the 1800X anyway, so the only trade off is in lightly-threaded tasks. And if you have a workload that isn't computationally intensive but requires huge membery bandwidth or IO, then having a lower-cost entry point to the platform makes sense.

And let's not forget, the rumour is that a lower-power non-X version of each chip will be released, which I suspect to be both clocked and priced lower. So there may yet be a $499 Threadripper chip…

excalibur1814
What's the use case for a bootable array of 10 NVME drives?!…

2. 2x Raid 10 with spare(s)


Surely you'd create 5 mirrored pairs then stripe across that (1+0, rather than 0+1)? Single RAID 10 array with ridiculous speed…