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AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro CPUs up pressure on Intel Xeon

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has introduced its new family of processors designed for the so-called extreme workstations as well as performance enthusiasts with deep pockets. 

AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper Pro CPU family offers high core counts, SKUs with high clocks and features one comes to expect from AMD’s Pro line. 

Perhaps, the most important improvement of the new processors is support for up to 2TB of DDR4 memory. There is a catch: the Ryzen Threadripper Pro will only be available from workstation makers.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro

 AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3900WX-series family of CPUs includes four models: the 64-core Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX, the 32-core Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3975WX, the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3955WX, and the 12-core Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3945WX. 

The first two CPUs feature slightly lower clocks when compared to AMD’s existing 64- and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 3900-series products, but they are considerably faster than AMD’s server-oriented EPYC processors with the same core count. Meanwhile, the models 3955WX and 3945WX feature a ‘moderate’ core count, but very frequencies to offer unbeatable per-core performance. 

All of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3900WX-sereis processors support up to 2 TB of DDR4 memory using various types of DRAM modules, a capability important for memory intensive workloads like rendering or data analytics. Traditionally for Threadrippers, the new CPUs also feature 128 PCIe lanes for high-end graphics cards, compute accelerators, and storage devices.

(Image credit: AMD)

All of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3900WX-series processors feature eight memory channels that double bandwidth compared to typical Ryzen Threadripper CPUs with four channels. Furthermore, they support up to 2 TB of DDR4 memory using various types of DRAM modules, a capability important for memory intensive workloads like rendering or data analytics. Traditionally for Threadrippers, the new CPUs also feature 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes for high-end graphics cards, compute accelerators, and storage devices.

With its 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper processors featuring up to 64 cores, AMD clearly commands the high-end desktop and extreme workstations world. Meanwhile, these CPUs do not address the small, but very lucrative market of traditional workstations that have requirements beyond raw performance. By launching its Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3000-series processors, AMD not only addresses needs of leading makers of workstations and their business customers, but actually sets a new bar for this class of machines both in terms of performance and in terms of features. In fact, to a large degree AMD is trying to change the rules of the game here as its Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX can win competition both against Intel’s single-socket Xeon W as well as dual-socket Xeon Platinum machines. 

(Image credit: AMD)

Just like AMD’s Ryzen Pro chips, the new Ryzen Threadripper Pro WX-series processors bring such features as an integrated TrustZone security processor, Transparent Secure Memory Encryption (TSME), Secure Boot, TPM 2.0, per-Application security for select applications, content protection, and DASH manageability. 

With enhanced security and manageability, the Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3900WX CPUs will be welcomed by business and corporate users with performance demands that have had to stick to Intel’s Xeon W-series because of Intel’s vPro set of capabilities and some other enhancements. 

To fully support new memory configurations, security and remote management capabilities, the Ryzen Threadripper Pro chips use a new platform with multiple enhancements on the motherboard design level, such as a new memory arrangement, mandatory TPM 2.0 chip, and various customizations for professionals.

Enhanced performance and capabilities come at a price and while it is logical to expect new AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro processors will cost more than their ‘non-Pro’ counterparts, we will never know. AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper Pro platforms will be available only from workstation makers and at present the chip company has no plans to offer Threadripper Pro CPUs on the retail market. 

The first system to use the Ryzen Threadripper Pro will be Lenovo’s ThinkStation P620. The machine is positioned between 1P ThinkStation P520 and 2P ThinkStation P720, but only supports 1 TB of DDR4 memory.