While previous generation Threadripper CPUs from AMD amounted to a total of 32-cores and 64-threads, AMD’s 3990X will redefine the lineup with a whopping 64-cores and 128-threads. Intel’s highest core count competitor CPU features 28-cores and 56-threads, and as of now they don’t have any CPU with more cores, leaving them behind in many high performance desktop use cases. The new CPU will feature four CPU dies with 16-cores each and will be drop in compatible with the new generation of TRX40 motherboards.
AMD mentioned that the purpose of the new TRX40 chipset motherboards was to support this new 3990X CPU, as its power requirements are quite intense. The CPU will cost you $3,990, a cute play on the model number of their flagship processor. However, AMD also mentioned that at such a high core count, certain things need to be taken into account. They recommend 4GB of DRAM per core, which means that TRX40 motherboards with 8-DRAM slots with the latest 32GB DRAM modules on the market will be required; that’s a minimum of 256GB of DRAM.
They also mentioned that programs will need to be updated so support such a high core count as Microsoft’s Windows 10 wont be able to recognize so many cores/threads. However, they did say all users will need to do is download the latest versions of their software as AMD has made great strides to get custom APIs in place for software to recognize all cores and threads.
Regardless of the extremely high cost, Intel will have a tough time of competing even at the same price point. The W-3175X is Intel’s competition for the 3990X and costs roughly the same, but has less than half the core count. Time will tell how Intel will respond, but for now AMD has the numbers on paper.