AMD has launched its second-generation Threadripper CPUs to further push the benchmarks at the highest end of enthusiast performance. These new chips represent the last word in raw computing power and make Intel’s current Core-i9 offering look slow and dated by comparison.

After the release of Ryzen and the Zen architecture last year AMD have made incredible strides forward in terms of both computing performance and market share against its competitor in Intel. Where the Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 series were built to compete with Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 the Threadripper series stack up directly against Intel’s Core i9 series.

The second generation Threadripper series have been divided into two spate lines. The X series is designed for ‘gamers and enthusiasts’ who want to make sure they have the most powerful rig around, while the WX series is tagged as being for ‘creators and enthusiasts’ offering computing performance almost competing with Xeon or EPYC chips.

The AMD vs Intel battle continues and for perhaps the first time in a while, Intel is very much on the back foot.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

Ryzen Threadripper 2 Price

The following is the RRP for each model direct from AMD.

Ryzen 2 Threadripper 2990WX - $1799

Ryzen 2 Threadripper 2970WX - $1299

Ryzen 2 Threadripper 2950X - $899

Ryzen 2 Threadripper 2920X - $649

Ryzen Threadripper 2 Release Date

The flagship 2990WX processor will release on 13 August with the 2950X model releasing on 31 August, the last two models will release at some point in October.

Pre-orders are due to come up on the 6 August for the 2990WX.

Ryzen Threadripper 2 Specs

  2990WX 2970WX 2950X 2920X
Socket TR4 TR4 TR4 TR4
CPU Architecture Zen+ Zen+ Zen+ Zen+
Cores/Threads 32/64 24/48 16/32 12/24
Base Frequency 3.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Turbo Frequency 4.2 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.3 GHz
L3 Cache 64 MB 48 MB 32 MB 32 MB
TDP 250W 250W 180W 180W
PCI-E 3.0 Lanes 60 + 4 60 + 4 60 + 4 60 + 4
Chipset Support X399 X399 X399 X399
Memory Channels 4 4 4 4

Powered by AMD’s “Zen+” microarchitecture

The emergence of the Zen architecture last year presented a new standard for AMD’s processors that helped propel the Ryzen series into serious competition with Intel in a very short space of time. This platform has now been refined and improved into “Zen+” offering a number of targeted improvements over it’s initial iteration, including;

  • A reduction in L3 cache latency of approximately 15%
  • A reduction in L2 cache latency of approximately 9%
  • A reduction in L1 cache latency of approximately 8%
  • A reduction in DRAM latency of approximately 2%
  • Official support for JEDEC DDR4-2933 (up from 2667)

These improvements are combined with the 12LP process from GLOBALFOUNDRIES. This process offers transistor performance that is between 10-15% better than preceding nodes, allowing it to boost the clock speed range of the Ryzen design while also reducing the core voltage across all cores.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper

AMD’s Precision Boost 2 technology

The initial iteration of Precision Boost was seen on the first generation Threadripper last year. This process is fairly complicated and involved, but it essentially allows the CPU to anticipate and read incoming data and adapt its speed and reactions to ramp up the core speed to meet incoming demand.

The goal is to make the processors reaction to increased demands more stable and fluid, allowing the cores to spool up and slow down as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

AMD’s Extended Frequency Range 2

XFR2 as with the previous features mentioned above is an improvement over the previous iteration of XFR. The Extended Frequency Range 2 now operates across all cores rather than the restricted number in its first version, and allows performance increases of up to 16% across these cores in a suitable thermal environment.

This technology rewards the user for exceeding the average expected thermal environment for the CPU, allowing it to spool up to higher than advertised speeds should the cooling allow it rather than capping itself at the standard expected levels.