Wrapping up just a bit ago was AMD’s annual Computex press conference. AMD brings their A-game to Computex, and for a good reason: as a PC focused show, it gives them great exposure, but it also allows them to promote their OEM relationships, the latter of which are crucial to AMD’s survival as the CPU underdog. Computex in turn isn’t a venue for deep technical announcements, but it’s a good place to get clarity on AMD’s CPU roadmap.

Starting things off then, let’s talk about ThreadRipper. AMD’s previously announced many-core CPU for the high-end PC desktop and workstation market was first announced at Financial Analyst Day a few weeks back. AMD is now in the process of slowly releasing information about the chip to build up interest ahead of its launch – which, before you ask, hasn’t been set yet and is still “this summer”.

At today’s press conference, AMD has confirmed that the 16 core processor will for most purposes be half of an Epyc processor. This means that the two die MCM chip will feature 4 DDR4 channels and a whopping 64 lanes of PCIe, with all 64 lanes being enabled for all ThreadRipper SKUs. This will be broken up into 60+4: 60 lanes directly from the CPU for feeding PCIe and M.2 slots, and then another 4 lanes going to the chipset (with an undisclosed number of lanes then coming off of it) to drive basic I/O, USB, and other features. AMD seems to be particularly relishing the point on PCIe lanes in light of the yesterday’s Intel HEDT announcement, which maxes out at 44 lanes and no chip below $1000 actually has all of them enabled.

The launch chipset for ThreadRipper will be the X399 chipset (ed: at this point AMD and Intel are literally trying to one-up each other). No details have been released on it thus far, so we’ll have to see what AMD has up their sleeve. But coming so close to the Ryzen launch, it doesn’t sound like it’ll be radically different. Otherwise we’re hoping to grab some pictures of X399 boards at the show today, as those should be on display. The ThreadRipper/Epyc socket in particular should be interesting; the chip is nothing short of massive, and in the one photo AMD has released so far of an Epyc motherboard, the socket looks equally huge.

Finally, not to be outdone, AMD’s 32 core & 128 PCIe lane Epyc CPU for servers has also received some news of its own. AMD’s first promising product in the server space in nearly half a decade will be launching on June 20th.

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  • serendip - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    Love, love the Intel-trolling that AMD is up to. Funny how Intel showed their Skylake HEDT chips with the usual marketing-led gimping/segmentation as a response to Threadripper and now Threadripper one-ups Intel's response to itself. Looks like the engineers are finally having fun at AMD.
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    Some folks may not know the origin of the Threadripper name.

    IT is a young persons game, and their idols are the highly paid guys, who artistically tear designer jeans for the cool poverty stricken look.

    So its just like we wrinkles might call it astronaut or quarterback.
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    I'm kinda wondering why this a pipeline story (and in danger of faalling off the page), while the Intel announcement is the headline story...
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    Glad to answer that. The Intel story was a fully pre-briefed embargo with lots of news, technical reveals, chances to ask questions, etc. Whereas this news comes from a Computex press conference and AMD only announced 2 things about ThreadRipper, both of which we could already infer from Epyc: 64 lanes of PCIe, and quad channel memory.

    This is a much, much smaller story.
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, June 1, 2017 - link

    SLI of CPUs
  • Joseph_Crox - Thursday, June 1, 2017 - link

    I can heard the tick tack tack of Brian Krzanich speeding up at 3 in the morning. Second error after Otellini's misjudment about Apple.
  • Joseph_Crox - Thursday, June 1, 2017 - link

    Sorry is misjudgment not that crap.
  • Joseph_Crox - Thursday, June 1, 2017 - link

    A question: which computer performs better, a 44 PCIe lanes 18/36 or a 64 PCIe lanes 16/32?
  • vladx - Thursday, June 1, 2017 - link

    PCIe lanes number has nothing to do with CPU performance, obviously if you need 16 cores than having 18 will mean more performance overall.
  • sirmo - Monday, June 5, 2017 - link

    It will depend. AMD has very strong SMT and multicore scaling. There are some tasks where 1800X 8 core is trading blows with the Intel Core i7-6950X (10 core chip). And the difference between 16 and 18 cores is even smaller.

    One thing is certain those who need 16 or 18 cores will care about multithreaded performance, and AMD is very strong there. Not to mention the price/$$$ disparity.

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