Antony Leather – Senior Contributor
The rumor mill has kicked in to overdrive ahead of AMD’s highly-anticipated 3rd Gen Threadripper CPU launch expected next month and the latest news according to Videocardzis that there will be three SKUs announced on 5th Novemeber with reviews landing on 19th.
I for one cannot wait to see what AMD has in store this time and for now, the news seems relatively trustworthy compared to the usual leaks we see as Videocardz is citing an employee at AMD itself as the source.
Listed in the information are the Threadripper 3960X, which recent leaks have pointed as having 24 cores. There’s also the Threadripper 3970X, which is assumed to have 32 cores, the Threadripper 3980X, which is speculated at 48 cores and finally what is likely to be the Threadripper 3990X, which will have a massive 64 cores.
Backwards compatibility in doubt
I wrote about backwards compatibility looking doubtful back in May when rumors around Threadripper’s future were circling (see the original article here):
I won’t be naming any sources here, but one motherboard manufacturer suggested to me that current X399 motherboards may not support 3rd gen Threadripper CPUs. Now, the wording here was a bit hazy, as it doesn’t mean there won’t be a 3rd gen Threadripper product, but clearly given how Socket AM4 will definitely support 3rd gen Ryzen, it suggests that things are about to change for Threadripper as we know it, potentially leaving current X399 board owners with no upgrade path.
However, yet more evidence surfaced on Twitter with tech website www.rehwolution.it posting that ASRock’s new Threadripper motherboards using the TRX40 chipset will not be compatible with 1st and 2nd Gen Threadripper CPUs and X399 motherboards will not be compatible with the new 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs.
This is sad news indeed given how much faster I expect the new CPUs to be, but not entirely unexpected. For starters, AMD has only stated future compatibility with its mainstream AM4 platform, although even here you won’t be able to use 1st Gen Ryzen CPUs with X570 motherboards.
Similarly, Threadripper was never part of AMD’s original plan with the Zen architecture and even motherboard manufacturers have said they were caught out by the introduction of 24 and 32-core models, with many older X399 motherboards struggling to cope with the power demands and the likes of Asus and MSI launching refreshed boards with upgraded power delivery to cope.
November looks set to host one of the biggest CPU battles of recent years with Intel’s Core i9-9900KS (all-core 5GHz boost), AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16-core Zen 2 desktop) as well as Intel’s cut-price Cascade Lake-X CPUs all launching. Needless to say my test benches are ready so be sure to follow me here on Forbes, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook to see more news and the reviews as they land.
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