AMD at CES 2020 64-Core Threadripper 3990X and More Launched

Dr Lisa Su With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
Dr Lisa Su With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

AMD held their news conference for CES 2020 today. The company says it will have 20 products either shipping or in development for 2020. One of those new products is one we have heard about before: the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X which headlines with 64 cores and 128 threads. AMD also announced bringing its 7nm CPU and GPU technology into the mobile segments as well as a new GPU that will become the company’s sub $280 offering.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

Perhaps the biggest announcement was one that we already knew. The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X was shown at CES 2020. This is the 64 core workstation part that the company noted when the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X launched.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Key Specs
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Key Specs

These are big numbers. Pricing at $3,990 is in-line with the AMD EPYC 7702P which is a good thing. Using 288MB of total cache is correct, but looking at last level cache it is really 256MB of L3, just like on the AMD EPYC 7002 Series Rome Delivers a Knockout.

Earlier this week, STH posted a AMD EPYC 7002 Rome v Threadripper for Workstations article discussing pros and cons between both from the perspective of a former dual Xeon workstation user. AMD coincidentally used dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 CPUs versus a single 64 core Threadripper to show performance improvement.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X V Dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X V Dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280

It should be noted here that rendering is just about the perfect use case to highlight AMD’s advantages over Intel architecturally. Even if they were equal performance, the AMD Threadripper 3990X would still be very attractive. These chips will launch in February.

AMD Radeon RX 5600

The company also announced the AMD Radeon RX 5600 GPU. This is a 6GB GDDR6 card that will retail for $279. Each card has 36 compute units, a 1375MHz game clock, and a 1560MHz maximum clock.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 Key Specs At CES 2020
AMD Radeon RX 5600 Key Specs At CES 2020

AMD is claiming that the new cards will be great competition for 1080p gaming.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 At CES 2020
AMD Radeon RX 5600 At CES 2020

AMD recently launched the lower-end Radeon RX 5500. This sits between those GPUs and the higher-end AMD Radeon RX 5700 and XFX AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.

AMD Ryzen 4000 for Mobile

AMD is pushing into the laptop form factor. It will bring its 7nm Zen 2 to mobile devices. The company announced the Ryzen 4000 series of mobile processors at the show. The new Ryzen 4000 series will feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads.

Dr Lisa Su With AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile
Dr Lisa Su With AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile

The AMD Ryzen 7 4800U will feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads with a 1.8GHz base and 4.2GHz boost clocks. The company will also be using an updated Radeon Vega GPU core all at 15W.

AMD Ryzen 7 4000U Specs At CES 2020
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U Specs At CES 2020

This is designed to bring a leap in CPU and GPU performance to the ultralight segment. We should note that Intel is announcing Tiger Lake which will have its new Xe GPU and improved CPU on 10nm later this year as well. If you are in the market for an ultralight in late 2020, it is going to be an exciting buying season.

he AMD Ryzen 7H is designed for mobile creators. This 45W TDP mobile part incorporates 8 cores and 16 threads with a 2.9GHz base and 4.2GHz boost clock. With the same core count and maximum boost clock as the 15W part.

AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Specs At CES 2020
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Specs At CES 2020

Aligning with these new mobile parts, the company is also working on a project called AMD SmartShift which it says is designed to intelligently offload compute to a dGPU in a system. The company says this switching can yield better performance and potentially lower power than what it currently has on the market.

AMD SmartShift At CES 2020
AMD SmartShift At CES 2020

The SmartShift demo seemed like it was not quite ready as a shipping solution, but it is getting close.

If you are buying corporate notebooks in the segment, you are going to have the opportunity to bring large mobility and/or performance leaps to your users. In the first quarter of 2020, AMD says that it will have its first models out and over 100 systems in 2020. AMD entering the market with better products is good for the industry. Servers, workstations, and desktops markets all have AMD options that are pushing performance boundaries. If all goes according to AMD’s plan, the Ryzen 4000 mobile series will bring that competition to the notebook market as well.

Final Words

Kicking off the AMD CES 2020 keynote, Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s CEO, said that 2020 will be bigger than in 2019. The company is off to a great start. What will become more poignant later this year in the server market is that the company is continuing to evolve a great model as it launches Milan. That same model is helping the company innovate on a number of fronts which we are seeing at CES 2020.


  1. Only 256GB ECC UDIMM with non-existent (in real market) 32GB modules or even 128GB ECC UDIMM max RAM with realistically existing 16GB modules limits usage of this monster a bit. Honestly for a lot of purposes having 128GB RAM with 64cores monster would be too unbalanced.
    On the other hand, for purposes which fits in limited amount of RAM and which use >64-128 threads, this CPU will be a must have and what AMD did is truly remarkable.

  2. Hoping for a decent mobile workstation based on Ryzen (like Dell Precision). Intel probably still is ahead when it comes to power consumption since AMD based laptops likely include more third party components for ThunderBolt etc… Wondering if the platform will support PCIe4 (for SSD) or if that’s a problem thermally.

  3. @KarelG there is no universal ram per core formula. What you need, regardless of how many cores you have, is to be able to keep your entire data set in memory, because otherwise the penalty of paging will totally massacre performance. Having more cores simply means to do the number crunching faster. What *could* starve cores is not ram capacity but bandwidth, of which this CPU has plenty. More than EPYC parts actually, if you go for high clocks consumer memory.

    256 GB is ample for most workstation loads, even 128 is pretty good. You seem to be confusing this with servers, which do a lot of virtualization and run a bunch of different tasks at the same time, and greatly benefit from excessive data caching, which is what mandates higher ram capacities. Workstations rarely do more than one demanding task at a time.

  4. @DGO
    Yeah, but what if your dataset is larger than 128 GB?
    Not a problem for Xeon-W, with its RDIMM support.

  5. @Methylzero – it is not a problem for EPYC neither.

    It is understandable that AMD doesn’t want to cannibalize its own market. This beast is 50% cheaper than the 64 core EPYC part, and a fair bit faster, so it is a great deal if you can fit within 128/256 GB ram, which is ample for most workstation tasks.

    If you need the ram, go EPYC, still a much better deal than the any of the high performance xeons.

  6. DGO: my workstation currently holds 64GB RAM and it’s quite limiting already. Plan to go to 128GB on upgrade but having also possibility to go to 256GB if needed. Unfortunately this is not possible with TR since there are no 32GB UDIMM ECC modules in the current market. They were shortly in 2019, but they are no more… Yes, ECC is hard requirement here. So as @Methylzero points out, I’m afraid I’ll need to go Xeon-W route here…

  7. @KarelG – What the hell are you talking about??

    I can use 128 threads with 32GB only if needed!! It ALL depends on what primary application you run that needs a maximum number of threads to run in parallel. I do software development and real-time options trading and ultra-fast cores running maximum number of threads is absolutely needed when compiling my software and running my options trading during market hours almost 6/24 hours a day!!!

    I don’t need 128GB let alone 256GB but I will easily take 64-cores for $3990!!!

    Please stop talking for ME as your comment was completely ridiculous BS!!

  8. @KarelG – you are free to spend your money on inferior, vulnerability ridden products from unethical vendors. Don’t let rationality or basic common sense get in your way.

    Curious that continuous repeating how since this particular product doesn’t support registered memory, the only obvious conclusion is to go intel, as if amd don’t have chips that support up to 4 TB of ram.

    Almost as curious as that continuous repeating how there’s no 32 GB udimms on the market, yet a cursory 30 second search at memory dot net yields 4 such parts that are immediately available for purchase.

    It is almost as if you are crypto-shilling rather than expressing legitimate consumer concern…

  9. @lemans24: if your problem space is <128/256GB RAM, then good for you and you are lucky you can go with TR.
    @DGO: I'm sick of needed to go Intel route again, believe me. What AMD did is simply remarkable and I would like to support them too by using their product. Unfortunately those are not only my priorities but also to have open chance to update to more RAM if needed in the future. For my purpose of development of distributed system I need more RAM than CPU cycles, but I set 128GB RAM as needed. If you know where to purchase 32GB UDIMM *ECC* modules, just let me know, since then even simple AMD 3950x loaded with 128GB RAM may be enough for my purposes. The problem is, I've asked several vendors in EU (my location) and none was able to locate nor deliver 32GB UDIMM ECC sticks. None!

    Guys, yes, going Intel route in these times this is nearly heresy, but believe me I've considered everything and it's still the most easy option — for my particular case!

  10. Multiple online stores list M391A4G43MB1-CTD in stock available for purchase, that’s a 32gb ECC UDIMM module as listed on Samsung’s website. It would be another 30-40$ of shipping to the EU.

  11. DGO: M391A4G43MB1-CTD is exactly module I’ve been looking for in the past (2 month ago). Looks like it’s not only available in US, but again starts to appear in EU too — well, GB. But still it looks like there is a hope it’ll hit EU mainland which means no import hassle. Good! And thanks for HEADS UP on this! Will think about it, still AMD 7nm chips are so beautiful at least on paper (and price) in comparison with Intel Xeon-W…

  12. @KarelGIf my problemspace was greater than 256GB, I would be buying and Epyc Rome motherboard which has capacity with current RDIMM’s between 512GB and 4TB!!!
    You seem to want the speed and price of the 3990x and yet compain about the compromise of UDIMM ECC limit of 256GB and probably 4-channel memory layout too. These are the EXACT compromises that make the threadrippera lesser Epyc chips!!!

    I reallly do not understand why you are complaining as the solution should be an Epyc Rome “P” series chip for you with a motherboard from Supermicro, Asrock, Gigabyte and Tyan !!!

    Threadripper chips are for HEDT or junior workstation-like motherboards at best…

  13. @lemans24
    Even the highest clocked EPYC Rome P-series CPUs are have lower clocks than the TR parts.
    This means you CANNOT get high clock speeds and lots of ECC RAM at the same time. Not from AMD at least.
    If AMD offered high-frequency EPYC parts, like a hypothetical 16 or 24 core part with 240W TDP, that would be great. But until than, AMD has no product can compete with Xeon-W directly.

  14. M391A4G43MB1-CTD is listed as in stock at a number of U.K. retailers – £167 on vat, so I don’t understand why you’re saying it’s hard to import

  15. @Darren: I’ve checked around November 2019 time and they were nowhere including UK. If they are available now means the situation is a bit improving which is good especially for high-perm AM4/TR4 cpus.

  16. @Methylzero

    I totally agree with you and thats why all threadrippers are junior workstation wannabees!!!
    I have a 1950x threadripper running on an asus x399 gamer/hedt board and runs quite well but i definitely would rather get a full workstation motherboard with no bling and rock solid engineering as required by the professional workstation market. Like you said, Epyc Rome currently does not offer any 4GHz + parts that would excel in a professional workstation!!

    Another huge market that Amd seems to be ignoring.
    The Tyan board above at least looks like a proper workstation board and hopefully they will come out with a version for trx40 too!!!

  17. Gents,
    I see everyone’s point for this ram limitation on this CPU. Right now looks possible to do 8x32gb 256gb. But if you concerned. Why not look at the single socket amd epyc offerings. I still feel this cpu is amazing. I will build a few rendering /cad workstations using these and save $$$ vs pro workstations from Dell/HP.
    Thank you


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