AMD will bring its eight-channel Threadiper Pro system to the retail market, opening the segment. Previously, the eight-channel Threadiper Pro version was only available for OEMs (we’re getting a review on one of these Lenovo systems, with comparisons against the 3990X).
AMD’s Thripper and Thrisper Pro platforms are designed for professionals who need more horsepower than typical desktop platforms. Where AMD’s top-end Ryzen 9 5950X gets 16 cores, a TR or TR Pro system can pack as 64. In addition, Threadripper Pro uses the WRX80 chipset, which packs up to eight memory channels (regular TR tops on four):
Many motherboard manufacturers are bringing boards to market to support new CPUs. The Supermicro M12SWA-TF is an E-ATX motherboard with six full-size PCIe 4.0 slots, four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and a pair of U.2 slots. M.2 slots support RAID 0, 1, and 5, while U.2 support RAID 0 and 1. There is also an ASpeed AST2600 BMC controller for IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) access.
The board is capable of supporting three dual-slot or two triple-slot GPUs. The back panel shows an array of ALC1220 with USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1, Dual Ethernet and an ALC4050 HD sound solution from Realtek. Ethernet ports are powered by an Aquantia AQC113C (10GbE) and an Intel I120-AT (2.5GbE).
There are also boards coming from Asus and Gigabyte, but since we don’t have any information about those but leaks, we’ll avoid commentary for now. AMD has not yet announced any Threadiper CPUs powered by the Ryzen 5000 series, but such CPUs will likely come later after the rendezvous is ready. Historically, AMD refreshes its server platform before launching new Threadiper chips. We don’t expect high cores this year, but when they do we will get the full benefit of the 1.19x IPC improvement of Zen3. In the meantime, if you’ve got a workload that you know could benefit from more memory channels than a standard Threadiper offers, Threadripper Pro will be available in the retail channel later this year.
We do not talk about the workstation market separately from desktops, as it is difficult to obtain particularly broken numbers in this area. After the fact that Intel returned its Cascade Lake Xeon prices in 2019, after several years of facing Thredripper’s ancestors, the firm said the chip giant had become more concerned about its competitive standing. Overall desktop sales fell sharply in 2020, as both were boring and shifted to laptops, so it’s unclear how this affected the overall workstation space.