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Threadripper 3990x brings more CPU threads than Windows Pro can handle

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It looks like the Empire is about to cool this CPU by freezing it in carbonite.

Enlarge / It looks like the Empire is about to cool this CPU by freezing it in carbonite. (credit: AMD)

On Friday, AMD launched its latest monster CPU—the 64-core, 128-thread Threadripper 3990x. The 3990x isn't the first publicly available 128-threaded x86-64 CPU—that honor goes to AMD's Epyc 7742, 7702, and 7702P in a three-way tie. But the 3990X is the first "desktop" CPU offering that many threads—and it's stretching the ecosystem in doing so.

Cost per thread

Despite the groundbreaking specs on the TR3990x, AMD is adhering to the same pricing strategy it has employed for years now—pick the CPU that fits your needs and pay a reasonable, roughly linearly scaled price for it. If you want Threadripper CPU threads, you're going to pay roughly $30 apiece for them, whether you're looking for the smaller or larger parts.

Processor Cores/Threads Cost Cost per thread
AMD Threadripper 3990x 64/128 $3,990 $31.17
AMD Threadripper 3970x 32/64 $1,999 $31.23
AMD Threadripper 3960x 24/48 $1,399 $29.15
AMD Epyc 7702P 64/128 $4,784 $37.36
Intel Xeon Platinum 9282 56/112 $30,000 (?) $267.86 (?)
Intel Core i9-10980XE 18/36 $1,000 $27.78
Intel Core i9-9980XE 18/36 $1,979 $54.97

This is in sharp contrast to Intel's pricing strategies, which have tended for years to run more toward "pick the CPU you can afford" than "pick the CPU that fits your needs." The best example of this strategy is Intel's top-of-the-line Intel Xeon Platinum series, which literally cannot be priced—they're not available in retail—but can be reasonably estimated to cost roughly ten times as much per thread as the closest competing Epyc parts.

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