AMD has announced a new line of Ryzen Threadripper Pro processors that will be launched exclusively on a new Lenovo workstation PC.
Ryzen Threadripper chips, AMD's most powerful processors, are to compete against Intel's professional Xeon W series chips. With up to 64 cores, they were a big hit with enthusiasts, but never prevailed in professional workplaces. Threadripper Pro addresses this problem by adding new features and performance features that better fit professional work environments, workloads, and IT departments.
Star of the show
These Threadripper Pro chips are not sold directly to consumers. Instead, AMD will work with system manufacturers and OEMs to introduce them, starting with Lenovo and its ThinkStation P620 workstation. The new processors are the star of the show, as the P620 with its 33-liter chassis doesn't differ much from other ThinkStation workstations.
The system was “jointly developed” between the two companies and includes a custom AMD heat sink and a tool-less design for easy management and updating. It's a fully air-cooled design, unlike the water cooling used in some other high-end ThinkStation PCs from Lenovo.
The ThinkStation P520 is also the first PCIe 4 workstation to support these faster storage solutions and graphics cards.
Speaking of graphics, the ThinkStation 620 supports up to two Nvidia Quadro 8000 or four Nvidia RTX Quadro 4000 GPUs. Although the current range of Nvidia cards is PCIe 3, Lenovo is committed to supporting the next generation GPUs, PCIe 4.
Lenovo is currently selling two-socket high-end workstations that use two Intel Xeon processors to achieve higher processing performance in multithreaded applications. These two-socket Intel systems are still a maximum of 56 cores.
“Now users can achieve seamless, real-time 8K streaming, shorter render times, ultra-fast simulation solutions, and fast assembly recovery. and smooth interactivity with 3D assets – all without having to scale to a dual socket system, ”Lenovo said in its press release.
These new Threadripper Pro chips are based on the latest Threadripper 3000 chips, which were first launched in late 2019. The high-end options correspond to the current selection of thread ripper chips, from the number of cores to the clock rate to TDP and cache size. However, the pro chips distract in some key areas.
First, AMD complements the lineup with chips with a lower number of cores and higher frequencies. AMD now offers 12- and 16-core configurations with a base clock rate of up to 4.0 GHz. These compete more closely with Intel's Xeon W offerings, such as the 12-core Xeon W-2265 or the 16-core Xeon W-2295. According to the AMD, higher clock speeds are useful for certain specialist sectors such as engineering and construction.
AMD's third generation Theadripper chips already had a clear lead over Intel in multithreaded performance, which is useful in industries such as media and data science. However, the clock speed has always been the advantage of Intel. However, this new 12-core Threadripper Pro chip corresponds to the number of cores in the Intel Xeon W-2265 and has a significantly faster base frequency.
Note that when comparing the cache size between Intel and AMD, the two companies calculate and market this number very differently.
|Cores / threads||Fundamental frequency||Increase frequency||Total cache (L2 + L3)||TDP|
|Threadripper Pro 3995WX||64/128||2.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||288 MB||280w|
|Threadripper Pro 3975WX||32/64||3.5 GHz||4.2 GHz||144 MB||280w|
|Threadripper Pro 3955WX||16/32||3.9 GHz||4.3 GHz||72 MB||280w|
|Threadripper Pro 3945WX||December 24||4.0 GHz||4.3 GHz||70 MB||280w|
Other new features of the Threadripper Pro chips are a new 8-channel storage subsystem for up to 2 TB of storage, up to 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes and AMD Pro management functions. These "AMD Pro" features are the company's alternative to Intel's "vPro" security and manageability solutions.
The Threadripper Pro chips also use a new socket and chipset to support additional memory tracks.
Prices for the ThinkStation P620 have not yet been set, although Lenovo suggests that prices for the company's two-socket Intel workstations should be undercut. Lenovo expects the AMD-based ThinkStation P620 to be launched in late September or early October. The ThinkStation P620 retains its exclusivity for an unknown period of time before opening up to competing system manufacturers.
Although this is the first desktop that Lenovo has worked with AMD on, other products are already in the pipeline. The company has proven that AMD's Ryzen 4000 mobile processors were used early in a number of its laptops, as well as in AMD's earlier series of mobile processors.
Threadripper 4000 chips, which are said to use the newer Zen 2 architecture, are slated to hit the market later in 2020.