AMD teases $749 16-core 'mainstream' Ryzen chip

Remember the processor core wars? They're back, as AMD puts a fire under Intel with a 16-core 3rd-generation Ryzen chip.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
AMD 3rd-generation Ryzen

AMD looks to shake up the processor market with the unveiling of its new 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen 9 3950X at the "Next Horizon Gaming" event during E3. And once again the pressure in on Intel to keep up.

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The Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core/32-thread chip based on the 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture. The chip runs with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz, has a 4.7GHz boost clock, and a whopping 72MB of cache.

This is the highest core count for a desktop processor aimed at a mainstream audience.

The 3950X makes use of the AM4 socket, and AMD recommends that it be fitted in one of AMD's new X570 motherboards that launched at Computex.

All this at a TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating of only 105W. Compare this to AMD's 16-core Threadripper which has a TDP of 180W, and Intel's 16-core offering which has a TDP of 165W.

The 3950X makes use of two of the Zen 2 eight-core chiplets in combination with a IO die that puts at its disposal 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes.

Priced at $749, this many be at the very higher end of the pricing range for a chip aimed at mainstream users. But it does show what the AMD can do with the Zen 2 architecture.

And it puts pressure on Intel.

Availability is scheduled for september 2019.

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Is a 16-core "mainstream" desktop process or a gimmick, or do workloads exist to justify it? Or at that price is it a no-brainer for those looking for high performance? Let me know below!

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