Is AMD getting ready to make a big mistake?

AMD has been enjoying one success after another lately, across its entire range of silicon. But this could be about to change.

AMD is a company that has turned itself around over the past few years. It's gone from being a total underdog in the processor space to having huge wins on the desktop, mobile, and server spaces. It's also made huge strides into high-performance silicon, satisfying gamers and those with a thirst for ultimate performance.

But things might be changing.

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AMD's recently released processor roadmap has an interesting omission – it doesn't mention the company's high-end, high-performance, high-priced (though still cheaper than Intel's high-end offerings) Threadripper line or chips.

The current highest-end Threadripper is the 32-core, 64-thread 2nd-gen Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. You can pick up this beast of a chip for around $1700, which might seem steep but remember that Intel's 14-core, 28-thread Core i9-9980XE retails for a shade under $2000.

High-end silicon isn't cheap.

And that may be the reason that AMD wants to drop Threadripper from its roadmap. Not only does Threadripper command a reassuringly hefty price tag, chips like that aren't cheap to design and make. And since it's likely that AMD doesn't sell many of them (comparatively), it may have come to the conclusion that its efforts are best spent elsewhere.

Would it be a mistake for AMD to drop Threadripper?

AMD 2nd-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors

I think this depends. If you bought into Threadripper, and are happy to pay that sort of money for all those cores and processing power, then it must be a blow for that to come to an end.

If you are an average customer, with average sized pockets and computing needs, you're not going to care either way.

For AMD this could be both a win and a loss. It's a win in that the Threadripper project, all the way from R&D to manufacturing, must have been huge and expensive, and it's hard to see it as having been at all profitable.

But it was also an amazing bit of marketing. After all, coming from so far behind – which is where AMD was only a few years ago – to have a processor that could beat everything in Intel's processor line up is impressive.

But it was also expensive, and resource-intensive, marketing. And now that it has worked to make people take AMD seriously, it's no longer needed anymore.

Threadripper did its job.

Does AMD need Threadripper going forward, or was it a short-term plan that has now run its course? Share your thoughts below!

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