AMD Threadripper and Intel Cascade Lake collide. AMD announced their upcoming Gen 3 Threadripper series and the Ryzen 9 3950X. But Intel stole its thunder by lifting the embargo early on i9-10980XE reviews.
As a result, AMD Threadripper and Intel Cascade Lake collide both aiming to suck the oxygen out of tech media.
Coincidence? No, its Chip Wars (read our take here). We have two prosumer CPUs in the spotlight at the same time. What does Threadripper offer? What does Cascade Lake X offer? Gamer, Author and published write Arjun Lal analyses what happens when AMD Threadripper and Intel Cascade Lake Collide
Chip wars – AMD Threadripper and Intel Cascade Lake Collide
What did AMD announce?
AMD officially unveiled the Ryzen 9 3950X and the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X.
The Ryzen 9 3950X is its highest-end, gamer-centric Ryzen. It features 16-cores/32-threads, and a 3.5/4.7GHz base/boost clock. It works on lower-cost AM4+ chipset motherboards. At US$750, the 3950X certainly isn’t cheap – more a value option.
The 24-core Threadripper 3960X and 32-core Threadripper 3970X require high-end X499 motherboards come with eye-watering price tags – US$1400/2000 respectively. Both both have 3.7/4.5GHz boost clocks.
Unlike the Ryzen 9 for gamers, these Threadrippers are for streamers, video producers, and those that need lots of cores.
AMD’s announcement was a poorly kept secret. There was a tsunami of leaks from specifications down to dates for the launch itself.
What did Intel announce?
Intel’s i9-10980XE (Extreme Edition) also has numerous leaks, as far back as September.
With a tray price of US$979, it is positioning this between AMD’s premium Threadrippers and the Ryzen 9 3950X. Unlike the cheaper Ryzen 9, you will need a premium X299 motherboard to run the 10980XE – approaching the TCO of AMD’s Threadripper territory.
The i9-10980XE is part of the Cascade Lake family – the successor to Intel’s i9 9980 XE. It runs 18 cores with 3.0/4.8GHz, 100 MHz higher than the i9-9980XE. Despite having two additional physical cores and having a higher max turbo, the 10980XE appears to lose to the Ryzen 9 3950X in key benchmarks like Cinebench and Handbrake.
Gadgetguy’s take – AMD Threadripper and Intel Cascade Lake Collide and we can’t recommend either
We can’t recommend any for typical readers. These are specialist – mine’s bigger than yours – announcements.
If you’re in the market for the best gaming CPU, the A$802, 8-core, i9-9900K offers stellar single-threaded performance and enough physical cores to tackle any game.
The mainstream gamer’s CPU is the Ryzen 5-3600 at A$337.
Both deliver enough oomph to power past 60 FPS at any resolution (with a capable GPU).
If you’re in the market for a serious video editing or encoding processor, the Threadripper Gen 1 1950X is A$918. You lose a bit of single-threaded performance, but you get 16 physical cores for a lot less than the Ryzen 9-3950X.