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June 6, 2018

AMD’s 32-core Threadripper 2 challenges Intel as Vega 2 GPUs wait in the wings

by John_A


If you thought Intel’s new 28-core CPU was impressive, wait until you get a look at AMD’s new monster chip. The Threadripper 2 CPU increases the core count to 32 and with multithreading has 64-thread support. Better yet, it can be cooled with a simple air chiller and can make use of the existing TR4 socket.

Not giving Intel any time to enjoy the buzz surrounding its newly announced 28-core CPU at Computex, AMD followed it up just a day later with its own debut of a second generation of Threadripper CPUs. Ranging in core counts from 24 to 32, the new-generation of high-end CPUs will be available in the third quarter of this year and should offer serious competition to even the most powerful of Intel’s chips.

Although we don’t know what their clock speeds will be, we do know that the new AMD chips will require quite a lot of power. The top-of-the-line Threadripper 2 CPU will need 250Watts all to itself. However, we’re told that air cooling is perfectly possible on such designs, something that in its on-stage head-to-head with Intel hardware, AMD was keen to point out. The Intel competition used a water cooling setup.

There are still plenty of additional details about the new Threadripper chips we want to learn, but if pricing is anything like the last generation, they should be much more affordable than their Intel counterparts.


Elsewhere in its Computex reveal, AMD showed off some upcoming developments in its Radeon graphics division. A new RX Vega 56 Nano Edition, developed by Powercolor, is said to offer the same power as AMD’s Vega 56 graphics cards, but in a much smaller form factor. No benchmarks have been released to showcase how comparable its performance is with that of a standard Vega 56 or how capable its cooling is. Considering its small form factor, Powercolor will need to have done something clever to keep it from getting too toasty.

AMD also discussed where its graphics line is going in the future. It showed off an example of the first 7nm graphics chip and said that graphics cards sporting it with as much as 32GB of second-generation high bandwidth memory (HBM2) will launch at some point in the second half of this year. However, AMD CEO Lisa Su did add the caveat that the first cards would be part of AMD’s enterprise-focused Radeon Instinct line and that Navi-based graphics cards for gamers would come later.

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