Ryzen Threadripper 3000: will new motherboards be needed?

Ryzen Threadripper 3000: will new motherboards be needed?

AMD confirmed in recent days that the new generation of microprocessors Ryzen Threadripper will come to November. The offer is not yet clear, but there is certainly a model with 24 cores and 48 threads. In recent weeks, moreover, information has circulated on the arrival of three new HEDT platforms together with the new CPUs, based on chipsets called TRX40, TRX80 and WRX80.

Since the launch of the first generation of Ryzen, AMD has managed – roughly – to ensure that the new CPU series were compatible with previous platforms, after updating the BIOS. The advent of the Ryzen 3000s revealed some more difficulties in this respect, preventing AMD from keeping the promise of full support for the AM4 socket until 2020.

It is therefore natural to ask: what will happen with the new Threadripper 3000? AMD never promised a certain longevity or compatibility of the TR4 socket with future product families.

According to the developer of DRAM Calculator for Ryzen and overclocker 1usmus, the new CPUs will not be compatible with existing X399 platforms. In short, those who buy a Threadripper 3000 will find themselves forced to buy a new motherboard.

In some posts in the Overclock.net forum, the well-informed Yuri “1usmus” Bubily, has been very clear on the matter. “Unfortunately there is no good news, AMD has changed its mind about making X399 compatible with the new generation. For this reason, the HEDT platform has disappeared from all calendars (the post is prior to the latest AMD communications, editor's note) and the release of the processors has been forcibly postponed “.

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1usmus speaks of a renewed memory controller, an intervention on the power pins and support for the PCIe 4.0 standard as the cause of the incompatibility between the new CPUs and previous motherboards. “TRX40 and TRX80 are a new generation and a new architecture. Nothing to do with the previous generation. At the moment all the information is classified and I don't have access to it ”.

Pressed by users, 1usmus added that the announcement of the new platforms would be scheduled for November 7th (he wrote it before the latest AMD communications) and that until fifteen days ago he had not seen the microcode of the new processors for the X399 platform. “For X470, I had the first microcodes in March, for example. The socket also has a different revision. “

We look forward to more information. As for the Threadripper 3000, so far the design has mirrored that of the EPYC CPUs, so it is possible that the range goes beyond the 32 cores of the 2990WX reaching up to 64 cores. However, there are those who believe that AMD will stop at 48 cores, in order to create a greater segmentation of the offer.

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As for the new chipsets and their names, the first two letters of TRX40 and TRX80 would indicate “Threadripper”, while the “W” in the WRX80 chipset could refer to the term “workstation”. AMD could therefore redirect Threadripper processors to two different market segments, as done with the 2000 series. The TRX40 and TRX80 chipsets could meet the needs of the consumer market (let us pass the term), while the WRX80 those of the enterprise segment.

For the numerical component of names, the theory is that the numbers indicate the memory channels, thus finding ourselves with 4 memory channels on TRX40 and 8 on the TRX80. In the case of the WRX80, the differences with the TRX80 could be connected to a greater number of PCIe 4.0 lines or in the support for ECC (error-correcting code) memory. At the moment, however, there are no certain details, so stay tuned for any developments.

With the Ryzen 3000 range coming soon to 16 cores, AMD must reposition the Threadripper offer. Ryzen 9 3900X, with its 12 cores, represents a decidedly interesting model for those who in addition to gaming also do productivity and rendering.


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