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AMD ends Threadripper Pro 5000 drought for non-Lenovo PCs

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A drought of AMD’s latest Threadripper workstation processors is finally coming to an end for PC makers who faced shortages earlier this year, while Hong Kong giant Lenovo enjoyed an exclusive supply of fleas.

AMD announcement On Monday, it will expand the availability of its Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000 processors to “mainstream” system integrators in July and to DIY builders through retailers later this year. This announcement came nearly two weeks after Dell announcement it would release a workstation with Threadripper Pro 5000 this summer.

The next wave of Threadripper Pro 5000 workstations will mark the end of the window of exclusivity Lenovo has had with high-performance chips since their launch in April.

While Lenovo’s window of exclusivity for Threadripper Pro 5000 parts alone would have been inconvenient for competing PC makers, what made matters worse was that smaller companies – the ones we call system integrators systems – were experiencing a severe shortage of the latest generation Threadripper 3000 processors in the first half of the year. of 2022, as The register reported in April.

This supply imbalance between Lenovo and other companies has hurt competition for AMD workstations, which has reduced options for buyers. This was a big deal in the workstation world, as AMD was widely seen as the go-to choice for high-end desktops, thanks to processors with faster and better capabilities than Intel’s chips. .

Systems integrators receiving Threadripper Pro 5000 in July include U.S.-based Maingear, Puget Systems and Velocity Micro, who told us a few months ago that Threadripper shortages were slowing business and forcing them to recommend systems based on Intel in several cases. .

For anyone who currently owns a workstation with a Threadripper Pro 3000 processor, good news: you will be able to squeeze a Threadripper Pro 5000 chip into a WRX80-based motherboard with a BIOS update.

It’s official: the non-Pro Threadripper range is over

While the expansion of Threadripper Pro 5000 availability is a positive development for workstation sellers and buyers, AMD’s Monday update came with some bad news, although some industry players industry knew it was probably coming: the death of the non-Pro Threadripper CPU.

AMD called it “platform simplification” and said it would now only develop Threadripper Pro processors, meaning we shouldn’t expect to see a vanilla Threadripper 5000 line like we have. made with 2019’s 3000 and earlier generations. The chip designer said it did this to serve what “enthusiasts and the most discerning content creators value the most on the platform.”

Describing the news as a positive development, AMD said Threadripper Pro 5000 will offer users 128 lanes of PCIe Gen 4 connectivity, 8-lane UDIMM and RDIMM support for “more flexible memory configurations”, L3 cache “massive”, plus management and security features that come with all Ryzen Pro processors, which are designed primarily for commercial use.

The future of Threadripper Pro is more expensive

What AMD didn’t say is that the Threadripper Pro processors and accompanying parts are more expensive than the non-Pro versions that were more popular with consumers.

The thing to remember is that AMD introduced the Threadripper Pro brand in 2020 with the Threadripper Pro 3000 chips.

These chips represented a branch of the usual Threadripper processors that AMD had been pushing since 2017, and their capabilities were designed for professionals, from higher capacity error-correcting memory to more than double the PCIe lanes.

The tradeoff for these pro-grade Threadripper Pro chips is that they are more expensive than their non-Pro counterparts. As Tom’s gear Noted Last year, the 64-core Threadripper Pro 3995WX had a recommended price of $5,489, which is $1,499 more than its consumer counterpart, the Threadripper 3990X. The price difference between the 32-core versions was $750.

It’s not just the CPU that’s more expensive. Motherboards are too, which Puget Systems says can really help raise the price of an overall system over non-Pro Threadripper chips.

“Nearly all motherboards for these workstation-class processors are physically larger, in order to accommodate the high number of PCI-Express lanes and memory channels offered by these chips, which means that a tower chassis larger is needed. In months past, fitting a mid-tower for a reasonable price now requires a full tower case and costs thousands of dollars more,” the company said in a statement. May blog post who tried to explain what was going on with Threadripper.

We’ll admit that Threadripper Pro systems are more affordable than workstations using AMD’s server-grade Epyc chips, but those hoping to build a workstation system on a budget might want to check out the latest great processors. high-end audience from AMD and Intel. . ®