PCWorld (USA)

AMD’S Pro-only Threadripp­er shift leaves HEDT enthusiast­s in the cold

The cheapest Threadripp­er Pro 5000 chip is $1,000 more expensive than the last-gen version.

- BY MICHAEL CRIDER

Since the introducti­on of the AM4 socket, AMD’S Threadripp­er ultra-high-end CPUS have been coveted as the very top of the consumer chip market. But AMD skipped Threadripp­er releases beyond the Ryzen 3000-based series released in early 2020, and as Ryzen 5000 bows out of the marketplac­e, the company is only releasing Pro variants of Threadripp­er 59XX chips ( fave. CO/3ID9JY5). With pricing announced for these industrial-grade chips, and with AMD confirming that non-pro Threadripp­er chips are going the way of the dodo, that leaves

consumers wanting to build high-powered machines in a lurch.

The cheapest of the confirmed Threadripp­ers, the 24-core, 48-thread Threadripp­er Pro 5965 WX, will cost an incredible $2,399 when it’s made available to end users. That’s $1,000 more than the cheapest high-end desktop Threadripp­er of the previous generation, the 3960X. Other new entries are even more costly: The

32-core Threadripp­er Pro 5975WX is $3,399, and the 64-core Threadripp­er Pro 5995WX is $6,499. That’s about the going rate for a 2005 Ford F-150. The updated pricing for the new chips was spotted by Tom’s Hardware ( fave.co/3z7y1bd). (There are 12- and

16-core versions of these chips too, but there are no prices for them yet.)

Even the base model Threadripp­er CPUS were never cheap, but they were at least somewhat attainable for home system builders and enthusiast­s. With the

HEDT division of Ryzen chips removed from AMD’S catalog, only the wealthiest of gamers and performanc­e junkies will be able to put AMD’S high-end power in their builds. The rest of us will have to hope our job applicatio­n to Pixar gets some eyes on it, so we can use their latest workstatio­ns and render farms to make Toy Story 5: It’s OK, Buzz Is a Toy Again.

All this might be more or less moot. Standard high-end CPUS have become so powerful ( fave.co/3z549dr) that graphics cards are easily the biggest bottleneck for gaming, and so insane CPU power is only really attractive for those looking for niche intense operations like video processing. Home builders are already looking forward to the new Zen 4 platform and Ryzen 7000 desktop chips later this year, and AMD has confirmed that its HEDT division will return sometime in 2023 ( fave.co/3cjtyzk).

Hopefully that will mean super-high-end AMD CPUS could return to the sub-$2,000 price range. Whether fans will stay loyal to AMD meantime remains to be seen.

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