If all you care about is gaming on your PC then you shouldn’t buy Threadripper, according to AMD.
AMD senior manager James Prior told Trusted Reviews the company’s latest generation Threadripper 2 chips are designed for more demanding work than gaming, during a private briefing earlier in August.
“If you’re a pure gamer thinking about an i9 or a Threadripper CPU, you don’t want this (Threadripper). You should be thinking about a Ryzen,” he said.
“We’re trying to train the market to understand our positioning […] If you’re a gamer sitting there wondering how Fortnite runs on 32 cores this should dissuade you from wanting to try that. This [Threadripper] is not intended for someone to come and just play mainstream games on it.”
AMD unveiled its second generation Threadripper 2990WX ($1799) and 2970WX ($1299), 2950X ($899) and 2920X ($649) CPUs earlier this month. Threadripper targets the same top end market as Intel’s i9-series of desktop CPUs and is considered a tier up on AMD’s regular Ryzen chips. The Ryzen 7 2700X is the top CPU in AMD’s Ryzen family of chips.
Like last year’s Threadrippers, the new X and WX-series CPUs attempt to differentiate themselves from Intel’s chips by offering improved multi-core performance, which is a key factor in most creative work, like video editing.
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Prior said the company chose to focus on growing its multi-thread lead rather than beating Intel on clock speeds, which is key to gaming performance.
“[Going against the Core i9 7900X] we looked at 14 different games at 1080p in high settings and were around 6% behind. That may sound like we didn’t do it [beat Intel]. But, it’s still a great gaming experience. We’re talking 83 fps versus 91 fps,” he said.
“If all you care about is that 6% you’re buying into the wrong line and type of processor. Threadripper is for the people that care about other things: PCIe lanes, memory bandwidth, multi thread performance.”
He continued: “That’s our X-series. It’s for people that want an all-in-one package that offers an excellent smooth gaming experience but can do everything else, video editing, streaming, 3D modelling. Actual computing and content creation.”
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Prior said the WX series CPUs are even more hardcore and are intended for strictly professional or academic use.
“Next we have the WX-series. This is for creatives and innovators. It’s for people that probably aren’t building their systems. These are the people who buy boutique systems specifically for their work. WX are our four die systems, with up to 32 cores and are for the people that just want raw power for work, not personal reasons or showing off,” he said.
The 2990WX will be the first next generation Threadripper to launch this year and will start shipping on August 13. The remaining Threadripper 2 CPUs will start shipping at the end of August / October.
Still planning on getting a next generation Threadripper CPU just for gaming? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.