Needful Things: AMD CPU Edition

August 12, 2017


I just found out about some exciting technology. Apparently, AMD has come out with a processor chip called the Ryzen Threadripper. Just the name is exciting! What is the exciting technology? Twelve or sixteen cores. Twenty-four or thirty-two threads. That is some wild, server-center parallel processing power! One-hundred Eighty watts of power, in fact. This is supposed to be the equivalent of Intel’s i7X 10-core enthusiast processor chip. Naturally, in keeping with my previous post about AMD’s impressive power-to-cost ratio, the AMD Threadripper is coming in at a cheaper price point than Intel’s chip.

I have been considering a new processsor and motherboard lately. This Threadripper would be amazing. However, I think it is technically out of my price range. Plus, with one-hundred eighty watts of power, I think it would actually require liquid cooling, with which I am not yet familiar or confident.

The Threadripper is not quite as powerful as I would expect for all those cores, but it still has impressive power. I would like to have this technology if I could afford it. The opportunities are extremely exciting. Unfortunately, there are still quite a few programs that do not utilize significant parallel processing, to take advantage of so many threads at the same time. Likewise, there are many programs that are not taking full advantage of parallelism, so the end results are such that a lot of programs out there in the wild simply would not take advantage of the Ryzen Threadripper’s full capabilities.

Unless something significant happens, I think I would be quite content with a lesser Ryzen’s core count. Nevertheless, this news ignites the imagination.