AMD's Threadripper Pro 7000-series CPUs are launching very soon. While they might not seem all that relevant to gamers—at least the high core count options anyway—I am very much an advocate for proper high-end desktop (HEDT) platforms and would love to see consumer level Threadripper make a return.
According to Wccftech, AMD plans to unveil Threadripper Pro CPUs on October 19th. These chips will be based on the Zen 4 architecture led by the range-topping 7995WX with 96 cores and 192 threads. Add to that 384MB of L3 cache and you're looking at an absolute monster of a chip. Of course such a chip isn't particularly relevant for gamers when most game engines struggle to make use of today's 16-core AMD CPUs.
Even the 64-core 7985WX and and 32-core 7975WX chips aren't that gamery, but if AMD is to launch 24-core, 16-core and 12-core options, then I'm very much paying attention.
Admittedly, a TDP of 350W is high, but I can't see how a sub 64-core Threadripper would go anywhere near that. That's a lot of heat to dissipate. AMD promotes the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X3D as its ultimate consumer level CPU, but with a 120W TDP, it's definitely power limited.
Games themselves don't really take advantage of high core counts. An eight-core chip with lots of cache and a high clock speed is still king, as is the case with AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D and Intel's Core i9 13900K with its eight Performance cores. But the CPU alone makes up just one part of the platform.
There's speculation that there will be a TRX50 platform with quad channel memory support. That's broadly similar to what we saw with AMD's Ryzen 3000-series Threadripper and accompanying TRX40 platform. I mean, just look at a board like the Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha! I was fortunate to review one a few years ago and, while it was pretty much utter overkill for most of us, I absolutely loved it.
Give me a 16-core Threadripper with 64 PCIe lanes and quad-channel memory support. Please! That means you get all the performance of a Ryzen 9 7950X with the benefit of greater memory bandwidth and support for several PCIe 5.0 SSDs and a PCIe 5.0 GPU at the same time. If you want to add an expansion card or two, the mainstream platforms are no longer an option as the sparse PCIe lanes of the current AM5 platform get filled up real quick.
Add 10GbE, Wi-Fi 7, USB4 and anything else you can think of, and I'd be lusting after it. As for the cost? Well, that's where I have to come back to Earth. Threadripper Pro 7000-series CPUs and motherboards will be very expensive. There's no doubt about that, and any consumer-facing variant likewise.
Let's see what AMD launches on October 19th. I'd expect AMD to follow a similar release cadence to what we saw with 5000-series Threadripper. Initially, it was a Lenovo exclusive, before DIY options and WRX80 motherboards appeared later.
Threadripper will always be a workstation-oriented product, but companies like Asus and Gigabyte have shown they're not averse to developing ultra high-end, low volume motherboards. Even with workstation chipsets.