AMD explains differences between its new Ryzen Threadripper 2 processors

AMD launched its second generation Threadripper lineup yesterday, and as was previously rumored, some of the SKUs contain the WX suffix and others are labeled with just the X. So, what's the difference?

From a marketing standpoint, the two WX series CPUs are for "creators and innovators" and the X series SKUs are for "enthusiasts and gamers." That's really all it boils down to—both are based on the same 12-nanometer Zen+ architecture, and both series work in the same motherboards.

The differentiation between Threadripper processors within the same family is something new for this round. AMD is pitching the WX lineup at workstations, though technically all four SKUs could do well in a workstation setting. It's just that the Threadripper 2970WX (24 cores, 48 threads) and Threadripper 2990WX (32 cores, 64 threads) are more suited for hardcore content creation tasks.

AMD touches on this differentiation in a short promo video, shown below:

About halfway into the video, AMD makes the claim its Threadripper 2950X can game at 4K at 75 frames per second while simultaneously steaming at 25Mbps, without dropping any frames. It's not clear what graphics card is running in the test system.

Compared to Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) processors, AMD is claiming similar gaming performance, and much better multi-threaded performance. Here's a look at AMD's own performance numbers comparing its Threadripper 2950X with a Core i9-9700X:

And here's how the Threadripper 2990WX compares to a Core i9-7980XE, according to AMD:

It's also worth noting that these new Threadripper processors are compatible with existing X399 motherboards with a BIOS update. Future compatibility has been one of AMD's main goals with its Zen architecture, and so far it has been living up to that promise. 

AMD's Threadripper 2990WX is available to preorder now and will start shipping August 13. The Threadripper 2950X will release on August 31, followed by the Threadripper 2970WX and Threadripper 2920X sometime in October.