Which would you rather have inside your PC, a limited edition Intel Core i7-8086K processor or an AMD Threadripper 1950X CPU? That's the choice 40 sweepstakes winners of Intel's anniversary chip will have to make, because AMD is feeling spunky.
More specifically, AMD is offering to trade with 40 of Intel's 8,086 sweepstakes winners, taking their shiny new slice of silicon and swapping it for the company's top-end consumer chip, while throwing some shade at its rival in the process.
"Our competitor recently kicked off a sweepstakes to celebrate the first 40 years of the x86 processor by giving away 8,086 limited edition processors. We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades. But, we’re ready to take it from here," AMD states on its Threadripper Exchange page.
"That’s why we’re giving 40 performance-hungry enthusiasts in the US an opportunity to celebrate the next 40 years of high-performance computing by trading in their commemorative processor prize for our CPU that enables you to work, play and create with heavy metal," AMD continues.
For anyone wondering why they'd want a Threadripper 1950X instead of a Core i7-8086K, the company said it will "let the numbers do the talking: 16 cores. 32 threads. 64 PCIe Gen3 lanes. 40MB cache."
To AMD's point, the Threadripper 1950X offers superior specs compared to the Core i7-8086K, which is an 6-core/12-thread processor with 12MB of SmartCache and 16 PCie lanes. It also has turbo clocks up to 5.0GHz, stock. But if you're one of the winners, should you take AMD up on its offer?
That depends. The Core i7-8086K is basically a faster clocked Core i7-8700K, so performance between the two should be pretty close. If you're primarily interested in gaming, the Threadripper 1950X generally under performs in games, unless you enable "Game Mode" and basically turn the chip into a Ryzen 7 1800X. That requires a reboot to enable, and another to disable, and it's still a slower gaming solution than even a Core i5-8400.
On the other hand, if you use your PC for heavily multi-threaded chores, the Threadripper 1950X is the faster part—it simply has more muscle to throw at multi-threaded workloads, typically offering more than twice the performance of an i7-8700K. Pair it with a fast graphics card and you can indeed "work, play, and create," as AMD claims.
Not that it matters for most people. AMD is basically trolling Intel with this promotion. The offer to swap processors is only open to Intel's sweepstakes winners in the US, and only to the first 40 of the 8,086 winners who complete the necessary steps for a trade. And then they still have to buy the motherboard and memory to go with the chip.
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Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).