Can you feel that excitement in the air? We're of course talking about one of the most anticipated PC hardware launches of 2017: AMD's Ryzen Threadripper processors. Ryzen's launch in March was an important one for AMD, as it proved to the world that it was once again competitive with Intel, but now that that's over and done with, AMD's is moving onto the next thing. That happens to be hitting Intel where it really hurts: lucrative top-end enthusiast chips.
While Intel's current top-end Skylake-X chip, i9-7900X, boasts 10 cores and 20 threads, AMD's top Threadripper chips are going to deliver 6 additional cores, and likewise, 12 additional threads - and sell it for the same $999 MSRP. Even if AMD's IPC performance holds it back in some cases, the overall combined horsepower of 16 Zen cores is going to be beautiful to see.
iBUYPOWER's Threadripper Pro
Even system builders are stoked, as some have begun offering preorders for Threadripper-based PCs. The really interesting thing about this isn't so much the fact that they exist, but that these listings reveal Threadripper's launch date: August 11. Not too much longer.
iBUYPOWER is one such vendor that's promoting Threadripper before its launch, providing three configurable models that start at $1,699 for the most affordable option, including the 1920X, a 12-core chip spec'd at 3.5GHz. Both of the other models, "Pro" and "Extreme", bump the CPU to the full 16-core 1950X, with builds starting out at $2,499.
If there's one thing iBUYPOWER does extremely well, it's customization, so regardless of whichever model catches your eye, you'll want to explore the different options to build the "perfect" (within budget, of course!) system. The $1,699 model, for example, doesn't include a solid-state drive, which is downright bizarre for what will be one of the fastest platforms on the planet. If you want a really awesome build without fussing too much with the configuration, the $2,499 Pro model is nicely spec'd, including a GeForce GTX 1080, 16GB of DDR4-3000 memory, GIGABYTE's beautiful Aorus X399 Gaming 7 motherboard, and a 240GB SSD in combination with 1TB hard drive.
iBUYPOWER's Threadripper Extreme
Over at Newegg, CyberPowerPC is offering a trio of systems that are for those who don't mind splurging on a high-end build, as the base model is priced at $2,499. Interestingly, that configuration includes the same 12-core as iBUYPOWER's $1,699 option, requiring people to opt for the $3,349 model to secure the 16-core chip (the other configuration is an even higher-end $3,699). The bottom SKU (which is weird to say as it's $2,499) includes a 120GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1070, and 16GB of memory. It's hard to gauge the total allure of these particular builds as Newegg currently has no images to complement the specs. That is sure to come soon enough.
There will of course be other vendors that will jump in with their own Threadripper builds before long, so there's no reason to be hasty about your purchase - especially since availability is still a couple of weeks away. One thing's for sure: whatever you go with is going to be knock-your-socks-off powerful.