Ryzen 7000 Threadripper Could Resurrect HEDT, Have PCIe Gen 5

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000
(Image credit: AMD)

Noted leaker @g01d3nm4ng0 claims that AMD could release two motherboard platforms to support its next-gen Storm Peak Threadripper CPUs, instead of just one, with a workstation platform and an HEDT (High-End Desktop) platform for enthusiasts. Both platforms will reportedly get an upgrade to PCIe Gen 5 connectivity, with the HEDT platform supporting 64 lanes and the workstation platform getting 128 lanes. As with any leak, take this information with a grain of salt.

News of AMD returning to the HEDT market is surprising, as the company recently killed off its own HEDT platform with the introduction of its Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000WX CPUs, moving the entire platform to the 'Pro' branding for the workstation market exclusively. We don't what incentivized AMD to make this decision, but we suspect low consumer demand was a contributing factor. 

It's no secret that the HEDT market as a whole has seen better days. When AMD restarted the core-count wars in 2017 (with first-gen Ryzen), mainstream consumer platforms saw unprecedented jumps in compute capabilities, with core counts matching and even outpacing previous-generation HEDT CPUs. This led to the mainstream platform eating up a lot of the HEDT market. In fact, Intel also left the market as well after Cascade Lake-X.

However, this is not to say AMD has no reason to re-enter the market. Ironically, AMD would be wise to have a HEDT strategy on the back burner just in case it faces competition. Months of leaks and rumors suggest Intel is creating a new HEDT platform that will finally succeed Cascade Lake-X. If Intel goes through with this plan it will consist of a reconfiguration of Sapphire Rapids/Sapphire Rapids-WS to target the HEDT user base.

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The leaker suggests there will be a lot of similarities between AMD's new and old HEDT platforms. For example, CPU PCIe capacity is limited to 64 lanes, and the platform is limited to quad-channel memory support — the same as X399. However, the new platform would purportedly come with a few massive upgrades, including PCIe Gen 5 support across all CPU lanes and Gen 3 support for the chipset.

Unsurprisingly, the workstation variant will behave similarly to AMD's current Ryzen Threadripper 5000WX-supported motherboards, featuring the same 8-channel memory configuration. But the new platform will receive an upgrade to PCIe Gen 5 for the CPU lanes.

These two platforms will run AMD's next-generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, reportedly codenamed Storm Peak. We don't know much about the new chips, but AMD confirmed next-generation Threadripper is coming with the Zen 4 architecture and will launch somewhere around the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • PlaneInTheSky
    It's not about "resurrecting HEDT", HEDT died for a good reason.

    More and more software now supports GPU acceleration (Davinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere, Solidworks, etc).

    CPU are simply not very good at doing more than one task at once. GPU on the other hand are designed from the ground up to be parallel monsters, doing dot products and matrix math thousands times faster than CPU.

    The more software is optimized for GPU, the more irrelevant all those CPU cores become, because the bottleneck is not determined by the number of CPU cores, but by Amdahl's law.

    The more GPU-optimized software has become, the more CPU single-core performance starts to matter.

    A lot of those synthetic benchmarks Tomshardware still uses to determine multithreaded performance are completely irrelevant in the real-world. Professional software that needs a lot of compute power, uses GPU acceleration. And in optimized professional software using GPU acceleration, single-threaded CPU performance is far more important.

    Intel has seen the writing on the wall, properly optimized software uses GPU compute and has no use for 24 CPU cores, or even 12, this is why Intel is now making GPU.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    If "HEDT" costs practically as much as EPYC/Xeon using practically the same upmarket 1P motherboards, then that would be "resurrecting" HEDT in name only.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    PlaneInTheSky said:
    HEDT died for a good reason.
    it really didnt.

    PlaneInTheSky said:
    CPU are simply not very good at doing more than one task at once.
    multiple virtual machines.
    game server hosting.
    higher memory channels.
    more pcie lanes. (mainly why I want it back along side memory channels)
    etc.
    PlaneInTheSky said:
    Intel has seen the writing on the wall, properly optimized software uses GPU compute and has no use for 24 CPU cores
    some programs do scale to use all your cores. i.e. Maven can be made to use as many cores as u got if u allow it.


    InvalidError said:
    If "HEDT" costs practically as much as EPYC/Xeon using practically the same upmarket 1P motherboards, then that would be "resurrecting" HEDT in name only.
    if that would be case then HEDT never even died as latest TR Pro exists...justs costs liek 7 grand :|
    Reply
  • emike09
    PlaneInTheSky said:
    It's not about "resurrecting HEDT", HEDT died for a good reason.

    More and more software now supports GPU acceleration (Davince Resolve, Adobe Premiere, Solidworks, etc).

    CPU are simply not very good at doing more than one task at once. GPU on the other hand are designed from the ground up to be parallel monsters, doing dot products and matrix math thousands times faster than CPU.

    The more software is optimized for GPU, the more irrelevant all those CPU cores become, because the bottleneck is not determined by the number of CPU cores, but by Amdahl's law.

    The more GPU optimized software has become, the more the CPU bottleneck is determine by Amdahl's law, and the more the single-core performance starts to matter.

    A lot of those synthetic benchmarks Tomshardware still uses to determine multithreaded performance are completely irrelevant in the real-world. Professional software that needs a lot of compute power, use GPU acceleration. And in optimized professional software, single-threaded performance is now more important.

    The primary reason I want HEDT back is PCI-e lanes. 20/24 usable lanes isn't enough for me. Currently using all 48 lanes on my X299 platform. But I also want OC support and super-fast clocks and optimized single-threaded performance. I don't really care about having more than 16 cores at this time. Quad-channel memory is nice in certain situations as well, but less important to me as it doesn't really help gaming performance at all.
    I need to give Resolve a try. Premiere is still very CPU and cache bound in many workloads.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    Good news if it is the case... Let's see some prices before though xD

    While I'd love to have ODR5 (octo channel), I have to admit it sounds it'll be super expensive without even taking into account the cost of the motherboard and CPU. Still, this should be welcome for peeps that depend on CPU grunt. Even if they still keep it at 64C/128T, it'll be hard to top by Intel.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    I don't have any faith in AMD bringing back HEDT as the 3xxx TR started at $1400. To me this (and Intel's complete lack of competition) is really what axed HEDT, because if you could afford that price of entry you could likely justify TR Pro.

    Regarding this leak I find it somewhat interesting that they're talking 4/8ch memory given that Genoa is 12ch. It's not impossible that this is how AMD is scaling things, but I'd assumed the top end would also be 12ch not 8.
    Reply
  • SSGBryan
    PlaneInTheSky said:


    Intel has seen the writing on the wall, properly optimized software uses GPU compute and has no use for 24 CPU cores, or even 12, this is why Intel is now making GPU.

    So, you don't use Adobe software do you?

    Many cores and threads means I can have many poorly coded apps open and working at the same time.
    Reply
  • buttabean2
    I just upgraded to a 7950x and snagged a 4090 fe two weeks ago. i'm running 8x8 with a 3090. They really should have added 4 more lanes for quad channel memory and called it a day. Especially with the price of these high end MBs. The memory channels is what's holding it back. I was running Blender sims with flips fluids. You could see the cpu wasn't doing much as you up the resolution of the sim. Anything passed 150 and it's a memory bandwidth issue
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    To me it seems like CPU cores do a much better job of converting video, at least when it comes to picture quality. While GPU conversion is speedy, i find the picture quality is inferior bit for bit compared to CPU transcode (not talking about quicksync).
    Reply
  • Ar558
    This will only work with decent pricing, HEDT has to be significantly cheaper than Workstation to be even vaguely viable. Given where the 7950X is positioned I would expect it needs to be in the $2k-$2.5k range for the top of the line 64c/128T part to have any chance of being something people will look at. The market will be pretty rarefied at that price point as it is. I like the idea of a potential HEDT future where you could build an enormously powerful rig all in for $5k-$6k, I just not sure AMD can make enough out of it at an "affordable" price to make it worth their while.
    Reply