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Shed a Tear for HEDT: AMD's Official Threadripper Pro Pricing Marks the End of an Era

AMD

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

AMD shared its official pricing with us for its Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-series processors, at the same time effectively marking the end of what we would consider the company's traditional HEDT lineup — AMD isn't releasing non-Pro Threadripper processors anymore, and Threadripper Pro pricing is far out of reach for the overwhelming majority of enthusiasts.   

AMD originally announced the Threadripper Pro chips back in March, and as usual for this series of chips, they came exclusively in Lenovo's OEM ThinkStation systems. As such, AMD didn't release chip pricing. Last week AMD announced the Pro chips would come to other OEMs later this year and that they would come to retail as a standalone chip to also serve the DIY/enthusiast crowd — and that the company would unify the non-Pro and Pro versions of Threadripper. 

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5995WX SEP is $6,499
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5975WX SEP is $3,299 
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5965WX SEP is $2,399

Here's the official Threadripper Pro pricing that AMD shared with us today, and it's clear that these chips are priced far above what we would expect for the traditional definition of the HEDT segment. 

AMD's original Threadripper lineups were geared for the consumer-oriented high end desktop (HEDT) market entirely, but several generations down the line, the company released its enhanced Threadripper Pro 3000-series models that came with more memory channels (eight), thus gearing the chips, and their price tags, for professional workstation users.

The standard and 'Pro' Threadripper lineups existed separately, but AMD's announcement last week explicitly states that these two will now be one and the same. "[...] There will be one set of Threadripper processors to choose from, with one CPU socket and chipset, and every processor will be based on AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO silicon."

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000 WX-Series Specifications
Cores / ThreadsMSRP/SEPBase / Boost (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)TDPPCIe
Threadripper Pro 5995WX64 / 128$6,4992.7 / 4.5256280W128
Xeon W-337538 / 76$4,4992.5 / 4.057270W64
Threadripper Pro 3995WX64 / 128$5,4892.7 / 4.2256280W128
Threadripper 3990X64 / 128$3,9902.9 / 4.3256280W72
Threadripper Pro 5975WX32 / 64$3,2993.6 / 4.5128280W128
Xeon W-336532 / 64$3,4992.7 / 4.048270W64
Threadripper Pro 3975WX32 / 64$2,7493.5 / 4.2128280W128
Threadripper 3970X32 / 64$1,9993.7 / 4.5128280W64
Threadripper Pro 5965WX24 / 48$2,3993.8 / 4.5128280W128
Xeon W-334524 / 48$2,4993.0 / 4.036250W64
Threadripper 3960X24 / 48$1,3993.8 / 4.5128280W64

This is how Threadripper Pro pricing compares to both AMD's previous-gen Pro chips, the non-Pro Threadrippers, and competing models from Intel. As a reminder, AMD's Suggested Etail Price (SEP) is akin to an MSRP.

The 64-core 128-thread Threadripper Pro 5995WX weighs in at $6,499, a $2,509 markup over the last Threadripper that was positioned for what we consider a traditional HEDT platform, the 64-core Threadripper 3990X. That's also a $1,100 increase over the previous-gen Pro equivalent, the 64-core Threadripper Pro 3995WX.

For the 32-core Threadripper Pro 5975WX, there's a $1,300 markup over the previous-gen HEDT model, the Threadripper 3970X, and a $550 markup over the previous-gen Pro equivalent.

Finally, the 24-core Threadripper Pro 5965WX at $2,399 represents a $1,000 markup over the HEDT-geared 32-core Threadripper 3960X. (The previous-gen Threadripper Pro lineup didn't have a 24-core model.) Notably, the two lower-end Threadripper Pro models, the 16-core 5955X and the 12-core 5945X, won't be available at retail — you'll only find them in pre-built OEM systems.  

A Farewell Ode to HEDT

AMD's decision to unite the Threadripper and Threadripper Pro lineups into one family effectively brings an end to any enthusiast-geared HEDT processors from AMD.

Make no mistake, the Pro chips carry pricing premiums not only in the silicon but also in the platform. You'll pay more for the motherboards and shoulder the cost of populating eight memory channels as opposed to the four memory channels found on the non-Pro models. Sure, you could simply not populate four of the memory channels to save some cash, but regardless, you're still paying the premium for eight channels in the chip and motherboard pricing, so that seems a waste.

AMD's decision to eliminate the non-Pro Threadripper family wasn't all too surprising, though. AMD's previous-gen Threadripper halo, the 3990X, cost a whopping $3,990 and was really a specialized chip for professional users anyway, as opposed to what we would consider a HEDT chip in the traditional sense. Luckily, there were still Threadripper models with lower core counts and pricing that made them within reach of some enthusiasts, but even then, AMD itself was already blurring the lines between HEDT and mainstream PCs.

Now the lowest bar for entry to the Threadripper Pro 5000 series is the 24-core Threadripper Pro 5965WX at $2,399. However, AMD's consumer-geared Ryzen family now stretches up to 16 cores, bringing what we would have previously considered HEDT-class performance to the mainstream desktop PC. The arrival of Ryzen 7000 promises to push the performance of those 16 cores to even higher levels, and its support for DDR5 will lessen the impact of having only two memory channels instead of the four found on HEDT platforms.

AMD has also divulged that Ryzen 7000 will have a peak 170W TDP, a significant increase over the current 105W TDP limit with the Ryzen 5000 processors, and a peak power consumption (PPT) of 230W, another increase over the previous 142W limit. These higher power levels will allow the chips to deliver explosive performance gains in multi-threaded work, meaning they'll be even closer to what we would have previously considered HEDT-class performance.

All of these things have apparently contributed to the end of the standard Threadripper lineup, and although it makes perfect sense, we're sad to see it go. The original arrival of the Threadripper 1950X in 2017 with a then-mind-blowing 16-cores was a stunning and awesome show of force as AMD began the process of quite literally muscling Intel out of contention in the enthusiast HEDT market, a feat that you can see reach its completion in our Intel Core i9-10980XE Review: Intel Loses its Grip on HEDT article from 2019.

Threadripper became a symbol of AMD's sheer dominance. In fact, 2019 was the last time Intel released an HEDT chip geared for enthusiasts. That's a long time in the dog years of the semiconductor industry, and three years later we're still hearing rumblings of Intel's rumored Fishhawk Falls, a HEDT chip based on Sapphire Rapids. However, Intel hasn't said anything about the chips and we're not sure if they will actually be geared toward enthusiasts, or if they will also be more targeted at the OEM workstation crowd.

Sure, part of AMD's reasoning to kill off the non-Pro Threadripper line probably resides in the margins from its Pro and EPYC chips, but in fairness, HEDT simply wasn't making much sense anymore. For now, we've seen the end of the enthusiast-geared HEDT era. Maybe Intel will revive it now that it doesn't have to worry about facing a non-Pro Threadripper HEDT competitor anymore.

Paul Alcorn
Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • InvalidError
    Unless one regards workstation and server-oriented sWRX8 platforms as 'desktop', there is nothing HEDT about it other than nothing current-gen being available. The much cheaper sTRX4 stuff already had everything anyone could realistically expect to pack on an eATX motherboard in an eATX case, the perfect middle-ground between mainstream desktop and full-blown workstation/server-class.

    With the bulk of lower-end ThreadRipper sales likely going to people looking for the cheapest way to get extra PCIe lanes for SLI/CF, it makes sense that AMD would abandon TX4/sTRX4 at about the same time SLI/CF were effectively discontinued.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    With the increase in bandwidth provided by USB4 and PCIe 5, along with the increase in power afforded by upcoming MCM based GPUs, and the advent of 16 core Ryzen class processors, the need for Threadripper's key advantage, 128 PCIe lanes, for the "lower end" HEDT market has basically evaporated, so it makes sense to eliminate that market and focus on the mid and higher end HEDT market, the actual content creators and prosumers who make the kind of money, and have the ability to write a HEDT system off on taxes, so $3000 isn't that big of a deal.
    Reply
  • escksu
    There isn't much volume in hedt to begin with. AMD isn't making money from hedt to begin with, it's actually "losing", i.e. workstation and hedt CPUs are actually the same thing with some features disabled. So AMD could potentially sell these hedt CPUs at higher prices. Same for boards. The cost of manufacturing hedt boards aren't that cheap. But since they are not workstation boards, their prices are lower (means less profits).

    HEDT was needed only during the days of quad core CPUs where fastest desktop CPU is just a quad core i7. So 6-8 cores are considered hedt and do make sense for those who needs more performance. But now, we have 16 cores for desktop.

    Yes, we can argue that some pple needs the extra cores and pcie lanes. But how many are there? The market is simply way too small. If you need it, you would have to pay a premium for it.

    On top of that, there is 0 competition too. Intel is not even talking about hedt for near future.
    Reply
  • Johnpombrio
    I always figured that the original Threadrippers were cut-down versions of the Pro chips that did not pass full testing. Perhaps the maturation of the processes meant that most of the chips are fully enabled.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    the need for Threadripper's key advantage, 128 PCIe lanes, for the "lower end" HEDT market has basically evaporated
    TR4/sTRX4 rippers, the cheap HEDT-friendly ones, only had 56-60 user-accessible PCIe lanes depending on how many were reserved for the chipset and quad-channel memory. If you want 128 PCIe or octo-channel memory, you have to step up to either the WalletRipper Pro or EPYC stuff.

    escksu said:
    i.e. workstation and hedt CPUs are actually the same thing with some features disabled.
    There are huge physical differences between sTRX4 (the last sensible HEDT platform) and sRWX8. If AMD wanted to stay in the legitimate HEDT market, it would keep sTRX4 alive to keep costs reasonable.

    Between the practically nonexistent cost and feature difference between sWRX8 based WalletRippers Pro and EPYC systems, if AMD is genuinely wants to simplify its product portfolio, it could have just axed WalletRipper altogether, WX/Pro included.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    AMD how about, this may sound crazy, just give us a 5950x tier CPU, but with more PCIE lanes?

    So much stuffn ow-a-days wants fast lanes and non TR just dont give us the option for em.
    Reply
  • escksu
    InvalidError said:

    There are huge physical differences between sTRX4 (the last sensible HEDT platform) and sRWX8. If AMD wanted to stay in the legitimate HEDT market, it would keep sTRX4 alive to keep costs reasonable.

    Between the practically nonexistent cost and feature difference between sWRX8 based WalletRippers Pro and EPYC systems, if AMD is genuinely wants to simplify its product portfolio, it could have just axed WalletRipper altogether, WX/Pro included.

    Those physical differences are on the board, not the CPU. To amd, a threadripper CPU is essentially the same as the pro variant, only with some features disabled. It cost the same to make but selling price and margins are vastly different.

    As for wrx8 vs epyc, it exist due to demand for high end workstation computers. I am very sure AMD have consulted with vendors like dell, Lenovo, hp etc.. to decide that. Also, these workstations are mostly used by corporates, not home users. So, hardly any diy.
    Reply
  • escksu
    hotaru251 said:
    AMD how about, this may sound crazy, just give us a 5950x tier CPU, but with more PCIE lanes?

    So much stuffn ow-a-days wants fast lanes and non TR just dont give us the option for em.

    They can technically but they won't. The cost of implementation vs volume is not there... Less than 1% of the users would need more than 20 usable lanes.
    Reply
  • osfanbuff63
    I guess Intel could now strike with a 12980XE/13980XE and get a jump on AMD there, but I highly doubt that. I wish they'd bring Alder/Raptor Lake to extreme xD
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    hotaru251 said:
    AMD how about, this may sound crazy, just give us a 5950x tier CPU, but with more PCIE lanes?

    So much stuffn ow-a-days wants fast lanes and non TR just dont give us the option for em.
    Well, the AM5 socket does bring two USB3-10G ports on-package and has four extra PCIe lanes (28 total including chipset link, up from 24) to accommodate up to two USB4/TB4 ports. If you need more than that, you do have X670 chipset lanes, X2 for the 'extreme' dual-chipset version. Beyond that, you'll have to wait for AM6 or pray for a cost-effective successor to sTRX4.
    Reply