AMD is kicking off its 2000-series Threadripper launch with its aptly-named "Heavy Metal" marketing campaign. The $1,799 Threadripper 2990WX is the star of the show, with 32-cores and 64-threads of sheer CPU power, but we'll need some serious kit to push this processor to its fullest. Once again, AMD delivered quite the reviewers kit to promote its latest. Let's take a look.
The Boxes Of Destiny
We knew AMD's Threadripper review kit would be impressive when our tracking information listed two packages that weighed a total of 58 pounds. The two nondescript boxes landed with a nice thud on our doorstep, as evidenced by the damage to our packages.
The Full Kit
One of the large boxes contained MSI's X3399 MEG Creation motherboard, an ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme with an extreme VRM cooling kit, the full-contact Enermax 240 Liqtech II AIO cooler, and an $899 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper 2950X processor in the company's revamped packaging. AMD also included a large and heavy black box.
Inside The Second Box
The larger box contained an elaborate display package for the $1,799 32-core 64-thread Threadripper 2990WX, the Wraith Ripper cooler (sold separately by Cooler Master) and two 8x2GB kits of DDR4-3400 FlareX memory from G.Skill.
Bulkier, And Better-Looking, Packages
Like the older Threadripper packaging, the Styrofoam shell is rather durable. The packages are much larger this time around, and a see-through plastic window gives us a clear view of the very expensive processors inside. A thick paper wrapper encircles the outside of the package, so there is a bit of tearing involved to spring Threadripper from its foam prison.
Freeing The Threadripper
AMD listened to customer feedback and created a new shell that is easier to open. Gone is the somewhat-confusing twisting mechanism on the first-gen packaging. Instead, you simply slide the latch at the top sideways, which then allows the clear plastic front to swing open on its hinges.
The Threadripper processor comes wedged into the Styrofoam-and-plastic interior, but a light tug springs it free. A small square box hides at the bottom of the package. It holds the famous Threadripper torque wrench and the Asetek cooling bracket that provides compatibility with many existing AIO coolers.
The processors ride on the same orange plastic baseplate as the original models. You simply slide the entire assembly into the socket and use the included Torx wrench, which has a built-in torque mechanism, to tighten the fasteners lining the large socket. Unfortunately, AMD won't allow us to post pictures of the installation process yet, but it's the same as the previous-gen processors.
Into The Socket...
The 2000-series Threadripper processors are just as massive as the first-gen models. The heavy chunk of metal and silicon hosts 4,094 LGA pads that interface with the TR4 socket found on X399 motherboards. The expansive land grid array allows the four dies inside the package to communicate with the host. It also enables the quad-channel memory interface.
It's A Bird; It's a Plane, It's Wraith Ripper!
As you know, we're big fans of exotic cooling solutions like water chillers and liquid nitrogen. But we can honestly say the massive and heavy Wraith Ripper cooler is the air-equivalent. The cooler provides plenty of room for big blingy LED-lit RAM modules, and the four fasteners on top extend through to the base, which eases installation.
The Wraith Ripper is a Cooler Master product that can tame the 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX with ease, but you'll have to buy it separately for an as-yet undisclosed sum.
Full Contact FTW
The Wraith Ripper's baseplate covers the entire expanse of Threadrippers' massive IHS, and 14 heatpipes wick the heat up into the finstack. Not seen here: the impressive LED light show up top. Unfortunately, AMD isn't allowing us to show the cooler with the lights on yet. Rest assured: The fully-addressable RGB light show is impressive.
Putting It To The Scale
The Wraith Ripper is a hefty chunk of metal. We threw it on the scale for kicks. The cooler weighs in at over 1.6 pounds, which is a nice complement to the other piece of heavy metal we found in the kit.