Ryzen Threadripper review: AMD’s monster 1950X stomps on other CPUs

AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X ($999 on Amazon) is an angry Godzilla stomping his way through downtown Tokyo. Those puny 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core CPUs? They’re just tanks and army trucks to be punted across the city.

Yes, it’s that good.

But before you buy, there’s a lot you need to know about what is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU ever unleashed upon mankind.

ryzen threadripper 1950x 27

Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is arguably the most powerful consumer CPU on the planet today.


  • What is Threadripper
  • With great cores, come great resources
  • The Lineup
  • Installation: Read the manual. Seriously.
  • Meet the new Game Mode

What is Threadripper

Ryzen Threadripper’s name tells you its lineage: the ground-breaking Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 3 CPUs that have made AMD a contender again, after years of watching Intel dominate.

ryzen core complex


Each Zen core complex is made up of four individual CPUs. Two of these complexes make up an 8-core Ryzen die.

While Intel currently builds its CPUs around a monolithic piece of silicon for all of its cores, AMD has designed Ryzen to be modular at the chip level. The basic building block of all Ryzen CPUs are two 4-core complexes, or CCXes, joined by AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric interconnect. Every Ryzen 7, for example, has an 8-core die such as the one below.

ryzen die shot 1


AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper is based on the same dual 4-core complex (CCX), so instead of one chip, you get two.

To get to 16 cores in Threadripper, AMD uses the same high-speed Infinity Fabric to join two 8-core dies. The 12-core version also joins two 8-core dies, but each of the 4-core CCXs has one processor core disabled.

ryzen threadripper topology


A 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X consists of two 8-core dies connected using AMD’s high-speed Infinity Fabric.