AMD's wild 32-core Ryzen Threadripper chip goes on sale

It's yours for a mere $1,799.

There's good news for graphics pros: AMD's 32-core, 64-thread Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX chip unveiled in June is now up for pre-order. The 2nd-generation chip is built using AMD's 12-nanometer Zen+ core architecture, and works with existing X399 AMD motherboards. The company said it's aimed mainly at "creators, developers and PC enthusiasts" who use software apps like Adobe's Creative Cloud suite that can profit from multi-threaded CPUs.

The Threadripper 2990WX grabbed the world record in Cinebench's multi-threaded CPU test for the single-socket desktop CPU category with a score of 7,618, AMD boasted. However, that was attained by liquid-cooling the chip with nitrogen and pushing the clock speed up to 5.1 GHz, so you probably won't get the same results at home. The base 3.0 Ghz 2990WX chip does, however, support 4.2 GHz speeds in boost mode, which should just require a modest air- or liquid-cooled system.

Another downside to the flagship chip is the steep $1,799 price, although that is a bit cheaper than Intel's 18-core i9 chip was at launch. Should that be too rich, AMD also unveiled three other 2nd-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips: The $1,299 24-core Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX, the $899 2950X with 16 cores, and the $649, 12-core Threadripper 2920X.

AMD's Threadripper 2990WX is now the ultimate high-end desktop chip. However, Intel recently unveiled a 28-core processor that will reportedly run at 5.0 Ghz, and will release it by the end of 2018. Intel's chip hit a lower 7,334 Cinebench score, and it also ran the test with a special chilling system that most consumers won't have.

These chips won't be ideal for games, either, as most can't use more than a couple of cores. However, they'll be very useful for things like 3D rendering and video graphics apps that can take advantage of the power. As mentioned, the 2nd-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips are now up for pre-order with shipping expected by August 13th for the flagship 2990WX chip, August 31st for the 16-core 2950X model, and October for the other two chips.