AMD’s Threadripper Will Crush Intel’s Latest Offering

Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Core X processor announcement, with the highest-end model having 18-cores and 36-threads, is hardly scaring Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD). Not only do prices fail to pressure AMD’s upcoming Threadripper, but the proprietary design for the Intel X299 motherboard chipset will alienate loyal Intel customers.

Motherboard for AMD’s Threadripper:

AMD’s Ryzen CPU and Polaris GPU will find its way on Dell desktops. Lenovo, HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), Acer, and ASUS also are building PC solutions powered by AMD chips. Demand for computers powered by the Zen core will grow. Though PC sales have lagged for years, Zen brings back high-performance on the x86 architecture. Zen’s performance is 52% higher than IPC, thanks to the low-power design methodologies, high bandwidth, and low latency.

Intel’s response to the Ryzen line-up and the upcoming Threadripper is embarrassing and rushed. Worse is that the company is forcing consumers to use a new motherboard. This may help lift Intel’s profits but the move risks pushing customers to buy an AMD solution instead. Intel’s latest processor also uses more power per core.

Year-to-date, AMD and Intel are roughly flat for the year:

INTC Chart

INTC data by YCharts

Intel also has a price/performance disadvantage with its current lineup:

Budget system comparison

Intel: 4 cores, 4 threads @ 4Ghz = 112W / $242 (Refer to: i5 7640X) AMD: 6 cores, 12 threads @ 3.6Ghz = 65W / $220 (Refer to: Ryzen 5 1600)

In the above example, AMD’s Ryzen has more cores and threads. The system uses less power at a lower price. Prices are from Newegg.

High-end System

Intel i7 7820X: 8 cores, 16 threads @ 3.6Ghz = 140W / $600 AMD Ryzen 7 1800X: 8 cores, 16 threads @ 3.6GHz = 95W / $460 Again, AMD’s solution saves the consumer $140. The total power consumption on AMD is lower.

Here is the full performance comparison:

Source: AMD

AMD said performance-per-watt is nearly three-fold higher:

Source: AMD

EPYC’s Advantage

In competing with Intel’s Core-X solution, AMD has yet another advantage for the EPYC server chips. Infinity Fabric allows for scalability. AMD may add more cores cheaply, along with easily cooling the system:

Source: AMD

Infinity Fabric extends efficiency beyond the SoC. In theory, AMD may add infinitely many CPUs and GPUs to increase the computing power:

The advances in Zen is just starting. AMD will release Zen 2 next, followed by Zen 3 before 2020:

Threadripper: 16 Core, 32 Thread

Rumored to cost $849, AMD is about to launch an entry-level Threadripper CPU. The chip has 16 cores and 32 threads. The platform will have a whopping 40 MB of cache (32 L3 + 8 L2) and 64 PCIe lanes. AMD is dedicating 48 of those PCIe lanes for the graphics cards. The Threadripper CPU costs AMD just $110 – $120, so each unit sale will obviously add meaningfully to the company’s bottom line.

Takeaway

AMD’s HEDT (high-end desktop) Platform competes effectively against Intel’s offering. Just as Intel released Kaby Lake but offered few performance improvements, the company is making the same mistake with the Core X processor release. The misstep will drive its customers into the arms of AMD. AMD may even cut prices ever so slightly on the Ryzen 7 chips to speed up adoption for the new platform. The pricing spread between Ryzen 7 and Intel’s current lineup will lead to market share for the latter. Threadripper’s release is an even bigger threat for Intel.

 

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