AMD commits to 'long-term' support for sTRX4 CPU socket used with third-gen Threadripper

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Third-generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs were announced last week. On Friday, AMD posted a video spotlight on the HEDT Treadripper 3960X and 3970X (watch below), both based on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture.

Threadripper 3960X will have 24 cores/48 threads, while Threadripper 3970X packs in 32 cores with 64 threads. The new CPUs rely on a new sTRX4 platform, which means they will only work on new TRX40 motherboards. Unlike Ryzen AM4, Threadripper is not backwards compatible with the sTR4 socket used in the first and second-generation Threadripper.

Even though the sTRX4 socket has the same number of pins (4096) as sTR4, they are electronically incompatible. According to AMD, the pin mapping to voltage or data is entirely different. Therefore, you won’t be able to plug a third-gen Threadripper into your existing X399 motherboard, but this is not without what AMD considers good reason.

"AMD's sTRX4 socket isn't being replaced anytime soon."

“There are two essential reasons for this,” AMD said in the r/AMD subreddit. “[First,] we wanted to drive maximum performance for the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, and sTRX4 helps us do exactly that. [Second,] the socket change also sets us up nicely for future development and scalability of the Threadripper platform, both on a near- and long-term basis (emphasis AMD).”

The company explains that third-generation Threadripper processors will have a total of 88 PCIe Gen 4 lanes with 72 usable (CPU + motherboard).

“The net of total versus usable is because we’re also increasing the CPU<->chipset link from 4x Gen4 to 8x Gen4—quadruple the bandwidth vs. 2nd Gen TR. Extra data pins between the chipset and CPU make this possible, so you’ll be able to hang more I/O off the motherboard at full performance.”

AMD apparently intends to support the sTRX4 socket for the long term as it will encourage enthusiasts to invest in TRX40 mobos, knowing that they will not have to worry about switching in the near future. Contrarily, Intel changes sockets every couple of years.

Third-gen Threadripper is set to launch on November 25 with the 3960X going for about $1,400 and the 3970X at about $2,000.

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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I have a couple ryzen 2700s that will work for now, I think I might holdout until 4000 series before dropping $2000 on a cpu......
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
If the 3970X can beat the up coming 18core sub $1000 beast from intel at video compression which so far threadripper has not been able to do then I will happily spend 2 grand on it possibly... or I might buy 2 Core i9-7980XE for the same price. let the benchmarks tell the tale.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
If the 3970X can beat the up coming 18core sub $1000 beast from intel at video compression which so far threadripper has not been able to do then I will happily spend 2 grand on it possibly... or I might buy 2 Core i9-7980XE for the same price. let the benchmarks tell the tale.
I've noticed that, luckily videocompression isn't even a concern for me. I need this for VMs and running game servers. I've heard mixed things on getting PCIe pass through to work in threadripper in Linux. I might be better suited with epyc but that is a whole other ball park as far as price is concerned. Threadrippers looks like a deal compared to their server parts, especially when you take gaming performance into account.
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
I've noticed that, luckily videocompression isn't even a concern for me. I need this for VMs and running game servers. I've heard mixed things on getting PCIe pass through to work in threadripper in Linux. I might be better suited with epyc but that is a whole other ball park as far as price is concerned. Threadrippers looks like a deal compared to their server parts, especially when you take gaming performance into account.
I spend some time compressing 8k timelapses to 4k or 2k with x265 and on Intel Core i9-9980XE Skylake X 18-Core it can be rather slow at times. if I used x264 and ramped it down to 1080p I would get hundreds of frames a second its a beast however x265 slows me down to 8-10 frames a second. Still a beast nothing amd can do so far can match but im vying for another computer to split tasks which would speed up workflow. At this point 2 sub 2grand systems would seem to work out better than say a 64core severe. Would love to add amd to the mixup but if intel is pushing sub 1g processors that do the same thing I will go with them.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I spend some time compressing 8k timelapses to 4k or 2k with x265 and on Intel Core i9-9980XE Skylake X 18-Core it can be rather slow at times. if I used x264 and ramped it down to 1080p I would get hundreds of frames a second its a beast however x265 slows me down to 8-10 frames a second. Still a beast nothing amd can do so far can match but im vying for another computer to split tasks which would speed up workflow. At this point 2 sub 2grand systems would seem to work out better than say a 64core severe. Would love to add amd to the mixup but if intel is pushing sub 1g processors that do the same thing I will go with them.
I'm not familiar at all with how video compression/encoding works, why cant you use a GPU to do video encoding? Or is that with the assistance of a GPU being fed by a CPU?
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
I'm not familiar at all with how video compression/encoding works, why cant you use a GPU to do video encoding? Or is that with the assistance of a GPU being fed by a CPU?
You can certainly use gpu to encode video however it comes at the cost with a great deal of artifacts. video encoding is still not great at parallel processing. rule of thumb is CPU encoding is focused on quality where GPU encoding is focused on speed... CPU encoding for true high def stuff and gpu for something you might want to stream over youtube. Some of this has to do with the codecs themselves x265/x264 have very many possibly millions of hours into making them better codecs for encoding on cpus while the gpu codecs are still newer and less refined.
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
I'm not familiar at all with how video compression/encoding works, why cant you use a GPU to do video encoding? Or is that with the assistance of a GPU being fed by a CPU?
Basically im taking something like a 5min time lapse shot at 8k using raw photos from a nikon d-850 which can be around 30GB in size and compressing it to 4k x265 which can bring it down to 300mb without a visual loss of quality
 

Adi6293

TS Guru
I have a couple ryzen 2700s that will work for now, I think I might holdout until 4000 series before dropping $2000 on a cpu......
I'm waiting till 4700X comes out before I replace my 2700X hopefully 4000 series does clock even higher
 
Even comparing at the low end, Intel beats AMD at h.265 compression at the same price and power efficiency. I bought an i5-8400 after waiting for R5 2600 to arrive as the i5 beats the equivalent 2600 and 2600X at very few things, but h.265 was the big one for me. Obviously using $180 processors makes me a small-time user but video compression is by far the most CPU-intensive thing my machine does so I went with the better chip for that specific use.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I'm waiting till 4700X comes out before I replace my 2700X hopefully 4000 series does clock even higher
I want a threadripper to run all my high performance VMs. With my 2700s I'll probably down clock them and turn them into game servers for older games like CoD4 and alien swarm. Probably turn one into a local webhosting server so I can test websites before publishing
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Even comparing at the low end, Intel beats AMD at h.265 compression at the same price and power efficiency. I bought an i5-8400 after waiting for R5 2600 to arrive as the i5 beats the equivalent 2600 and 2600X at very few things, but h.265 was the big one for me. Obviously using $180 processors makes me a small-time user but video compression is by far the most CPU-intensive thing my machine does so I went with the better chip for that specific use.
You forgot past tense. Ryzen 3000 series added AVX 256

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14605/the-and-ryzen-3700x-3900x-review-raising-the-bar/10

Performance per dollar the Ryzen 3000 series beats Intel significantly. In the case of the high end, it is the same performance for half the price while consuming less power.
 
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Jeffrey2009

TS Member
Its so called longevity would be no longer than 2 years or we say 2 generations, which inclueds only the current Zen2 Threadripper 3000 series and the next Gen Zen3 Threadripper 4000 series.
 
You forgot past tense. Ryzen 3000 series added AVX 256

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14605/the-and-ryzen-3700x-3900x-review-raising-the-bar/10

Performance per dollar the Ryzen 3000 series beats Intel significantly. In the case of the high end, it is the same performance for half the price while consuming less power.
To be fair, the 3700X is 8% slower than the 9900K at h.265 in that link. And the 3800X would only close part of that gap. But as you say the 3700X does it at a lower price and *much* lower power draw, both of which were important points in favor of the 8400 when I built. I would probably choose the 3700X today though in reality I'm so cheap that I'd get the 3600X because it's just that good, and maybe upgrade to a 3950X or 4700X in a year or two, depending on price and performance.

Actually in the long run perhaps I should have bought the 2600 and a B450 mobo, trading lower initial performance for more affordable and useful options now. Well, actually I have that option. There is an R3 1200 in the house which could be replaced with any Zen 2 processor so there's always the option of a bit of component swapping if necessary.

OK, and the 3rd machine in the house has, well, a 2600 and a B450 mobo in it. I got it right eventually.
 

Adi6293

TS Guru
To be fair, the 3700X is 8% slower than the 9900K at h.265 in that link. And the 3800X would only close part of that gap. But as you say the 3700X does it at a lower price and *much* lower power draw, both of which were important points in favor of the 8400 when I built. I would probably choose the 3700X today though in reality I'm so cheap that I'd get the 3600X because it's just that good, and maybe upgrade to a 3950X or 4700X in a year or two, depending on price and performance.

Actually in the long run perhaps I should have bought the 2600 and a B450 mobo, trading lower initial performance for more affordable and useful options now. Well, actually I have that option. There is an R3 1200 in the house which could be replaced with any Zen 2 processor so there's always the option of a bit of component swapping if necessary.

OK, and the 3rd machine in the house has, well, a 2600 and a B450 mobo in it. I got it right eventually.
You can always sell your Intel rig with minimal lose, they always hold their value a bit better and swap to Ryzen 3000 😊
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Its so called longevity would be no longer than 2 years or we say 2 generations, which inclueds only the current Zen2 Threadripper 3000 series and the next Gen Zen3 Threadripper 4000 series.
Your comment is BS. AM4 already supports 3 generations and it will support 4th also, AMD never guaranteed anything with TR4 socket
As well, as I posted here - https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/amds-3rd-gen-threadripper-is-now-official-starting-at-1-400-for-24-cores-48-threads.258226/post-1782077 some models of Phenom II supported DDR2 and DD3. Thus, any memory change to DDR5 may be handled by the memory controller without necessitating a new socket.

And parts that are only a year or two old generally command a pretty good price on e-bay; selling them could offset the cost.

AMD is still the underdog, and resorting to sIntel tactics would lead to customer disappointment that would not be a wise business move for them, IMO.

By its very nature, TR is a design meant to evolve.
 
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Adi6293

TS Guru
As well, as I posted here - https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/amds-3rd-gen-threadripper-is-now-official-starting-at-1-400-for-24-cores-48-threads.258226/post-1782077 some models of Phenom II supported DDR2 and DD3. Thus, any memory change to DDR5 may be handled by the memory controller without necessitating a new socket.

And parts that are only a year or two old generally command a pretty good price on e-bay; selling them could offset the cost.

AMD is still the underdog, and resorting to sIntel tactics would lead to customer disappointment that would not be a wise business move for them, IMO.

By its very nature, TR is a design meant to evolve.
I've got a AM2+ motherboard in my collection an ASUS Crosshair II Formula that supporst CPU's from single core Sempron through Athlon 64 X2 first Phenom and ending at Phenom II X6!! That is compatibility :)
 
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Jeffrey2009

TS Member
As well, as I posted here - https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/amds-3rd-gen-threadripper-is-now-official-starting-at-1-400-for-24-cores-48-threads.258226/post-1782077 some models of Phenom II supported DDR2 and DD3. Thus, any memory change to DDR5 may be handled by the memory controller without necessitating a new socket.

And parts that are only a year or two old generally command a pretty good price on e-bay; selling them could offset the cost.

AMD is still the underdog, and resorting to sIntel tactics would lead to customer disappointment that would not be a wise business move for them, IMO.

By its very nature, TR is a design meant to evolve.
Zen4 means not only shifting to DDR5, but also replacing the most short-lived PCIe4.0 with PCIe5.0, which needs new definition of the pins on the CPU, even though they could have the same number of pins with Zen3 models-- which is exactly the same situation as the current Threadripper 3000 vs. last generation of Threadripper 2000.(n) (N)
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Zen4 means not only shifting to DDR5, but also replacing the most short-lived PCIe4.0 with PCIe5.0, which needs new definition of the pins on the CPU, even though they could have the same number of pins with Zen3 models-- which is exactly the same situation as the current Threadripper 3000 vs. last generation of Threadripper 2000.(n) (N)
So? Don't buy AMD then if you don't like their socket compatibility. You're P&Ming about socket compatibility, yet then you shift to P&Ming about the features of the procs. If you know proc with feature b is coming out and that is what you really want, then why buy proc with feature a?

My point was that compatibility of the socket with future gen procs is not necessarily a function of the features of the procs as AMD has shown in the past.

What it sounds like you are boiling it down to is keeping up with your buddies. Like it or not, every platform/CPU/whatever in the tech realm will eventually be outdated.
 
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