Linus Torvalds abandons Intel for AMD after 15 years

midian182

Posts: 5,994   +50
Staff member

In yesterday’s announcement of the new Linux Kernel 5.7 RC7, Torvalds wrote: “The biggest excitement this week for me was just that I upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x.”

While he didn’t reveal which CPU processor he was using prior to the change, Torvalds added that “My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be.”

It’s interesting that Torvalds mentioned ARM, suggesting that his long-term aim is to use an ARM-powered desktop.

The 7nm-based Ryzen Threadripper 3970X boasts 32-cores and 64-threads along with a massive 128MB L3 cache. It runs at a base frequency of 3.7 GHz with a boost frequency of 4.5 GHz. We gave it a score of 90 in our review, calling it a CPU with no weaknesses, excellent single-core performance and mind-blowing multi-core performance.

News of Torvalds’ switch will be another blow to Intel, especially as that other well-known Linus techie, Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips, has been showing his love for AMD despite being a long-time fan of Intel.

Intel was hoping to claw back some of its reputation among CPU buyers with the release of its 10th-gen Comet Lake processors. But while we praised the Core i9-10900K as a strong performer, we found the much cheaper Ryzen 9 3900X was faster in most applications, and only slightly slower in games. We came to a similar conclusion when comparing the Core i7-10700K to the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,300   +3,119
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Someone with that much money could get a Mac Pro with over 1TB of RAM - or a top end Windows video editor but he made choices to spend way less - thus necessitating another build soon thereafter.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.

Definitely not choices I'd make when I build my computer, computers for friends or when I order hardware for my business.
 
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Irata

Posts: 792   +1,091
TechSpot Elite
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Someone with that much money could get a Mac Pro with over 1TB of RAM - or a top end Windows video editor but he made choices to spend way less - thus necessitating another build soon thereafter.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.

Definitely not choices I'd make when I build my computer, computers for friends or when I order hardware for my business.
Linus also had videos on the Mac Pro and watching them it‘s doubtful he would use one.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,300   +3,119
Linus also had videos on the Mac Pro and watching them it‘s doubtful he would use one.

Marques Brown Lee, I'm sure swears by his Mac Pro. I'm not sure how different their individual needs are and I'm sure they'll both choose what's best for them, but I personally found running a Mac Server relatively easy - although I had to share files between 30 computers rather than working specifically with video editing.

For either one of them, I'm still surprised they didn't pick the top end machines they could possibly get considering how much money they both have.

I remember when Linus reviewed the Area 51 Threadripper. A ridiculously beefy piece of hardware. I already knew I wanted an AREA 51, but seeing him review the Threadripper sealed the deal for me and made me go buy one - although I went with the Core i9 Extreme instead.
 
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maestro0428

Posts: 33   +31
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Someone with that much money could get a Mac Pro with over 1TB of RAM - or a top end Windows video editor but he made choices to spend way less - thus necessitating another build soon thereafter.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.

Definitely not choices I'd make when I build my computer, computers for friends or when I order hardware for my business.
A Mac Pro would be slower than what Linus built.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 1,972   +1,256
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Someone with that much money could get a Mac Pro with over 1TB of RAM - or a top end Windows video editor but he made choices to spend way less - thus necessitating another build soon thereafter.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.

Definitely not choices I'd make when I build my computer, computers for friends or when I order hardware for my business.
lol I saw that video I couldn't make it past an hour just too long.
 
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Tams80

Posts: 45   +23
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.
I mean, whether you like it or not, he has got an entire company (or two) to run. Possibly one of the biggest 'independent' ones too. Clickbait comes with the territory (need to please the algorithm and you know, humans in general) and of course he wants to make more opportunities for content.

And as you already do, you can skip the parts you're not interested in. It's not the 1990s any more.

He has also said that it's not that interesting building the most powerful machines any more. And much of his audience seem to agree.

He's mediocre at servers, but that's always been a hobby for him as far as I can tell. And yes, it's very risky for something that is now integral to your business and livelihood being a hobby. I'm not surprised other YouTubers don't want him to do server stuff for them. Then again, some of the them have absolutely terrible data security.
 

xpwjintel

Posts: 9   +0
Just watch, in 2021, the tech news headline will be: AMD's short lived dominance finally ended with Inte's product x, enthusiasts and all market level are now back embracing intel)
(in the event that this didn't happen, I've auto programmed to update this message and change the year to 2022)
 

candle_86

Posts: 514   +382
I watched his latest video where he builds a Threadripper 3960x video workstation.
It was 3 hours long, but I skipped to the most important parts - specifically when he added the SSD and the 2080Ti.

Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.

Someone with that much money could get a Mac Pro with over 1TB of RAM - or a top end Windows video editor but he made choices to spend way less - thus necessitating another build soon thereafter.

Perhaps that's how he chooses to make his Youtube money by purposefully spending less in order to have quickly obsolescing workstations? This way he can just keep making more videos and spending more for newer hardware?

I watch his videos but I find them to be mostly clickbaity and in many cases uninteresting.

It's no wonder when his Youtubber friends, who knows he builds servers, completely didn't ask him when they wanted to build one. I did watch that video.

Definitely not choices I'd make when I build my computer, computers for friends or when I order hardware for my business.
Why would anyone want a Mac pro, spec wise they are overpriced and most of the software exists for windows anyway.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,555   +1,544
TechSpot Elite
We've been waiting on Intel for almost 4 years now and the next gen still hasn't happened. AMD's dominance is likely to continue for a while yet and will revert to competitiveness once Intel finally gets 10nm (or 7nm at this rate) out the door. I doubt there will be any Intel dominance, merely competitiveness which is good enough for the CPU market to keep prices down.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 256   +192
I remember when AMD was superior to Intel before Ryzen. It was Barton era. Then they had A64 era, Ryzen is just "Risen" really, after a very long time of bad design choices that kept them down. It's fine, they will reign supreme until Meteor Lake. then we will see because 5nm alone isn't going to be enough.
 
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brucek

Posts: 495   +569
TechSpot Elite
1. He is paid by the video. Of course he's not trying to make just one video every four years.
2. He is likely paid/sponsored to use specific parts at some times.
3. Even when he is not he may know his viewers are interested in specific parts.
4. His team is far more than one person and one computer.
5. His actual main video editing computer is the one used by his main editor (not him.)
6. When you are managing and paying for say a dozen people and dozens of computers, you do need to invest the right amount in each of those computers.
7. It is quite possible he has use cases that can not use anywhere near 1 TB of RAM.
8. It is not evident from anything I've seen that a Mac Pro is necessarily more capable than a threadripper workstation.

etc. etc.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,944   +2,334
I remember when AMD was superior to Intel before Ryzen. It was Barton era. Then they had A64 era, Ryzen is just "Risen" really, after a very long time of bad design choices that kept them down. It's fine, they will reign supreme until Meteor Lake. then we will see because 5nm alone isn't going to be enough.
It remains to be seen. The 2020s will be interesting for hardware. The ryzen platform has been great, and if AMD manages decent gains with ryzen 4000 I'll believe they will stay on track hardware wise.

However, as shown with their multiple kerfuffles over the last 12 months, AMD still has a real problem with getting messaging to their customers, and with supporting their products. The fact it took concentrated media attention to get AMD to admit their Navi drivers were broken (and no, they still arn't great, and problems have been leaking back in for us older vega users) and the ryzen 4000 support debacle show that AMD is still flying by the seat of their pants in a support role, and their main strength is their hardware. Even then, the 5600xt VRAM screwup showed AMD still isnt communicating well on the hardware side at times.

If they want to become a permanent dominant force ala intel, they need to get their support system fixed. It shouldnt take 3+ weeks to run through the warranty process for a ryzen processor. It shouldnt take concentrated media attention and outrage from the community to get drivers working. It shouldnt take outcry from DIY customers for AMD to provide the support they sold their platform on. These things were very poorly through out, and they reflect badly on AMD's ability to plan ahead.

I've said since the ATi buyout that AMD needed a management cleanout, I said it after AMD fella sleep at the wheel with HD 6000, with the disasterous construction cores, the seamicro buyout, and Navi's driver disaster. I still say it. Lisa su has the hardware division running smoothly, now she needs to crack down on this corporate culture of lack of planning, poor support, and confusing communication.
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 210   +214
Marques Brown Lee, I'm sure swears by his Mac Pro. I'm not sure how different their individual needs are and I'm sure they'll both choose what's best for them, but I personally found running a Mac Server relatively easy - although I had to share files between 30 computers rather than working specifically with video editing.

For either one of them, I'm still surprised they didn't pick the top end machines they could possibly get considering how much money they both have.

I remember when Linus reviewed the Area 51 Threadripper. A ridiculously beefy piece of hardware. I already knew I wanted an AREA 51, but seeing him review the Threadripper sealed the deal for me and made me go buy one - although I went with the Core i9 Extreme instead.
You realize the mac pro gets slaughtered right? For a lot less money?
 

SolarisGuru

Posts: 104   +146
Because they want one.
Because they can afford one.
Because they can.
Many people (definitely not all) who have money are usually the most frugal with their purchases. Regardless of your bankroll, buying a completely decked out Mac Pro with 1 TB of RAM is being extremely frivolous with your money imo. Particularly if you don't have a usage case for 1 TB of RAM in the first place.
 

penn919

Posts: 307   +214
Why would anyone want a Mac pro, spec wise they are overpriced and most of the software exists for windows anyway.
It's mostly brand loyalty and familiarity with the software. I've tried some apple products in the past and the only striking aspect were their sleek aesthetic look and fluid GUI, but I'm more of a functional guy myself. Not paying an Apple premium for what I can already do in Windows or Linux.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,318   +527
Considering how much money he makes on Youtube, I'm really shocked he didn't go with higher specs: Faster CPU, more RAM, etc.
Could be the availability of parts. I've run into that a few times after doing my research and settling on the parts that I wanted (often the most popular) only to have to settle for less because of the availability issue.