AMD’s Threadripper family has been making mincemeat of Intel’s HEDT (High End DeskTop) product segment since it debuted in 2017, but with the recent launch of its second-generation Threadripper CPUs, the smaller CPU company is twisting the knife. All of its first-generation Threadripper parts just got a price cut, but the 12-core part is a simply out-of-this-world good offer. AMD has cut its SEP (Suggested Etail Price) on both the 1950X and 1920X, but it’s trimmed the 1920X all the way down to just $400. The CPU debuted just over a year ago at $800. Now, here’s the suggested price stack:
To put that in some additional perspective, we’ve rounded out AMD’s list with the relevant products from Intel’s Core-X family.
The $800 price on the Threadripper 1950X is a decent reduction, at $100 off, but $400 for a 12-core CPU from AMD when the equivalent from Intel is a six-core / 12-thread chip? That’s not even a contest. Intel’s Skylake-X CPUs are excellent processors, with a higher level of single-threaded performance than their Ryzen counterparts, but the gap between the two is, best case, 10-15 percent. In cases where Intel has outperformed AMD at a lower core count (like the Ryzen 7 1800X versus the Core i7-8700K), it was thanks to a combination of higher clock speeds and higher IPC, and it only happened in scenarios where the gap between core counts was relatively small. The Core i7-8700K was a six-core chip that proved faster than the Ryzen 7 1800X (but not its successor, the Ryzen 7 2700X). Similarly, the Core i9-7980XE eked out a win over the Threadripper 1950X by virtue of its higher core counts and overall efficiency. But these shifts back and forth are all happening with relatively small core-count gaps.
That’s what makes the Threadripper 1920X such a deal. The 1950X has 1.6x more cores than the Core i9-7900X, in addition to being $200 cheaper. The 1920X now has twice the cores of its closest-priced Intel counterpart, and while AMD’s Threadripper isn’t quite as efficient clock-for-clock, with the two chips pulling down the same base and boost figures, that’s just not enough of an impact to matter.
So far, the prices we’ve seen have been a bit higher than the new $400 list price, and it’s not clear how long the parts will be in stock — AMD could have cut the chip’s price as part of discontinuing it. But regardless, the 1920X as officially priced is now a very good deal indeed.
It’s unfortunate that the battlefield between AMD and Intel is strongest only in this relatively rareified space where few people statistically buy processors — but until Intel tweaks its Core X pricing, AMD has the stronger hand here. It’s playing that hand for all it’s worth.