Extremist and Monstrous Tiers Get More Extremist and More Monstrous

The Ryzen 9 3950X was released about 2 weeks ago, but only hit the marketplace yesterday. Do not worry about buying one: These new chips are so good that they went out of stock instantly. But why is the R9 3950X good, and what does it replace? And what other changes are coming to the top tiers of the chart?

TR 2950X vs. R9 3950X

The older Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (note the name’s similarity to the 3950X) was a 16-core, 32-thread mega-monster with an extreme amount of multi-threaded performance. Its single-threaded performance was good, but was second-place to other (cheaper) CPUs. The new 3950X uses AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, which improves single-threaded performance a lot: The 3950X is top-class in single-threaded! It remains a 16-core, 32-thread CPU, and thus retains its monstrous multi-threaded capabilities. The change in socket is also nice: Ryzen 9 3950X is on the cheaper AM4 socket, while the TR 2950X was on the sTR4 socket. So, you are basically getting an upgrade for a lower price.

All-in-all, the 3950X is the best consumer CPU available at the moment, with an unbeatable combo of very high single- and multi-threaded performance. Of course, it is $750, which is as much a whole PC for many users. And it is not even $750 right now… it is completely sold out, everywhere. At any rate, we will be adding it to the Extremist tier, with appropriate motherboards.

New Workstation Chips

In other news, and for the HEDT market: AMD also released the new Threadripper 3960X and 3970X just a couple of days ago. This was accompanied by Intel launching its i9-10980XE. These three new CPUs are updates of the older TR 2970WX, TR 2990WX, and i9-9980XE CPUs respectively, with identical core/thread counts. Two CPUs, the 3960X and 3970X, enjoy an impressive performance boost over their predecessors, particularly in single-threaded performance. In fact, these new Threadrippers have practically no performance penalty in lightly-threaded applications, which was one major weakness of the older TR 29XX CPUs. Of course, the price is a hurdle: $1400 and $2000 for a CPU is out of reach for most of us. Still, if you want the best, now you know where to look.

The Threadripper 3960X and 3970X will both be added to the Monstrous tier, with appropriate motherboards.

High-end GPU Adjustment

Next up, we are shifting the 2X RTX 2080 Ti option to be an alternative in Extremist, and the new default for Monstrous.

Summary of Changes (Including Mobo Options):


  • RTX 2080 Super x2
  • RTX 2080 Ti x2
  • RTX 2080 Ti x2
  • R9 3950X
  • TR 3960X
  • TR 3970X
  • GIGABYTE X570 Pro
  • ASRock X570 TAICHI
  • ASUS X570-F
  • MSI X570 ACE

In Other News

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