AMD Ryzen Threadripper 48-core CPU could be another nail in the coffin for Intel at the high-end

(Image credit: Future)

AMD is preparing a 48-core processor for its range of 3rd-gen Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, according to the latest chatter from the grapevine, which backs up some previous speculation.

The 48-core (96-thread) offering was highlighted in a post on a Chinese tech site (as spotted by Tech Powerup), with the processor allegedly referenced in the code for CPU-Z version 1.91 (CPU-Z is a profiling and monitoring app which details what hardware your PC is running).

And assuming it does exist as per the rumor, the 48-core chip will sit between the previously confirmed 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, which is due to go on sale at some point this year (likely early on rather than later), and the already launched 3970X which has 32-cores.

High-end options

It would seem to make sense to give high-end buyers another option between these two processors, which would logically be the 3980X (although note that there never was a 2980X – so the gap in the model names of the range doesn’t necessarily mean anything).

And while the cited source isn’t one we are particularly confident about (so treat this rumor with a bit of caution), a previously reputable source had indicated there will be a 48-core model. This other source correctly revealed the existence of the 3990X, and got the TDP right at 280W – one of the few spec details AMD has revealed about the new incoming flagship.

Ultimately, then, we’re left making educated guesses about the possible existence of a 48-core option, and further in that vein, the 3990X is expected to be eye-wateringly pricey – possibly to the tune of four grand, we’ve previously theorized – so again it might make sense for AMD to slot something else in between this and the already available 32-core Threadripper 3970X.

Remember that these top-end chips are being pitched at a target audience of ‘Hollywood creators’ by AMD, certainly in the case of the 64-core model.

At any rate, it’s likely we’ll hear more about the incoming 3990X pretty soon – quite possibly at CES 2019  – and so who knows, there might be info in the pipeline about this potential 3980X to follow…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).