I honestly thought that the CPU wars were over and we’d reached a reasonable plateau. Maybe there would be efficiency gains between generations of silicon, but this is bananas.
AMD’s current high-end desktop Threadripper CPU has 16 cores and 32 threads. Which is insane in its own right. While the new version doubles that core and thread count, respectively, and it honestly looks like there’s room for more over the next generation or so. Moreover, this is created with a seven nanometre process, which has to be getting close to the boundaries of current physics, right?
Intel tried to make waves just before this announcement with a similarly ridiculous 28 core chip (which based on very little research on my part, looks to be a repurposed workstation part). I’m happy overall that there is competition at all in x86 land, but I do wonder to what benefit. Besides 3D rendering, scientific applications and some other niche applications that I clearly don’t know about, will an average consumer benefit from the additional core counts? I suppose that’s not really the point. These high-end components are meant to be drool-worthy: to attract the awe of the scene while serving as a test bed for trickle down innovations for more mainstream parts.
All that said, if I am ever considering building a PC in the future—who knows these days, honestly—then perhaps I’ll take a close look at AMD’s offerings.