Why Ryzen Threadripper has two mysterious chips

Did AMD burn two 8-core dies to make its Ryzen Threadripper? Here's the answer.

IDG

IDG

When famed overclocker der8baurer "delidded" AMD's highly anticipated Ryzen Threadripper in a video posted on Thursday, he got a surprise and spawned a mystery: Did AMD really waste two perfectly good 8-core chips to build Threadripper?

The  mystery kicked off when Der8auer, cracked open his Threadripper and found what appeared to be four 8-core dies used to make the 16-core CPU. Adding to that mystery, der8bauer said AMD confirmed only two of the "dies" were active.

der8auer delid 1 der8auer

Two of the 8-core "dies" on the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950x are just dummies to keep the heat spreader from bending out of shape.

So did AMD really waste two perfectly good "Zeppelin" dies? Nope.

Those other two "chips" are nothing more than spacers to help maintain the structural integrity of the gigantic heat spreader, PCWorld has learned from a source who declined to be identified.

The source didn't detail much more, but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the size of the CPU and its construction. Rather than a single monolithic die, like Intel uses on its Core i9, AMD builds its Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper CPUs using multiple chips connected with a high-speed fabric.

If AMD had populated a Threadripper CPU with just two of the dies, the metal heat spreader would likely bend where the empty spots are.

So no, your fantasy of somehow magically turning a 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X into a 32-core won't happen.

ryzen threadripper socket with skylake x IDG/Gordon Mah Ung

The plastic plate is approximately the size of Intel's new Core i9 chip.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?