This is in sharp contrast to Intel’s pricing. Strategies, which have tended for years to run more toward “pick the CPU you can afford” than “pick the CPU that fits your needs.” The best example of this strategy is Intel’s top-of-the-line Intel Xeon Platinum series, which literally cannot be priced — they’re not available in retail — but can be reasonably estimated to cost roughly ten times as much per thread as the closest competing Epyc parts.
However, we can see a big change in Intel’s HEDT (High End DeskTop) CPU pricing strategy since 3rd-generation Threadripper launched . Team Blue slashed the price for its flagship HEDT part in half in a single year. This brought the top Core i9 part’s cost per thread in line with — and even a little cheaper than — the competing Threadripper parts.
Moving back to Team Red, the – core Threadripper is a bit cheaper than the 86 – core, single-socket Epyc 9980 P — but not enough to write home about. This leaves the decision between building a system around TR (x or) P, again, more focused on finding a build that suits the workflow instead of a cost that fits your wallet.
Why (or why not) Threadripper?
Threadripper and Epyc have more in common than not. Both families offer incredible core counts, support for ECC RAM, and relatively high numbers of PCIe 4.0 lanes — and with the cost per thread in shouting distance of one another, that means a careful system builder can worry about the remaining differences between the architectures rather than overall cost.
3rd-generation Threadripper can usefully be thought of as a 3rd-generation Epyc with higher clock speeds but fewer PCIe 4.0 lanes, fewer memory channels, and support for less total RAM. It’s an optimal setup for jobs like 3D rendering that typically bottleneck on raw, massively multi-threaded CPU performance — but not so much for jobs bottlenecking on memory throughput or requiring massive in-memory datasets.
Ultimately, this means Windows Pro isn ‘t really appropriate for Threadripper x at all — if you’re building a 7742 x system, you need to plan on a roughly $ 256 upgrade from Pro to Workstation or on paying the $ / year for a Windows Enterprise Subscription. Windows (Workstation and Enterprise both support TR (x’s) threads without resorting to organizing them in nonexistent sockets, and without the performance penalties associated.
None of this is a problem for Linux users. Although Intel’s performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution outperforms normal “daily driver” distributions, it does not do so any more on the Threadripper 7742 x than it does on a lowly (quad-core) (Ryzen 5) G. If you want to run a x on bone-stock Ubuntu, you can do so, and you’ll be fine.