RUMOR: AMD’s ‘Threadripper 3000’ TRX40 Platform May Not Be Backwards Compatible After All
Update: as our commeters point out, this is infact the second rumor to suggest this, making it increasingly likely to be true. The first rumor was covered here.
A rumor posted by ReHWolution's twitter account suggests that AMD's upcoming TRX40 motherboards which will house the Threadripper 3000 platform may not be backwards compatible with older Threadripper Gen 1 and Gen 2 processors and vice versa. This would be big news if true, because AMD has so far managed to retain its socket-agnostic philosophy when it comes to updating platforms. The reason why we think this rumor might have some merit is if you remember, we were the first to tell you of the existence of a 64-core Threadripper in the works a while back and this might necessitate some socket redesign.
AMD TRX40 motherboards landing in November, will not be compatible with 1st and 2nd gen Threadripper CPUs
AMD has been praised for being socket-agnostic for a very long time but it looks like a rapidly changing core-count and a shift to 7nm might force it to ditch the existing TR4 socket and move on to a new design for its TRX40 motherboards (assuming a tweet posted by an Italian publication turns out to be true). There could be multiple reasons for AMD to do this but the one most likely is that shifting to 7nm process technology requires a layout change (which in turn necesistated a socket redeisgn).
This is something AMD could have worked around of course, but that might have been cost prohibiitive. Not to mention that AIBs will be very happy to hear this as it would provide a much-needed bump in revenue(new socket = more motherboard sales). Another potential reason is that AMD is working on a 64-core threadripper and the older TR4 socket might not have been entirely compatible with such a high core count. It is also possible that this rumor turns out to be completely wrong and AMD surprises us once again but considering their compatibility promise was only till 2020 and for the AM4 socket this would not be technically against anything they have publicly stated.
ASRock TRX40 Taichi & Creator coming in November. Not backward compatible with 1st and 2nd Gen Threadripper CPUs. Also, 3rd Gen TR CPUs won't work on X399 boards.
— ReHWolution (@ReHWolution) October 9, 2019
The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series family is internally known as “Castle Peak” and is stated to bring dominant leadership in the HEDT market. The family will prove to be a new watermark in performance and overall efficiency while new platform features will be introduced on the new and enhanced TR4 socketed motherboards to take them to the next level. AMD has also announced that the initial SKUs would include a 24 core and 48 thread chip as the top variant with more chips to follow later on.
AMD's Threadripper 3000 platform will feature up to 64 cores, be based on the 7nm process from TSMC and will have a brand new architecture. We are expecting significant performance increases over 2nd generation Threadripper and it might be a good idea to think of this as a completely new platform (which may be why AMD chose to go with TRX instead of TR). Another possibility (this is purely speculation) is that AMD might split its CPUs into TRX and WRX, where the latter is reserved for very high core counts and therefore requires a new socket.
This is a relatively unknown source (this is, in fact, the first time I am using them) so a grain of salt is very much recommended and this post is strictly a rumor at this point. If we receive confirmation of this update, we will be doing another post for that.