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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?