Lenovo has announced the ThinkStation P620, the "world's first AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation".
The system used between the P720 and the P920 at the top end of the ThinkStation P series, Lenovo's professional workstation series, is initially the only way to buy the new Threadripper Pro CPUs from AMD.
The four new CPUs – Threadripper Pro 3995WX, 3975WX, 3955WX and 3945WX – offer the high number of cores of their consumer counterparts and are marketed against two Intel Xeon systems.
Lenovo is also launching the ThinkStation P620 as the “first PCIe Gen 4 workstation” targeted at graphics and engineering professionals and is expected to ship in September 2020 with a basic MSRP of $ 4,599.
How do the new Threadripper Pro CPUs differ from existing Threadripper processors?
The main selling point of the ThinkStation P620 is that this is initially the only way to get AMD's Threadripper Pro CPUs, which were also announced yesterday.
The new CPUs offer companies who are interested in building very powerful workstations an alternative to server CPUs, such as the EPYC product range from AMD.
In addition to PCIe 4.0 support – more on that later – they offer network monitoring and security features that are not available in existing thread ripper chips, including standard storage encryption.
You can see their main specifications in the table above: AnandTech has a good overview for further analysis of the processors and their position in the market.
Initially only available on the ThinkStation P620
In contrast to their "consumer" colleagues, the third-generation Threadripper CPUs from AMD, the Threadripper Pros are not sold directly, but are only available from system manufacturers such as Lenovo.
While Lenovo has a limited exclusivity period, AMD is unlikely that future workstations from competing manufacturers will offer significant new features.
At Lenovo’s press conference, Andy Parma, head of the AMD segment, said that for those who want to use Threadripper Pro CPUs in production, “there is no need to wait for future product offerings”.
AMD's benchmark results show the performance of the new Threadripper Pro 3995WX compared to two Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 CPUs in DCC apps such as Blender, Maya and UE4. Click on the image to view full size.
How do the Threadripper Pro CPUs work with the DCC software?
Like standard thread rippers, the Threadripper Pro CPUs combine high core numbers with high boost clock rates and thus increase performance for tasks with high threading and rendering as well as for DCC apps with light threading.
Although AMD has not publicly announced pricing, making price / performance comparisons impossible, the company claims the chips are cheaper than two Intel Xeon CPUs with the same total number of cores.
AMD's own benchmark tests (above) show that the 64-core Threadripper Pro 3995WX outperforms two 28-core Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 CPUs for $ 10,000 in a number of 3D applications.
In addition to Blender and Maya, this also includes the CPU engines of renderers such as Arnold, Corona Renderer, KeyShot and V-Ray as well as other important DCC tools such as After Effects and Premiere Pro.
In our test of the Threadripper 3990X, the consumer equivalent of the Threadripper Pro 3995WX, which also has 64 cores and similar clock speeds, you can get an idea of how this can be transferred to other apps.
Additional specifications for ThinkStation P620: PCIe 4.0 support and up to two Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 GPUs
Another selling point for the ThinkStation P620 is PCIe Gen 4 support. The system has six PCIe 4.0 slots: four full-length x16 slots and four x8 slots.
PCIe 4.0 offers higher data throughput between the motherboard and connected devices such as GPUs and SSDs than the PCIe 3.0 slots that are currently standard in professional workstations.
The other specifications are more conventional for a high-end system: up to 512 GB DDR4 RAM at 3,200 MHz; up to 20 TB of storage, spread over up to six drives; and up to two Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 GPUs.
The P620 uses the same air-cooled 33 liter case as the ThinkStation P520 and has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, 10 USB ports (2 x USB 3.2 Type C, 6 x USB 3.2 Type A, 2 x USB 2.0 Type A) and standard audio connections.
As you'd expect from a system primarily geared towards larger studios, you'll need deep pockets to buy one: even the basic configuration with an AMD Threadripper Pro 3945WX CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 256 GB M.2 SSD and a single Nvidia Quadro P620 GPU has a MSRP of $ 4,599.
Pricing and availability
Lenovo's ThinkStation P620 workstation is expected to ship in September 2020 with a base MSRP of $ 4,599. Expect high-end configurations to cost significantly more.
The Threadripper Pro 3995WX, 3975WX, 3955WX and 3945WX CPUs from AMD are only available from OEMs: initially only from Lenovo. AMD has not released the prices of the CPUs publicly.
For more information about the ThinkStation P620, see the Lenovo website
More information about the new Threadripper Pro CPUs can be found on the AMD website
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