Linus Torvalds stopped using an Intel processor in his main computer, giving AMD a chance to take over. The father of Linux commented in the announcement of the new 5.7 RC7 kernel that for the first time in fifteen years, his desktop computer is not based on Intel technology.
In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was just that I
upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my
desktop isn’t Intel-based. No, I didn’t switch to ARM yet, but I’m now
rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x.
According to Torvalds, “allmodconfig” test compilations are three times faster than they used to be. While time is not important in this quiet period – as Linus calls the confinement – the engineer says he will notice a change during the next merge window.
At first glance this would seem a trivial message, however, it is well known that AMD has taken the lead in the powerful processor segment. The arrival of the Threadripper changed the scenario for Intel, which was staying safe with its multi-core processors.
The new processor used by Linus Torvalds is an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970x. The 7nm chip is based on Zen 2 architecture and has 32 cores and 64 processing threads. The base frequency is 3.7 Ghz and it has a Max Boost of up to 4.5 GHz per core.
One of the advantages is that it includes a total of 88 PCIe 4.0 lanes for mounting a powerful computer with multiple GPUs and NVMe devices. It also includes a combined 144MB cache and support for 512GB of four-channel DDR4 memory. All of the above with a default TDP of 280W.
The closest competitor is the Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition. This chip includes 18 cores and 36 threads, 3.0 GHz base frequency and 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost. Unlike the Threadripper, this Cascade Lake family processor has half PCIe lanes and a 24.75 MB processor cache. The maximum amount of memory is 156 GB and it has a thermal design power of 165 W.
AMD has taken the lead over the past three years in the field of processor enthusiasts. Add to that the conventional Ryzen, the agreement with Samsung and its presence in the next generation consoles, and we would say that AMD is living its best moment.