Veteran German overclocker der8auer is back at it again! This time, he set out to prove that the two non-functional dies of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPU are not blanks, as some pundits have claimed. What he discovered confirms that the Threadripper is really an EPYC processor in disguise!
Don’t forget to check out our previous article on this same issue – The Secrets Of The Delidded Threadripper CPU Revealed!
Four Dies But Only Two Work
Thanks to the der8auer’s delidded Threadripper, we know that the Ryzen Threadripper has four AMD Ryzen (Zeppelin) dies, each with 8 Zen cores. Since the Threadripper is only designed to be a 16-core processor, two of the dies are non-functional. So why are there two extra dies?
Simple answer – easier and cheaper production. This is counter-intuitive, so let us explain.
Instead of creating a separate production line for Ryzen Threadripper, it is easier and cheaper for AMD to just pick out EPYC parts to use. After all, the EPYC and Threadripper processors both use sockets that are physically the same – SP3 and SP3r2 (TR4), with the same number of pins – 4094.
Combining their production gives them greater economies of scale. Both EPYC and Threadripper are not mass-market processors after all. It also allows them to salvage EPYC processors that don’t make the grade. This isn’t new or extraordinary – the semiconductor industry has been binning and salvaging chips for decades.
The Threadripper Is Really An AMD EPYC CPU
According to AMD, the non-functioning dies are really just “structural inserts” (aka blanks) used to support the integrated heat spreader (IHS), and prevent its deformation under pressure. They also revealed that the two functional dies are placed diagonally to “reduce hot spot formation“.
So der8auer set out to prove that AMD used actual Ryzen processor dies (either non-functioning or disabled), instead of blanks. After removing the four dies and sanding them down, he proved that they are all actual Ryzen (Zeppelin) dies.
The pictures above are screenshots from der8auer’s video. All credit should go to him.
As you can see, none of the dies appear to be blanks or mere structural inserts. They appear to be proper Ryzen dies that have either been disabled, or are non-functioning. You can literally see the processor cores after der8auer sanded down the dies.
Of course, this is merely one example. AMD could possibly produce some Threadripper processors with blanks. But as we pointed out, the Threadripper and EPYC processors are so fundamentally similar, it would make sense for AMD to just produce both in the same production line. This allows them to quickly adjust the type of processors produced according to market demand.
All partially-functioning parts will naturally be used as Threadripper CPUs, but unless AMD’s yield is extremely poor, most will be perfectly good AMD EPYC processors that merely have two of their dies disabled.
- All You Need To Know About AMD Ryzen Threadripper!
- The Secrets Of The Delidded Threadripper CPU Revealed!
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- The AMD EPYC 7000 Series Processor Tech Report
- The AMD Ryzen PRO Processor Tech Report
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- The AMD Ryzen 5 Processor Tech Report
- The AMD Ryzen 3 Processor Tech Report
- The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Processor Review