Here’s some troubling news for high-end AMD users. The upcoming Threadripper processors might not be compatible with X399 boards after all. This is something of a kick in the teeth, especially since AMD themselves promised in the past that they’d support several of processors on the same socket (unlike Intel, who regularly make sockets obsolete every other generation).
While B350 boards on the AM4+ platform have had long legs: you could’ve got one back in 2017 with first-gen Ryzen, pop a 3600 in today and it’d work fine–the X399 platform is evidently being discontinued.
Apparently, this isn’t just AMD being petty. According to insider information from 1usmus over at the Overclock.net forums, they’d initially tried supporting X399. However, changes to the architecture, including a new memory controller and power pins meant that this had to be scrapped. X399 board aren’t exactly cheap. And with PCI-E 4.0 support being expensive, we’d expect X499 boards to cost even more.
The Intel Core i9-9900KS, on the other hand, may surprisingly might end up offering better price-performance than AMD’s halo product. This’d be quite an interesting turnabout for Intel: Ryzen 3’s IPC gains have enabled AMD to outmaneuver Team Blue in just about every price segment. Reclaiming the performance throne, at least, would put them back in a reasonable place, at least as far as mindshare is concerned.
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