What just happened? Remember when AMD’s processors were the inferior option for those who couldn’t afford Intel’s products? How times have changed. Team red has seen a resurgence in its CPU division since the arrival of Ryzen, and now one of the company’s famous users, ‘father of Linux’ Linus Torvalds, has revealed he’s moving to an AMD processor after 15 years of sticking with Intel.
In yesterday’s announcement of the new Linux Kernel 5.7 RC7, Torvalds wrote: “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.”
While he didn’t reveal which CPU processor he was using prior to the change, Torvalds added that “My ‘allmodconfig’ test builds are now three times faster than they used to be.”
It’s interesting that Torvalds mentioned ARM, suggesting that his long-term aim is to use an ARM-powered desktop.
The 7nm-based Ryzen Threadripper 3970X boasts 32-cores and 64-threads along with a massive 128MB L3 cache. It runs at a base frequency of 3.7 GHz with a boost frequency of 4.5 GHz. We gave it a score of 90 in our review, calling it a CPU with no weaknesses, excellent single-core performance and mind-blowing multi-core performance.
News of Torvalds’ switch will be another blow to Intel, especially as that other well-known Linus techie, Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips, has been showing his love for AMD despite being a long-time fan of Intel.
Intel was hoping to claw back some of its reputation among CPU buyers with the release of its 10th-gen Comet Lake processors. But while we praised the Core i9-10900K as a strong performer, we found the much cheaper Ryzen 9 3900X was faster in most applications, and only slightly slower in games. We came to a similar conclusion when comparing the Core i7-10700K to the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X.