September 22, 2020

Linus Torvalds considers moving Intel i7 to AMD Threadripper

2 min read

After AMD released the second-generation Threadripper high-end desktop processor 2990WX (32 core 64 threads), Linux father Linus Torvalds revealed on the mailing list that he was considering upgrading from Intel i7-6700K to 2990WX. According to the latest tests from Phoronix, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 performed much worse than Linux in testing, showing that Microsoft’s kernel scheduler lacks optimisation for processors with dozens of cores/threads.

Image: Phoronix

Torvalds said he has not been exposed to the AMD platform since the Opteron/K10 but is now seriously considering upgrading to the AMD system. The second generation Threadripper fits well with his work. But the 2990WX consumes 180 W+, and his primary concern is fan noise at full load.

“That said, ridiculously scalable or not, those Phoronix numbers do look good on Linux. It’s been a long time since I used an AMD system for my personal work (way back in the good old Opteron/K10 days – I despised all the nasty split-cpu AMD Bulldozer+ cores), but I’m seriously considering upgrading to an AMD system, and the new threadrippers would really fit my load.

During the merge window (like now), I spend a fair amount of time double-checking my merges by doing builds before pushing out, and my old i7-6700K is showing its age, with the kernel having grown, and meltdown slowing things down.

My main worry is noise. I’m not sure I want to deal with the blower required for a 180W+ CPU.”

Recently, Linus Torvalds switched to AMD processor for the first time in 15 years.