The founder of the Linux kernel updated his PC and chose to change the processor. To equip his machine, he set his sights on a 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper chip and turned his back on Intel processors.
In computing, as in politics, everything is a matter of symbolism. By changing the configuration of his PC to adopt an AMD x86 processor instead of an Intel chip, Linus Torvalds validates the performance of the latest Ryzen chips compared to those of the Santa Clara founder.
It is through his weekly message on the state of the kernel and the 5.7 rc7 version of Linux that Linus Torvalds poured out his change. “In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was updating my PC and for the first time in 15 years, my desktop is not Intel-based. No, I haven’t switched to ARM yet, but I’m now running an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My “allmodconfig” tests are three times faster than before. If it doesn’t matter much in this calm period, I will notice the effects of this update during the next merge window period.
Ambassadors of choice to the Linux community
In detail, Linus Torvalds opted for a very high-end AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970x chip with 32 cores clocked at 3.7 GHz (with the possibility of going up to 4.5 GHz in Turbo mode on certain cores). The chip is engraved on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process and costs around €2,300. Our colleagues from The Register note that the machine described by the founder of the Linux kernel must be recent, because the AMD chip requires an sTRX4 socket, present on motherboards only since the end of 2019.
This switch comes as the Tuxedo brand has just launched the first notebook equipped with an AMD Ryzen chip and running Linux. With announcements like those of Linus Torvalds or his long-time collaborator Greg Kroah Hartmann, who published a video extolling the merits of a PC equipped with a Ryzen chip, AMD can hope to earn points with the Linux community.