high end desktop processors have long offered the ultimate in performance, as long as you were willing to pay the price. Aside from high MSRPs, the chips also require expensive accommodations, like beefy motherboards and the added cost of fully populating quad-channel memory controllers. Add in the inevitable trade-offs, like reduced performance in lightly-threaded applications and games, and any cost-conscious users who could benefit from the threaded horsepower of a HEDT chip just settle for mainstream offerings.
Now AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X, with 16 cores and 32 threads, brings HEDT-class performance to mainstream motherboards, lowering the bar for entry. The 3950X carries a $749 price tag, but that’s downright affordable compared to competing HEDT processors.