AMD is shipping its new Ryzen Threadripper chips in a seriously large and premium-looking foam package. We don't have the retail box for Intel's Core X chips for comparison here, but trust us when we say that Threadripper absolutely dwarfs it. It looks like AMD is going for a shock and awe approach here.
All Threadripper CPUs will come with a mounting bracket for AIO coolers that use Asetek-based designs, such as the Corsair Hydro series H100i v2 and Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riing RGB 240. You'll also get a Threadripper-branded Torx wrench that will ensure the correct tightness when working the screws on the new SocketTR4.
You'll notice that the cooling bracket features a unique asymmetrical design. It attaches easily enough to the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 TT Premium Edition cooler that AMD included with our review unit, and the screws can be tightened by hand.
The processor itself is nestled inside a second plastic container in the box like some hidden nugget of treasure.
Unlock the power (complete with helpful arrows for truly idiot-proof access)!
Twist the lid off, and you'll finally have gotten at the precious cargo, which is further ensconced in a compact container held shut by metal clasps. AMD clearly put a lot of thought into the packaging, and the lengthy unboxing procedure only furthers the impression that this is one monster chip waiting to be plugged in.
Ta-dah! That took long enough, but the chip is finally exposed and ready to be plonked into the motherboard socket. You don't want to remove the orange frame that's holding the CPU however, as you'll need it to interface with the retention bracket on SocketTR4.
Here's a look at the massive SocketTR4 on the ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme. If you look closely, you can see the numbered screws that you'll have to unscrew to lift the socket lid. The order in which they should be tightened or loosened is helpfully engraved on the lid itself – 3, 2, 1 when loosening, and 1, 2, 3 when tightening.
The installation process for Threadripper is slightly more complicated than usual. After lifting the socket lid, you'll find a second retention bracket with a plastic placeholder. Free it by pulling on the blue tabs and then slide out the piece of plastic to make room for the Threadripper CPU.
In this picture, the CPU and its orange frame has already been inserted in the second retention bracket (slide in until it clicks in place), and lifting that fully reveals the plastic socket cover that protects the massive 4,096-pin socket.
Here's a look at the CPU sitting in the socket after the retention bracket has been lowered. The orange frame stays on at all times, and there's no need to remove it. Press down on the blue clips until the bracket clicks in place.
The socket lid cutout should align nicely with the CPU once it's closed. The contact block of your cooler probably won't cover the chip entirely, but there's nothing to be concerned about. AMD says its list of compatible coolers have enough thermal performance to deal with this, and the contact area is enough to cover both silicon chips beneath the heatspreader.