"...real competition to the Intel elephant? That seems unlikely,..."
...that seems unlikely?
Seriously! AMD's Zeppelin "chiplet" which is the 8 core 16 thread foundation for AMD's upcoming MCM micro-architecture and retails PACKAGED for about $445 in the Ryzen 1800x version. ANd AMD is enjoying huge yield number as well.
Intel has no answer that at all.
Zeppelin combined on an interposer is the Treadripper 16 core 32 thread beast that DELL's Alienware is releasing as it's top gaming rig come July 27 2017. Threadripperis expected to cost about $850.
Intel has no answer to that. The best it has is i7-6950x which is a paltry 10 core's and costs $1500.
Intel however promises to release i9 18 core but again it will cost $2000. i9 is a massive slab of silicon and yields will be in the loo. Intel also does not enjoy the use of certain patents by Gabriel H Loh and AMD. Google that and see. AMD has beaucoup patents for memory control and cpu + gpu and stacked memory all on an interposer. Intel has done absolutely no work with this concept.
EPYC is built from either Zeppelin or similar microarchitecture, an MCM that promises to be at the very least 60% of Intel cost while providing about 40%+- more bandwidth and ABOUT the same TDP.
...and YOU SAY AMD IS NOT REAL COMPETITION?????????????
What do you want? The Spanish Inquisition?