AMD launches 32-core Epyc processor, looking to disrupt Intel's data center dominance

William Gayde

Posts: 376   +5
Staff member

As more of our applications and data move to the cloud, data centers need to scale their hardware in response. For years however, the only real option has been Intel's Xeon line of processors. OEM manufacturers have been looking for more competition in a field where Intel has a 98% market share. AMD's answer is their new Epyc line of server chips and they are promising massive levels of performance.

The processors will range from the 8-core Epyc 7251, all the way up to the 32-core / 64-thread Epyc 7601. The entire lineup will feature 8-channel DDR4 RAM running at up to 2666MHz as well as 128 PCIe lanes. Some are comparing these new chips to 4 standard Ryzen processors soldered together on one die. Each processor can support up to 2TB of RAM, or 4TB in a dual socketed systems.

Having the same footprint, memory capacity, and PCIe bandwidth across the entire product range is a key differentiator AMD is hoping to take advantage of. Compared to Intel's lineup where choosing a lower tier processor means sacrificing some features, the only choice with Epyc is how many cores you need or can afford. To aid energy conscious data centers, Epyc will also allow for two operating modes: constant performance and constant power usage. This can dynamically adjust power and clock frequency to match user-defined parameters.

Third-party benchmarks will come in time, but AMD's internal numbers look impressive right out of the gate. The $4000 Epyc 7601 handily beats Intel's $4000 Xeon E5-2699A v4 offering 75% higher floating point performance and 47% higher integer processing. Even Intel's top-of-the-line chip only has 24 cores. AMD is bringing the heat in the midrange, too. At the $800 level, AMD is claiming their Epyc 7301 has 70% higher integer performance than Intel's E5-7630.

While all of this sounds great, Intel still holds the lion's share of the market. It will take a phenomenal launch for AMD to make any sort of dent. As the new chips begin to roll out in the next 6 or so months, Epyc's success will be made or broken by OEMs and whether or not end users see added value in switching to AMD's nascent platform.

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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,520   +5,881
AMD's core count hasn't mattered the last decade. Why would you think it matters now. When AMD'e efficiency still doesn't match Intel's core for core.

I promise you, Intel is the one saying "32 cores, how cute".
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,461   +6,133
AMD's core count hasn't mattered the last decade. Why would you think it matters now. When AMD'e efficiency still doesn't match Intel's core for core.

I promise you, Intel is the one saying "32 cores, how cute".
Um, did you see the review of AMD's latest architecture? Ryzen is a bit more efficient then kaby lake and thus EPYC is as well. FYI the small difference in IPC between Intel and AMD means very little to enterprise and data center.

Usually your comments are measured but this is just plain trolling. Why can't you just be happy that AMD is finally competing again?
 
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Flebbert

AMD's core count hasn't mattered the last decade. Why would you think it matters now. When AMD'e efficiency still doesn't match Intel's core for core.

I promise you, Intel is the one saying "32 cores, how cute".
I don't get this comment..... AMD have done good so why not give them some respect.
 
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Flebbert

When it comes to servers stability and maturity is key. It will take a while until Epyc starts replacing Xeons.
Yeah agree it will take a while, talking to vendors about our new IaaS deployment we have never even mentioned AMD in the last 10 years but now all of a sudden they have been talking about the AMD change.

A VDI deployment for a few hundred high IO seats are also getting really interesting, previously we were limited about what you can do in a single box, this really opens up some opportunities with the new gear at a reasonable price.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,139   +2,752
TechSpot Elite
AMD's core count hasn't mattered the last decade. Why would you think it matters now. When AMD'e efficiency still doesn't match Intel's core for core.

I promise you, Intel is the one saying "32 cores, how cute".
In servers cores and I/O are more important than a bit better IPC. and when it comes to efficiency we already know that AMD can draw less power than Intel when comparing CPUs with the same core count. the CPUs also have good temps.

what intel is actually saying:
*somewhere in a backalley
Intel: We'll give you special "services" if you don't make any deals with AMD
man in suit: So... the same "deal" like in the past?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,559   +2,451
What is the typical length of time between server upgrades? With Intel owning 98% of the market, even if AMD's new chips are straight from God himself, they won't be losing much.... How many big companies are going to say, "oh, I need to spend thousands (or tens of thousands or millions, etc) just because there MIGHT be a better chip out there..."

AMD will need to establish themselves for a few years, minimum, before they become a viable alternative.
 

complexxL9

Posts: 68   +14
So far I've seen new server hardware presentations for upcoming year from emc/dell and cisco, no mention of AMD whatsoever.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,139   +2,752
TechSpot Elite
What is the typical length of time between server upgrades? With Intel owning 98% of the market, even if AMD's new chips are straight from God himself, they won't be losing much.... How many big companies are going to say, "oh, I need to spend thousands (or tens of thousands or millions, etc) just because there MIGHT be a better chip out there..."

AMD will need to establish themselves for a few years, minimum, before they become a viable alternative.
Smaller servers can get more rapid upgrades (3 years maybe?) Big servers can be a lot trickier to upgrade so they get used for longer periods of time.
But that's not to say that new servers are not being built on a daily basis. AMD needs to tap into that market which should be easier than appealing to companies that already invested a lot into Intel.
 

frostyshield

Posts: 87   +89
Here I was thinking people would realize intel has tech they didnt wanna release due to lackluster competition. Here comes the time when intel really shows us how good they are!
 

avioza

Posts: 237   +199
what intel is actually saying:
*somewhere in a backalley
Intel: We'll give you special "services" if you don't make any deals with AMD
man in suit: So... the same "deal" like in the past?
Sadly, it worked so well the first time that they probably wont even have to do this. I love AMD but that shifty Intel maneuvering in the early 2000's really shut some important doors that the 1.25 billion dollar settlement that resulted could never cover.
 
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amstech

Posts: 2,643   +1,805
Intel is balls deep in large scale business networking and architecture. They are also partners with large scale enterprise backup and storage solutions, as well as security/networking branches like Cisco. Many of these companies have been working together for over a decade.

AMD's Ryzen is good stuff but its too little, too late...atleast for now. It will take years for some places to even consider them, backbone infrastructure upgrading timetables are 3-5 years at minimum.
This isn't the same as your fanboy AMD buddy from school doing a new build and gloating about Ryzen's performance, some people will choose Intel based on reputation alone even if they are told a competitor is better/cheaper. Small business models like to pinch penny's but large scale enterprises could give a crap, they will dish out for the best and to them, that's Intel.

This has been AMD's issue for 10 years in both CPU and GPU segments. They make a solid competitor here and there but they don't do it consistently. Albeit right now they make good options for both but they need to maintain this sword and shield and stay on the battlefield longer.
 

erickmendes

Posts: 616   +273
Where I work, we upgrade servers every 2-3 years, they often are Dell blades. We avoided AMD based blades for the last 5 years because performance per core was really dismal when compared to Intel Xeons. Yes, reputation plays a key role here, but if AMD shows better performance for our workload, we probly will get Epyc server in the next upgrade cycle, it may not be all servers, but let say 40% of them. As someone said, it's still maturing, we may bet on new tech but won't put all eggs on the same basket.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,139   +2,752
TechSpot Elite
Where I work, we upgrade servers every 2-3 years, they often are Dell blades. We avoided AMD based blades for the last 5 years because performance per core was really dismal when compared to Intel Xeons. Yes, reputation plays a key role here, but if AMD shows better performance for our workload, we probly will get Epyc server in the next upgrade cycle, it may not be all servers, but let say 40% of them. As someone said, it's still maturing, we may bet on new tech but won't put all eggs on the same basket.
in general people wait at least 12 to 18 month before looking at new server platforms. it should give them time to iron out most of bugs and quirks and optimise applications. It makes such big investments easier and safer.
 

Kotters

Posts: 331   +225
Here I was thinking people would realize intel has tech they didnt wanna release due to lackluster competition. Here comes the time when intel really shows us how good they are!
Better hope their server response isn't as housefire as their HEDT response.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,079   +663
Where I work, we upgrade servers every 2-3 years, they often are Dell blades. We avoided AMD based blades for the last 5 years because performance per core was really dismal when compared to Intel Xeons. Yes, reputation plays a key role here, but if AMD shows better performance for our workload, we probly will get Epyc server in the next upgrade cycle, it may not be all servers, but let say 40% of them. As someone said, it's still maturing, we may bet on new tech but won't put all eggs on the same basket.
AMD also has to prove themselves. This is all on paper stuff. If you are risk averse which you should be in server farm infrastructure, do you take a marketing pamphlet's word on perf or do you wait and see what real world experience says about it?

I'm happy AMD is competing but I'm not going to go all-in on a press release.