Focusing on the middle of the EPYC

Subject: Processors | November 16, 2017 - 04:38 PM |
Tagged: amd, EPYC, 7401P

AMD's new EPYC server chips range in price from around $4000 for the top end 32 core 7601 to around $500 for the 8 core 7251 with the $1000, 24 core EPYC 7401P sitting towards the middle of this family.  Phoronix have tested quite a few of these processors, today focusing on the aforementioned 7401P, testing it against several other EPYC processors as well as several Xeon E3 and E5 models as well as a Gold and a Silver.  To say that AMD showed up Intel in multithreaded performance is somewhat of an understatement as you can see in their benchmarks. Indeed in many cases you need around $5000 worth of Intel CPU to compete with the 7401P and even then Intel lags behind in many tests.  The only shortcoming of the 7401P is that it can only be run in single socket configurations, not that you necessarily need two of these chips!

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"We've been looking at the interesting AMD EPYC server processors recently from the high-end EPYC 7601 to the cheapest EPYC 7251 at under $500 as well as the EPYC 7351P that offers 16 cores / 32 threads for only about $750. The latest EPYC processor for testing at Phoronix has been the EPYC 7401P, a 24 core / 48 thread part that is slated to retail for around $1075 USD."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:


Source: Phoronix

November 16, 2017 | 06:06 PM - Posted by NowOnToTheSP3MotherboardTesting (not verified)

Yes the 7401P(24 core) is a nice deal at just $76 more than the Threadripper 1950x(16 core) CPU. But I'm more interested in seeing Phoronix get a review sample of the Gigibyte MZ31-AR0 Epyc/SP3 single socket motherboard instead of the Tyan.

That Gigabyte Epyc/SP3 single socket(1) motherboard needs to be tested as it's more of a workstation/graphics oriented SKU with 4 full 16 lane PCIe x16 slots and 1, 8 PCIe lane 16x slot, and 2, 8 lane PCIe x8 slots. The Gigabyte motherboard also supports 2, 10Gb enternet ports and 1, 1Gb ethernet port and some other nice extras.

Now that Phoronix has tested most of the Epyc CPU SKUs I hope Phoronix can keep the Epyc CPU samples around for a while and start testing Epyc single and dual socket motherboards because. That Tyan server rack focused motherboard has fewer x16 slots than the Gigabyte motherboard and the Gigabyte MB is currently to be the best deal for multi-GPU support for more workstation graphics kinds of intensive workloads than the pure server rack oriented motherboards that Phoronix and ServeTheHome are using to test the Epyc CPU SKU's on.

Just don't ask Micheal over at Phoronix to do any direct Threadripper to to Epyc comparsions as the review sample terms from AMD restrict any direct Threadripper to Epyc comparsions.


"Gigabyte MZ31-AR0 (rev. 1.0) AMD EPYC™ SP3 motherboard"

November 16, 2017 | 11:59 PM - Posted by Tyan (not verified)

You haven't seen the coverage from SC17 this week. We are showing the 6-GPU box at the AMD booth among other things.

November 17, 2017 | 12:59 AM - Posted by James

The Threadripper 1950x is 3.4/4.0/4.2 GHz base/boost/xfr clock speeds at 16 core/32 threads and 32 MB L3. The Epyc 7401P is 2.0/2.8/3.0 GHz at 24 core/48 threads and 64 MB L3. You also get double the number of memory channels with Epyc. That is a big difference in clock speed though. Also you get only 3 cores in 8 CCXs with the Epyc and 4 cores in 4 CCX with Threadripper. I would love to have an Epyc for work. For home, I probably don’t really do anything that can even take full advantage of a Threadripper, so the higher clock speed would be much better for home use.

November 20, 2017 | 06:36 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

The Epyc 7401P puts you ahead and behind.

First the 'Bad?' points: You pay extra for the MB and ECC Memory, but that buys you features (but not LED, OC, or Gamer tweaks).

The 'good?' is those extra Cores are Linux friendly and with enough Cores the Clock evens out fairly well.

There's also the 7551P for twice the cost of a Threadripper, which proportionality decreases the cost of the MB and Memory.

You not only get twice the PCIe Lanes but double the Cache, Cores, and Memory Slots (so you can have more Memory or lower cost Sticks) - cores*clocks > Threadripper, along with the Cache (and a few useful additional CPU Instructions).

But you could buy the $400 Epyc and next year throw it out and replace it with the 7nm Eypc (which MIGHT have double Cores and Clocks and be a bit cheaper than the current lineup).

If you're playing old games then neither TR nor Epyc is for you. If you're LiveStreaming the newest games and have a VOIP overlay in the corner you'll be able to use at least 10 of the Cores on that alone, nothing in the background is going to popup and spoil your day.

For the average person Ryzen is good enough. Threadripper seems to have the most narrowly defined use which IF you were serious about those things double everything is much better (and for only 2x the cost).

November 21, 2017 | 11:43 AM - Posted by DoSomeProperCostBenifitAnalysisMathBeforePosting (not verified)

If you do a proper cost benefit analysis of that Gigabyte MZ31-AR0 single core Epyc/socket SP3 motherboard that has been retailing on NewEgg for around $610-649 then on a total motherboard cost per PCIe lane metric the Gigabyte/SP3 MB's total pirce $610/128 PCIe lanes comes in less per PCIe lane than a Threadripper MB costing around $389 at the threadripper MB price of $389/64 PCIe lanes. Ditto for the motherboard's price divided by the number of memory channels with the TR/X399 MB having only 4 memory channels and the Epyc/SP3 motherboards offering 8 memory channels.

Those Epyc/SP3 MB's 8 memory channels(2 DIMM slots per channel) can still be populated with 16, 4GB DIMMs at a lower cost and still provide 64GB of total memory while on the 4 memory channels(2 DIMM slots per channel) on the TR/X399 MB 8 slots will have to be populated with more costly 8GB DIMMS at 8 DIMMS costing more pre DIMM.

ECC memory in 4GB sizes is much lower cost per DIMM than 8GB ECC DIMMs, and ditto for systems where say the user needs 128GB of memory and the memory population options for an 8 memory channel SP3 motherboard can be better than any 4 memory channel motherboard can offer with the user able to purchase 4GB DIMMS at lower cost but still be able to get 64GB(using 4GB DIMMS) of total system memory on an 8 memory channel(2 DIMM slots per channel) capable motherboard like the Epyc/SP3 MB SKUs.

The Gigabyte(1) MZ31-AR0 also offers dual 10Gb ethernet ports, a single 1GB ethernet port, and on board system management processor(Aspeed AST2500 remote management controller) and some specilized GPU to GPU peer to peer communuiacton features not found in consumer boards. The Gigabyte comes with full ECC memory certified/validated support and all there workstation parts usually get 3+ year warrienties for CPUs and MBs.

One other thing of interest is that the dual socket motherboards are only costing in the $550-$650 range and the EPYC 7281 CPU only costs $650 so 2 Epyc 7281's will cost $1300 and the dual socket motherboards support 16 memory channels/8 channels per socket.

The reason the Gigabyte Epyc/SP3 single socket MB costs in the $610-649 range is all the x16/16 lanes and x16/8 lanes PCIe slots and the dual 10Gb ethernet ports and the Gigabyte single socket MB is really best for a graphics workstation system usage with its complement of PCIe x16 slots.

The Epyc/SP3 motherboars may cost more but the 8 memory channels and 128 PCIe lanes can on a per memory channel/Per PCIe lane cost bases actually come in cost less per memory channel/PCIe lane than the Threadripper/X399 MBs with their only 4 memory channels and 64 PCIe lanes.

"Gigabyte MZ31-AR0(rev. 1.0)"

November 21, 2017 | 12:06 PM - Posted by DoSomeProperCostBenifitAnalysisMathBeforePosting (not verified)

P.S. EPYC 7281 CPU(1) is a 16 core/32 thread part so 2 7281s will provide 32 cores and 64 threads total for $1300 and on a dual socket Epyc/SP3 motherboard that offers 16 memory channels at usually one DIMM per Channel for the lower cost dual socket SP3 server MBs.

Having one DIMM per channel has some better memory clocking potential for using the highet rated MB memory clock speed available and other benifits for using single rank DIMMs that are of the lower cost unbuffered/unregistered ECC DIMM variety that are the lowest cost ECC memory available. Having 16 total memory channels available on a MB can give the user some great memory populating options for useing that lower cost ECC DIMMs that offer the lowest costs.

There are other lower cost dual socket Epyc/socket SP3 CPU parts and this anandtech article goes into great detail on Epyc vs Xeon/Skylake-SP

(1)[See page 3 titled: "AMD’s EPYC 7000-Series Processors" for a feature/MSRP price listing on the Epyc 2P and 1P parts]

"Sizing Up Servers: Intel's Skylake-SP Xeon versus AMD's EPYC 7000 - The Server CPU Battle of the Decade?"

November 23, 2017 | 01:48 AM - Posted by YouShouldReadTwice_RatherThanPostingTwice_RegurgitatingTheOP (not verified)

How did your parents come up with such a fitting name?

December 12, 2017 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Betro (not verified)

Does anyone have any clue, why the Single CPU motherboards costs the same as the Dual CPU? Why would anyone would want to spend the same amount of money to a single CPU MB when you get two for the same buck?

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