Pricing Comparison: AMD versus Intel

We are all hoping that the renewed competition between Intel and AMD results in more bang for the buck. Intel just launched about 50 SKUs, so we made a list of those that will go head-to-head with AMD's already announced EPYC SKUs. On average, the Intel SKUs will priced slightly higher, reflecting the fact that Intel believes buyers are willing to pay a bit more for the vendor with the better track record. 

AMD EPYC Processors (2P) Intel Xeon Processoors (2-8P)
AMD EPYC
SKU
Cores
 
Freq
(GHz)
Base-Max
Price  Intel Xeon
SKU
Cores Freq 
(GHz)
Base-Max
Price
        Xeon 8180 (205W) 28 2.5-3.8 $10009
        Xeon 8176M (165W) 28 2.1-3.8 $11722
        Xeon 8176 (165W) 28 2.1-3.8 $8719
EPYC 7601
(180W)
32  2.2 -3.2 $4200 Xeon 8160 (150W) 24 2.1-3.7 $4702
EPYC 7551
(180W)
32 2.0-3.0 >$3400 Xeon 6152 (140W) 22 2.1-3.7 $3655
EPYC 7501 (155/170W) 32 2.0-3.0 $3400 Xeon 6150 (165W) 18 2.7-3.4 $3358
EPYC 7451
(180W)
24 2.3-3.2 >$2400 Xeon 6140 (165W) 18 2.3-3.7 $2445
EPYC 7401 (155/170W) 24 2.0-3.0 $1850 Xeon 6130 (125W) 16 2.1-3.7 $1894
        Xeon 5120 (105W) 14 2.2-3.2 $1555
EPYC 7351 (155/170W) 16 2.4-2.9 >$1100 Xeon 5118 (105W) 12 2.3-3.2 $1221
EPYC 7301 (155/170W) 16 2.2-2.7 >$800 Xeon 4116
(85W)
12 2.1-3.0 $1002
EPYC 7281 (155/170W) 16 2.1-2.7 $650 Xeon 4114
(85W)
10 2.2-3.0 $694
EPYC 7251
(120W)
2.1-2.9 $475 Xeon 4110
(85W)
8 2.1-3.0 $501

Several trends pop up as we look at the table above. 

First of foremost, those 24-28 core CPUs are a wonder of modern multicore CPU architecture, but you sure have to pay a lot of money for them. This is especially the case for the SKUs that can support 1.5 TB per socket. Of course if you can afford SAP Hana, you can afford $10k CPUs (or so the theory goes).

Still, if we compare the new high-end Skylake-EP SKUs with the previous 22-core Xeon E5-2699 v4 ($4199), paying twice as much for a 28-core chip just because it can be used in 8 socket configuration is bad news for those of us who need a very fast 2 socket system. In fact, it is almost as Intel has no competition: we only get a little more performance for the same price. For example you can get a Xeon 6148 (20 cores at 2.4 GHz, 150W TDP) for $3072, while you had to pay $3228 last generation for a Xeon E5-2698 v4 (20 cores at 2.2 GHz, 135W). The latter had smaller L2-caches but a much larger L3-cache (45 MB vs 27.5 MB). We're still not getting big steps forward on a performance-per-dollar basis, a similar problem we had with the launch of the Xeon E5 v4 last year. 

Hopefully, AMD's EPYC can put some pressure on Intel, if not exceed the 800lb gorilla entirely. AMD typically offers many more cores for the same price. At the high end, AMD offers up to 10 more cores than the similar Xeon: compare the EPYC 7551 with the Intel Xeon 6152.

On the other hand, Intel offers lower TDPs and higher turbo clocks. The 16-core EPYC CPUs in particular seem to have remarkably high TDPs compared to similar Intel SKUs. Those 16-cores look even worse as, despite the lower core count and high TDP, the turbo clock is lower than 3 GHz. 

In a nutshell: looking at the current lineups we want lower prices from Intel, and more attractive mid-range SKUs from AMD. 

AMD EPYC Processors (1P)
  Cores
Threads
Frequency (GHz) TDP Price
EPYC 7551P 32 / 64 2.0 -3.0 180W $2100
EPYC 7401P 24 / 48 2.0-3.0 155W/170W $1075
EPYC 7351P 16 / 32 2.4-2.9 155W/170W $750

Finally, AMD's single-socket SKUs – identified by a P suffix – are by far the most interesting to us and the most dangerous to Intel. It will be interesting to see how well two 12-core Xeon 5118s can compete with one EPYC 7551P. The clocks are similar, but AMD has 8 extra cores, a less complex server board, much more PCIe bandwidth, and a lower TDP.  AMD should have serious cost advantage on paper. We hope to check that in a later review.

Intel Expanding the Chipset: 10 GigE & QuickAssist Testing Notes & Benchmark Configuration
POST A COMMENT

219 Comments

View All Comments

  • JKflipflop98 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    For years I thought you were just really committed to playing the "dumb AMD fanbot" schtick for laughs. It's infinitely more funny now that I know you've actually been *serious* this entire time. Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Whatever helps you feel better about yourself ;) I bet it is funny now, that AT have to carefully devise intel biased benches and lie in its reviews in hopes intel at least saves face. BTW I don't have a single amd CPU running ATM. Reply
  • WinterCharm - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    Uh, what are you smoking? this is a pretty even piece. Reply
  • boozed - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - link

    You haven't done your job properly unless you've annoyed the fanboys (and perhaps even fangirls) for both sides! Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Wise words. Indeed :-) Reply
  • Ranger1065 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    If you are referring to ddriver, I agree, wise words indeed. Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Well, that assumption rests on the presumption that the point of reviews is to upsed fanboys.

    I'd say that a "review done right" would include different workload scenarios, there is nothing wrong with having one that will show the benefits of intel's approach to doing server chips, but that should be properly denoted, and should be just one of several database tests and should be accompanied by gigabytes of databases which is what we use in real world scenarios.
    Reply
  • CoachAub - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    It was mentioned more than once that this review was rushed to make a deadline and that the suite of benchmarks were not everything they wanted to run and without optimizations or even the usual tweaks an end-user would make to their system. So, keep that in mind as you argue over the tests and different scenarios, etc. Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, July 13, 2017 - link

    It doesn't take a lot of time to populate a larger database so that you can make a benchmark that involves an actual real world usage scenario. It wasn't the "rushing" that prompted the choice of database size... Reply
  • mpbello - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    If you are rushing, you reduce scope and deliver fewer pieces with high quality instead of insisting on delivering a full set of benchmarks that you are not sure about its quality.
    The article came to a very strong conclusion: Intel is better for database scenarios. Whatever you do, whether you are rushing or not, you cannot state something like that if the benchmarks supporting your conclusion are not well designed.
    So I agree that the design of the DB benchmark was incredibly weak to sustain such an important conclusion that Intel is the best choice for DB applications.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now