One of the many questions about AMD’s EPYC processor line related to AMD’s ability to reengage with OEMs since the Bulldozer era. Recent announcements from Microsoft Azure and Baidu have shown that at least two of the Super 7 cloud providers are on board, and today’s announcement brings Dell PowerEdge servers, powered by EPYC, into the mix.

Dell is launching three variants of the PowerEdge 14G line:

Dell PowerEdge 14G with EPYC
  PowerEdge
R6415
PowerEdge
R7415
PowerEdge
R7425
Size 1U 2U 2U
Sockets 1 1 2
CPUs Up to EPYC 7601
32 Core / 64 Threads
Up to 2x EPYC 7601
64 Core / 128 Threads
DRAM < 2TB DDR4 LRDIMMs
< 1TB DDR4 RDIMMs
< 4TB DDR4 LRDIMMs
< 2TB DDR4 RDIMMs
NVMe Drives 10 Total
8 Front Panel
24 Total
24 Front Panel
24 Total
24 Front Panel
PCIe Lanes 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16
1 x PCIe 3.0 x8
6 x PCIe 3.0 x16
(up to 8 slots total)
GPU Support ? ? 3 x Dual Width
PSUs Platinum 550W
Bronze 450W
Titanium 750W
Platinum 495W
Platinum 750W
Platinum 1600W
Titanium 750W
Platinum 495W
Platinum 750W
Platinum 1100W
Platinum 1600W
Platinum 2000W
Storage Controllers PERC H330
PERC H370p
PERC H390p
PERC HBA330
PERC 9/10
PERC H330
PERC H370p
PERC H390p
PERC HBA330
PERC 9/10
PERC H330
PERC H370p
PERC H390p
PERC HBA330
PERC 9/10
Networking 2 x 1GbE or
2 x 10GbE or
2 x 10GbE SFP+
2 x 1GbE or
2 x 10GbE or
2 x 10GbE SFP+
4x1GbE + 2x10GbE
2x1GbE + 4x10GbE
2 x 25GbE

Users that have dealt with PowerEdge configurations will be used to the offerings: a single socket system focused on storage (R6415), a single socket system with more storage (R7415), and a dual socket system combining storage and graphics (R7425). All the systems support optional front and rear ports, including networking (dual 1GbE, dual 10GbE, or dual 10GbE SFP+), Dell’s OpenManage platform, and a series of PERC controllers.

As new EPYC based servers enter the market, it is always interesting to see how OEMs are implementing the different features. This applies not only to how OEMs will route 128 PCIe lanes, but also if further expansion is needed. In the case of the R7425, Dell is using a PCIe switch in order to provide sufficient lanes for the 24 NVMe drives while also providing up to eight PCIe slots for 64 lanes. This R7425 we were told can support three double width GPUs, however it was not divulged how these GPUs are connected – if all three are on one of the two CPUs, or it happens to be split. There are many ways to design the PCIe front-end of a server like this, and there are usually trade-offs.

If there is one thing to say about AMD’s server team, it is that they love to spread news about design wins when they can. Despite this announcement being about Dell’s latest line of PowerEdge 14G servers, it was AMD who got in touch to discuss the news from their perspective. Ultimately launches like this are building on EPYC being accepted by the bigger server providers, and feed into AMD’s narrative of working closer with OEMs through 2018.

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  • Tewt - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    Yeaahhh, I follow AMD closely and am curious how well the EPYC line will do. They've executed their consumer line well so now I want to see how they do with businesses. There are usually much more informed people here that I like to learn from. Unfortunately, I have to get past ignorant comments first. Reply
  • richough3 - Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - link

    I believe Microsoft makes you buy a minimum of an 8 core license per processor and a minimum of 16 cores per server for Server 2016, so you can feel okay going with a higher core server than trying to stick with a dual core or quad core server. And remember, this is core count total, not thread total.

    I think AMD loss a lot of face with their Opteron processors based on the Bulldozer architecture but their new Zen architecture shows a lot of promise. It will still take AMD a while to build that trust back up fully, but they are definitely headed in the right direction.
    Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    I can't comment on Microsoft licensing because I don't know anything about Server 2016, but I can comment on *nix and x86, working in the big iron industry. I would say big iron, big storage arrays and HPC is completely dominated by Linux and what sliver of Solaris remains (few customers, but they're all very big). AMD looks very promising now with Zen (and Zen+/Zen 2) and companies like Dell and Supermicro and HP that have not been interested before now are major players because of finally competitive performance with Intel Xeons and more importantly, massive I/O and core count. Reply
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    Its the same for the intel solutions BTW, as you can buy also 28cores there, the only difference is that for those cpu you will pay 3* the price of the amd 32 core version. So I wonder how well your boss is educated on technolgie and not just the usual old school IT guy. Sure those Intel are faster from a cpu cycle perf but not by such a margin like it used to be. THe Epyc are way more close to the skylake perf then before and they are a bunch cheaper once you up the core count. If you have to watch prices you better look at the 16core variants, MS license has that core count as baseline. But then again every server needs to be licensed so there is a tradeoff and you better calculate the real total cost. You are still better off price wise with 2*24 or 2*32 then doubling servers. connection costs - service cost - base hw cost etc vs sw lics. Indeed it is a stupid licensing schema, they are going the oracle way.... Reply
  • ilt24 - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    If you wanted a Windows Datacenter license for a dual socket, EPYC 7061 (32 core), you would buy:
    1 x Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Base License (24 Core)
    2 x Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Additional Core License (16 core)
    2 x Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Additional Core License (4 core)

    For a dual socket server with a Xeon 8180 (28 core) you would not have to buy the pair of 4 core additional core licenses, that would save you about $1400.

    However that extra $1400, as mentioned by duploxxx, is dwarfed by the premium Intel charges for it's Xeon's vs. what AMD charges for it's EPYC processors.
    Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    Dunno, but I get the distinct impression MS would bend over backwards to avoid a monopoly in the cpu market. If a pricing scheme penalises amd unduly, it can be changed. Reply
  • Threska - Saturday, February 10, 2018 - link

    Don't know why? They get their pound of flesh no matter who's CPU gets used. The real reason the server space is getting rejiggered is MELTDOWN which impacted the cloud a lot more than it did individuals, showing the dangers of a monopoly for something so critical. Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - link

    Re amdS credibility problem with server partners from the brief popularity of opteron?, this is different.

    It is the modular processor architecture which yields their killer edge. Intel didn't see it coming and will have no response for years.
    Reply
  • Tewt - Friday, February 09, 2018 - link

    I hope this is true. 99% server marketshare doesn't even give the appearance of competition but rather a monopoly as far as I'm concerned. AMD needs a good 3+ years of solid financials, not just a quarter here or there as they have been getting for the past few years. Hopefully they can keep Intel shenanigans(i.e. paying vendors NOT to sell AMD products) away from true competition. Reply

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