Rome CPUs: Core Counts and Frequencies

There has been little doubt that on paper Rome and the EPYC 7002 family will be a competitive product compared to Intel's Xeon Scalable when it comes to performance or performance per watt. As always, it comes down to paring which part offers the right competition. With Rome, AMD is once again attacking performance per dollar, as well as peak performance and performance per watt. 

EPYC 7000 nomenclature

The naming of the CPUs is kept consistent with the previous generation.

  • EPYC = Brand
  • = 7000 Series
  • 25-74 = Dual Digit Number indicative of stack positioning / performance (non-linear)
  • 1/2 = Generation
  • P = Single Socket, not present in Dual Socket

AMD is introducing 19 total CPUs to the Rome family, 13 of which are aimed at the dual socket market. All CPUs have 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes available for add-in cards, and all CPUs support up to 4 TiB of DDR4-3200.

AMD EPYC 7001 & 7002 Processors (2P)
  Cores
Threads
Frequency (GHz) L3* TDP Price
Base Max
EPYC 7742 64 / 128 2.25 3.40 256 MB 225 W $6950
EPYC 7702 64 / 128 2.00 3.35 256 MB 200 W $6450
EPYC 7642 48 / 96 2.30 3.20 256 MB 225 W $4775
EPYC 7552 48 / 96 2.20 3.30 192 MB 200 W $4025
EPYC 7542 32 / 64 2.90 3.40 128 MB 225 W $3400
EPYC 7502 32 / 64 2.50 3.35 128 MB 200 W $2600
EPYC 7452 32 / 64 2.35 3.35 128 MB 155 W $2025
EPYC 7402 24 / 48 2.80 3.35 128 MB 155 W $1783
EPYC 7352 24 / 48 2.30 3.20 128 MB 180 W $1350
EPYC 7302 16 / 32 3.00 3.30 128 MB 155 W $978
EPYC 7282 16 / 32 2.80 3.20 64 MB 120 W $650
EPYC 7272 12 / 24 2.90 3.20 64 MB 155 W $625
EPYC 7262 8 / 16 3.20 3.40 128 MB 120 W $575
EPYC 7252 8 / 16 3.10 3.20 64 MB 120 W $475
Select EPYC 7001 Naples CPUs
EPYC 7601 32 / 64 2.20 3.20 64 MB 180 W $4200
EPYC 7551 32 / 64 2.00 3.00 64 MB 180 W >$3400
EPYC 7501 32 / 64 2.00 3.00 64 MB 155 W $3400
EPYC 7451 24 / 48 2.30 3.20 64 MB 180 W $2400
EPYC 7371 16 / 32 3.10 3.80 64 MB 200 W $1550
EPYC 7251 8 / 16 2.10 2.90 32 MB 120 W $475
Special CPUs worth noting listed in bold
* We are awaiting full L3 cache information

The top part is the EPYC 7742, which is the CPU we were provided for in this comparison. It is the most expensive non-custom AMD CPU ever. We will discuss whether the price is a bargain or suitable after we have done some benchmarking. 

But one thing is for sure: AMD is definitely improving the performance per dollar. The real star is the 7502, as it offers 32 Zen2 cores at 2.50/3.35 GHz for $2600. This means that you get higher clocks, better cores, twice the L3, and just as much cores as the 7601 had - in other words, the 7502 is better in every way, but compared to the 7601 it comes with an impressive 40% discount ($2600 vs $4200). 

There is more to it. Unlike Intel's market segmentation strategy, which makes the life of enterprise infrastructure people more complicated than it should be, AMD does not blow fuses on cheaper SKUs to create artificial 'value' for buying more expensive SKUs. The cheapest 8-core 7252 has all 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, it supports up to 4 TB per socket, it has infinity fabric at the same speed, and includes all virtualization and security features as the best product.

Comparison to Intel

In the table below we have done a base example comparison with some of Intel's SKU list. Given that Intel is dominant in the market, prospective buyers must get a significant price bonus or significantly lower TCO before they switch to AMD.  

Intel Second Gen Xeon Scalable 
(Cascade Lake)
AMD Second Gen EPYC
("Rome")
  Cores Freq TDP
(W)
Price AMD Cores Freq TDP Price
Xeon Platinum 8200 Rome
8280 M 28 2.7/4.0 205 $13012 7742 64 2.25/3.40 225 $6950
8280   28 2.7/4.0 205 $10009          
8276 M 28 2.2/4.0 165 $11722 7742 64 2.25/3.40 225 $6950
8270   26 2.7/4.0 205 $7405          
8268   24 2.9/3.9 205 $6302          
8260 M 24 2.4/3.9 165 $7705 7702 64 2.00/3.35 225 $6450
8260   24 2.4/3.9 165 $4702 7552 48 2.20/3.50 200 $4025
8253   16 2.2/3.0 165 $3115 7502 32 2.50/3.35 200 $2600
Xeon Gold 6200 Rome
6252   24 2.1/3.7 150 $3665          
6248   20 2.5/3.9 150 $3072          
6242   16 2.8/3.9 150 $2529 7452 32 2.35/3.35 155 $2025
6238   22 2.1/3.7 140 $2612 7402 24 2.80/3.35 155 $1783
6226   12 2.8/3.7 125 $1776          
Xeon Silver 4200 Rome
4216   16 2.1/3.2 100 $1002 7282 16 2.80/3.20 120 $625
4214   2x12 2.2/3.2 2x85 2x$694 7402P 24 2.80/3.35 180 $1250

In our comparison, we've also ignored the fact that AMD supports up to 4 TB per socket and has 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, which it beats Intel on both fronts. While the number of people that will buy 256 GB DIMMs is minimal at best, within the error margin of the market, to us it is simply is ridiculous that Intel expect enterprise users to cough up another few thousand dollars per CPU for a model that supports 2 TB, while you get that for free from AMD. 

Going on paper, especially in the high-end, Intel is completely outclassed. A 28-core Xeon 8276M has a list price of ~$12k, while AMD charges "only" $7k for more than twice as many cores. The only advantage Intel keeps is a slightly higher single threaded clock (4 GHz) and AVX-512 support. You could argue that the TDP is lower, but that has to be measured, and frankly there is a good chance that one 64 core (at 2.25-3.2 GHz) is able to keep with two Intel Xeon 8276 (2x28 cores at 2.2-2.8 GHz), while offering much lower power consumption (single socket board vs dual board, 225W vs 2x165W).  

AMD is even more generous in the mid-range. The EPYC 7552 offers twice the amout of cores at higher clocks than the Xeon Platinum 8260, which is arguably one of the more popular Xeon Platinum CPUs. The same is true for the EPYC 7452, which still costs less than the Xeon Gold 6242.  It is only at the very low end, that the diffences get smaller. 

Single Socket

For single socket systems, AMD will offer the following five processors below. These processors mirror the specifications of the 2P counterparts, but have a P in the name and slightly different pricing.

AMD EPYC Processors (1P)
  Cores
Threads
Frequency (GHz) L3 TDP Price
Base Max
EPYC 7702P 64 / 128 2.00 3.35 256 MB 200 W $4425
EPYC 7502P 32 / 64 2.50 3.35 128 MB 200 W $2300
EPYC 7402P 24 / 48 2.80 3.35 128 MB 200 W $1250
EPYC 7302P 16 / 32 3.00 3.30 128 MB 155 W* $825
EPYC 7232P 8 / 16 3.10 3.20 32 MB 120 W $450
*170W TDP mode also available

This table makes also clear how much extra frequency AMD extracted out of the 7 nm TSMC process. The sixteen core EPYC 7302P runs at 3.0 GHz with all cores, while the EPYC 7351 was limited to 2.4 GHz at the same 155W TDP.

Again, the EPYC 7502P looks like one of the best deals of the server CPU market. This SKU can offer a lot of advantages compared to the current dual socket servers.  If offers very potent single thread performance (3.35 GHz boost) and a very high 2.5 GHz when all cores are used, even when running AVX2 code. Secondly, a single socket server has a lower BOM and has lower power consumption (200W) compared to a dual 16-core system. Lastly, it supports up to 1-2 TB realistically (64-128 GB DIMMs) and has ample I/O bandwidth with 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes.  

Rome and PCIe 4.0 Benchmark Configuration and Methodology
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  • negusp - Wednesday, August 07, 2019 - link

    hard F in the chat for intel Reply
  • pancakes - Wednesday, August 07, 2019 - link

    F in chat for wallets of people running Windows server Reply
  • azfacea - Wednesday, August 07, 2019 - link

    windows server in 2019 LUL Reply
  • diehardmacfan - Wednesday, August 07, 2019 - link

    on-prem Windows Server is probably at an all time high in 2019? Reply
  • azfacea - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    desperate for a comeback huh? cool hold your 10% tight and gloat about upcoming bfloat16 Reply
  • diehardmacfan - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    Sorry, who is desperate for a comeback? Bring up a floating point format when called out on the ridiculous notion that Windows Server isn't still a large part of the marketplace? say wha Reply
  • mkaibear - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    Just hopping in to say that I am an IT manager for a major employer in the UK and of our 1800 servers more than 80% of them are Windows... this is not a trend which I see changing any time soon. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    Many smaller IT depts in smaller companies use Windows because of familiarity for desktop support such as Active Directory for domains, but none of major critical data center centric, HPC, military, infrastructure are running Windows. Most especially not with EPYC since the Windows scheduler is broken. Reply
  • Manch - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    NPZ, You may be speaking for your bubble, but not for the rest. Reply
  • blaktron - Thursday, August 08, 2019 - link

    this is 100% false. I do infrastructure consulting for 9 figure companies and they are all primarily windows in their corporate infrastructure. all of them. the only linux you will find in the Fortune 50 is legacy applications and web presentation layer. There are exceptions, but that's true enough to form a rule. Reply

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