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AMD Debuts EPYC Processor to Displace Intel Xeon in Data Centers

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted June 20, 2017


While AMD has long played second fiddle to its larger rival Intel, now the contender is rising up to the epic challenge of displacing Intel with its aptly-named EPYC datacenter processors.

The EPYC processors can use up to 32 of AMD's Zen computing cores, with up to two high-performance threads per core. The top-end EPYC processor is the 7601, with 32 cores, 64 threads, base frequency of 2.2 GHz and max boost CPU speed of 3.2 GHz.

The entry-level EPYC 7251 in contrast is an AMD EPYC8-core, 16-thread chip with a base frequency of 2.1 GHz.

In its product announcement, AMD took direct aim at the Intel Xeon E5-2660 v4, two-socket system, claiming that EPYC outperforms its rival.

"At every targeted price point for two-socket processors, EPYC outperforms the competition, with up to 70 percent more performance in the eight hundred dollar price band, and up to 47 percent more performance at the high end of the market of four thousand dollars or more," AMD claims.

A two-socket EPYC-based system can support up to 4 terabytes of memory capacity, using a maximum of 32 DIMMS of DDR4 RAM. Multiple server vendors are already set to support the AMD EPYC, including  HPE, Dell, Asus, Gigabyte, Inventec, Lenovo, Sugon, Supermicro, Tyan, and Wistron.

"Starting with the Cloudline CL3150 and expanding into other product lines later this year, the arrival of EPYC in HPE systems will be welcomed by customers who are eager to deploy the performance and innovation EPYC delivers," Antonio Neri, EVP and general manager Enterprise Group at HPE, said in a statement.

Dell EMC Eager to Deploy EPYC-Powered Servers

Dell EMC is also eager to deploy AMD EPYC powered servers. Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, president, server solutions division at Dell EMC, stated that the next generation of PowerEdge servers are designed to maximize business scalability and intelligent automation with integrated security.

"The combination of PowerEdge and the AMD EPYC performance and security capabilities will create unique compute solutions for our customers to accelerate workloads and protect their business." Gorakhpurwalla said.

Security is also a core integrated capability with EPYC, leveraging multiple AMD technologies to help ensure a secure root of trust that only allows trusted software to run. For virtualization use-cases, the AMD Secure Move Technology integrated with EPYC offers datacenter users the promise of secure virtual machine (VM) migration. The AMD Secure Run feature provides cryptographic isolation of data.

"EPYC processors offer uncompromising performance for single-socket systems while scaling dual-socket server performance to new heights, outperforming the competition at every price point," Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD, said in a statement. "We are proud to bring choice and innovation back to the datacenter with the strong support of our global ecosystem partners."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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