Test Bed and Setup - Compiler Options

For the rest of our performance testing, we’re disclosing the details of the various test setups:

AMD - Dual EPYC 7763 / 75F3 / 7443 / 7343 / 72F3 

For today’s review in terms of now performance figure, we’re now using GIGABYTE’s new MZ72-HB0 rev.3.0 board as the primary test platform for the EPYC 7763, 75F3, 7443, 7343 and 72F3. The system is running under full default settings, meaning performance or power determinism as configured by AMD in their default SKU fuse settings.

CPU ​2x AMD EPYC 7763 (2.45-3.500 GHz, 64c, 256 MB L3, 280W) /
2x AMD EPYC 75F3 (3.20-4.000 GHz, 32c, 256 MB L3, 280W) /
2x AMD EPYC 7443 (2.85-4.000 GHz, 24c, 128 MB L3, 200W) /
2x AMD EPYC 7343 (3.20-3.900 GHz, 16c, 128 MB L3, 190W) /
2x AMD EPYC 72F3 (3.70-4.100 GHz, 8c, 256MB L3, 180W)
RAM 512 GB (16x32 GB) Micron DDR4-3200
Internal Disks Crucial MX300 1TB
Motherboard GIGABYTE MZ72-HB0 (rev. 3.0)
PSU EVGA 1600 T2 (1600W)

Software wise, we ran Ubuntu 20.10 images with the latest release 5.11 Linux kernel. Performance settings both on the OS as well on the BIOS were left to default settings, including such things as a regular Schedutil based frequency governor and the CPUs running performance determinism mode at their respective default TDPs unless otherwise indicated.

AMD - Dual EPYC 7713 / 7662

Due to not having access to the 7713 for this review, we’re picking up the older test numbers of the chip on AMD’s Daytona platform. We also tested the Rome EPYC 7662 – these latter didn’t exhibit any issues in terms of their power behaviour.

CPU 2x AMD EPYC 7713 (2.00-3.365 GHz, 64c, 256 MB L3, 225W) /
2x AMD EPYC 7662 (2.00-3.300 GHz, 64c, 256 MB L3, 225W)
RAM 512 GB (16x32 GB) Micron DDR4-3200
Internal Disks Varying
Motherboard Daytona reference board: S5BQ
PSU PWS-1200

AMD - Dual EPYC 7742

Our local AMD EPYC 7742 system, due to the aforementioned issues with the Daytona hardware, is running on a SuperMicro H11DSI Rev 2.0.

CPU ​2x AMD EPYC 7742 (2.25-3.4 GHz, 64c, 256 MB L3, 225W)
RAM 512 GB (16x32 GB) Micron DDR4-3200
Internal Disks Crucial MX300 1TB
Motherboard SuperMicro H11DSI0
PSU EVGA 1600 T2 (1600W)

As an operating system we’re using Ubuntu 20.10 with no further optimisations. In terms of BIOS settings we’re using complete defaults, including retaining the default 225W TDP of the EPYC 7742’s, as well as leaving further CPU configurables to auto, except of NPS settings where it’s we explicitly state the configuration in the results.

The system has all relevant security mitigations activated against speculative store bypass and Spectre variants.

Intel - Dual Xeon Platinum 8380

For our new Ice Lake test system based on the Whiskey Lake platform, we’re using Intel’s SDP (Software Development Platform 2SW3SIL4Q, featuring a 2-socket Intel server board (Coyote Pass).

The system is an airflow optimised 2U rack unit with otherwise little fanfare.

Our review setup solely includes the new Intel Xeon 8380 with 40 cores, 2.3GHz base clock, 3.0GHz all-core boost, and 3.4GHz peak single core boost. That’s unusual about this part as noted in the intro, it’s running at a default 205W TDP which is above what we’ve seen from previous generation non-specialised Intel SKUs.

CPU 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 (2.3-3.4 GHz, 40c, 60MB L3, 270W)
RAM 512 GB (16x32 GB) SK Hynix DDR4-3200
Internal Disks Intel SSD P5510 7.68TB
Motherboard Intel Coyote Pass (Server System S2W3SIL4Q)
PSU 2x Platinum 2100W

The system came with several SSDs including Optane SSD P5800X’s, however we ran our test suite on the P5510 – not that we’re I/O affected in our current benchmarks anyhow.

As per Intel guidance, we’re using the latest BIOS available with the 270 release microcode update.

Intel - Dual Xeon Platinum 8280

For the older Cascade Lake Intel system we’re also using a test-bench setup with the same SSD and OS image as on the EPYC 7742 system.

Because the Xeons only have 6-channel memory, their maximum capacity is limited to 384GB of the same Micron memory, running at a default 2933MHz to remain in-spec with the processor’s capabilities.

CPU 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8280  (2.7-4.0 GHz, 28c, 38.5MB L3, 205W)
RAM 384 GB (12x32 GB) Micron DDR4-3200 (Running at 2933MHz)
Internal Disks Crucial MX300 1TB
Motherboard ASRock EP2C621D12 WS
PSU EVGA 1600 T2 (1600W)

The Xeon system was similarly run on BIOS defaults on an ASRock EP2C621D12 WS with the latest firmware available.

Ampere "Mount Jade" - Dual Altra Q80-33

The Ampere Altra system we’re using the provided Mount Jade server as configured by Ampere. The system features 2 Altra Q80-33 processors within the Mount Jade DVT motherboard from Ampere.

In terms of memory, we’re using the bundled 16 DIMMs of 32GB of Samsung DDR4-3200 for a total of 512GB, 256GB per socket.

CPU ​2x Ampere Altra Q80-33 (3.3 GHz, 80c, 32 MB L3, 250W)
RAM 512 GB (16x32 GB) Samsung DDR4-3200
Internal Disks Samsung MZ-QLB960NE 960GB
Samsung MZ-1LB960NE 960GB
Motherboard Mount Jade DVT Reference Motherboard
PSU 2000W (94%)

The system came preinstalled with CentOS 8 and we continued usage of that OS. It’s to be noted that the server is naturally Arm SBSA compatible and thus you can run any kind of Linux distribution on it.

The only other note to make of the system is that the OS is running with 64KB pages rather than the usual 4KB pages – this either can be seen as a testing discrepancy or an advantage on the part of the Arm system given that the next page size step for x86 systems is 2MB – which isn’t feasible for general use-case testing and something deployments would have to decide to explicitly enable.

The system has all relevant security mitigations activated, including SSBS (Speculative Store Bypass Safe) against Spectre variants.

The system has all relevant security mitigations activated against the various vulnerabilities.

Compiler Setup

For compiled tests, we’re using the release version of GCC 10.2. The toolchain was compiled from scratch on both the x86 systems as well as the Altra system. We’re using shared binaries with the system’s libc libraries.

New Test Platform, New Mid & Low Core SKUs (EPYC 7443, 7343, 72F3) AMD Platform vs GIGABYTE: IO Power Overhead Gone
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  • Threska - Sunday, June 27, 2021 - link

    Seems the only thing blunted is the economics of throwing more hardware at the problem. Actual technical development has taken off because all the chip-makers have multiple customers across many domains. That's why Anandtech and others are able to have articles like they have.
  • tygrus - Sunday, June 27, 2021 - link

    Reminds me of the inn keeper from Les Miserables. Nice to your face with lots of good promises but then tries to squeeze more money out of the customer at every turn.
  • tygrus - Sunday, June 27, 2021 - link

    I was ofcourse referring to the SW not the CPU.
  • 130rne - Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - link

    What the hell did I just read? Just came across this, I had no idea the enterprise side was this fucked. They are scalping the ungodly dog shit out of their own customers. So you obviously can't duplicate their software in house meaning you're forced to use their software to be competitive, that seems to be the gist. So I buy a stronger cpu, usually a newer model, yeah? And it's more power efficient, and I restrict the software to a certain number of threads on those cpus, they'll just switch the pricing model because I have a better processor. This would incentivize me to buy cheaper processors with less threads, yeah? Buy only what I need.
  • 130rne - Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - link

    Continued- basically gimping my own business, do I have that right? Yes? Ok cool, just making sure.
  • eachus - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    There is a compelling use case that builders of military systems will be aware of. If you have an in-memory database and need real-time performance, this is your chip. Real-time doesn't mean really fast, it means that the performance of any command will finish within a specified time. So copy the database on initialization into the L3 cache, and assuming the process is handing the data to another computer for further processing, the data will stay in the cache. (Writes, of course, will go to main memory as well, but that's fine. You shouldn't be doing many writes, and again the time will be predictable--just longer.)

    I've been retired for over a decade now, so I don't have any knowledge of systems currently being developed.

    Who would use a system like this? A good example would be a radar recognition and countermeasures database. The fighter (or other aircraft) needs that data within milliseconds, microseconds is better.
  • hobbified - Thursday, August 19, 2021 - link

    At the time I was involved in that (~2010) it was per-core, with multiple cores on a package counting as "half a CPU" — that is, 1 core = 1CPU license, two 1-core packages = 2CPU license, one 2-core package = 1CPU license, 4 cores total = 2CPU license, etc.

    I'm told they do things in a completely different (but no less money-hungry) way these days.
  • lemurbutton - Friday, June 25, 2021 - link

    Can we get some metrics on $/performance as well as power/performance? I think the Altra part would be better value there.
  • schujj07 - Friday, June 25, 2021 - link

    "Database workloads are admittedly still AMD’s weakness here, but in every other scenario, it’s clear which is the better value proposition." I find this conclusion a bit odd. In MultiJVM max-jOPS the 2S 24c 7443 has ~70% the performance of the 2S 40c 8380 (SNC1 best result) despite having 60% the cores of the 8380. In the critical-jOPS the 7443's performance is between the 8380's SNC1 & SNC2 results despite the core disadvantage. To me that means that the DB performance of the Epyc isn't a weakness.

    I have personally run the SAP HANA PRD performance test on Epyc 7302's & 7401's. Both CPUs passed the SAP HANA PRD performance test requirements on ESXi 6.7 U3. However, I do not have scores from Intel based hosts for comparison of scores.
  • schujj07 - Friday, June 25, 2021 - link

    The DB conclusion also contradicts what I have read on other sites. https://www.servethehome.com/amd-epyc-7763-review-... Look at the MariaDB numbers for explanation of what is being analyzed. Their 32c Epyc &543p vs Xeon 6314U is also a nice core count vs core count comparison. https://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-gold-6314u... In that the Epyc is ~20%+ faster in Maria than the Xeon.

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