AMD Launches EPYC 4004 Socket AM5 Server CPUs For Serious Business

amd epyc am5

It's hard to remember now, but the original AMD Ryzen processors topped out at "just" 8 cores. The Ryzen 3000 family came along in 2019 with the Ryzen 9 branding and the first sixteen-core desktop CPUs. Even in the enterprise market, 16 CPU cores can be overkill. However, you can't just go buying consumer PC hardware for serious business, as many IT departments will balk at buying and supporting consumer-class hardware. They want a validated platform with official support from server operating systems and major 3rd party software vendor certification as well as best in class reliability, fault tolerance and data integrity.

epyc1 4004

The solution? Well, AMD already sells processors that slot in beneath the EPYC and Threadripper lines—why not adapt those for the business market? Hence, meet the EPYC 4004 family, a set of Socket AM5 CPUs with EPYC branding. Make no mistake, the majority of these processors are going to look very familiar if you're acquainted with the Ryzen 7000 desktop CPU family.

epyc2 family

AMD lays out the whole EPYC family like this. At the top, you have your EPYC 9004 and 7003 chips that offer massive core counts (up to 128 cores per socket) for data centers, cloud and HPC. Then, for smaller deployments, edge compute, and telco infrastructure, you have the EPYC 8004 series. These parts have lower core counts and only support a one-socket configurations, but still offer much more performance than you'll find on Socket AM5.

epyc3 4004cpu

That includes the new EPYC 4004 parts, which are, again, fundamentally very similar to the extant Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs. AMD says that they have the "best performance per dollar and performance per watt", as well as the "lowest acquisition price" among server processors. Certainly an EPYC 4564P is going to be your cheapest route to a 16-core server CPU at just $699 USD.

epyc4 processors

This chart lays out all of the models, and as you can see, the range runs from the low-end EPYC 4124P with just four CPU cores all the way up to the mighty EPYC 4564P and its 170-watt TDP. Most of these chips are direct analogs for Socket AM5 Ryzen processors, like the EPYC 4244P which is a Ryzen 5 7600 in EPYC clothing, or the EPYC 4584PX, which is really a Ryzen 9 7950X3D.

epyc5 usecases

They're EPYCs, though, not Ryzens, and what that means is that they probably won't work in the majority of consumer Socket AM5 motherboards. It's possible for board vendors to support them with a BIOS update, but they'd be largely wasted in that use case, anyway. Instead, these parts are targeting specialized Socket AM5 motherboards meant for EPYC processors that include server features, like support for specialized RAID functions, baseboard management controllers (BMC), and as we noted above, server OSes.

epyc6 solutions

AMD says that it has products for the EPYC 4004 family coming from most of the familiar names, including Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock Rack, Tyan, Supermicro, and Acer's Altos division. These chips and their ecosystem are primarily targeted at small and medium businesses (SMB) as well as dedicated hosters who will appreciate the low cost of entry as well as the overall low total cost of ownership.

epyc7 moneyshot

There are many comparisons against Intel's Xeon E-2400 series CPUs in AMD's slide deck, but this one is the money shot: AMD claims a minimum of 60% performance advantage against Intel's Xeon E-2488 CPU, while the greatest advantage is 140% in a cryptographic workload. The 2488 is the highest-tier CPU in Intel's Xeon E family, with just 8 cores; it's not really fair to compare against a 16-core CPU, but then again, the 60% advantage above is actually eight cores versus eight cores.

amd epyc 4004 delidded

Naturally, AMD isn't going to be selling these processors directly to end users. You'll have to go through a server vendor if you want one, since they are real EPYC server processors, after all. They should be available today, so if you're keen on a Socket AM5 server, hit up your vendor of choice to see what's on offer.