AMD EPYC Milan Zen 3 Server CPUs Could Be Up To 20% Faster Than Zen 2

AMD Epyc
With so much attention being paid to graphics card leaks as of late, it could be easy to forget that new CPUs are on the horizon, too. That would be a shame, because Zen 3 is arguably just as interesting, considering the gains AMD has already made with its Zen architecture up to this point. While we continue to wait for Zen 3, a new leaks suggests AMD's upcoming architecture will give its EPYC server CPUs a sizeable boost in performance compared to its current-generation EPYC processors.

We have heard quite a bit about Zen 3, most of which is unofficial information. Not all of it, however—AMD has made very clear (on multiple occasions) that Zen 3 will be arriving before the end of this year, and that includes consumer CPUs. We also know that Zen 3 is being built on an enhanced 7-nanometer manufacturing process, though more recently, AMD has stopped referring to its at 7nm+.

As far as AMD's efforts in the server space go, the folks at hardwareLUXX claim to have obtained slides detailing some of what to expect with AMD's next-generation EPYC "Milan" CPUs. They refrained from posting the actual slides, because apparently they contain identifying information as to the source of the leak.

That said, the slides purportedly showed a somewhat altered structure to the Core Compute Die (CCD) and Core Compute Complex (CCX), compared to EPYC "Rome" CPUs based on Zen 2. Whereas current generation parts consist of a pair of CCX clusters with the L3 cached split into two 16MB, Zen 3 shows a shared L3 cache arrangement (which remains at 32MB).

As to the performance uplift, the slides apparently reference a jump in overall IPC (instructions per clock) of 15 percent for integer workloads. The biggest gains are said to be had on 32-core/64-thread EPYC processors, which are said to perform 20 percent better compared to Rome. Interestingly, that's consistent with a previous rumor in regards to AMD's Zen 3 desktop CPUs.

Larger EPYC processors won't scale quite as high, though will still deliver a nice boost in performance, if the information is accurate. As in, 10-15 percent for a 64-core/128-thread EPYC processor, versus Rome. The reason it's different is because AMD can hit higher clocks on the lower-core models, to widen the performance gap. It seems the source is somewhat confusing IPC and per-model performance comparisons, so take all this with a grain of salt.

Looking even further ahead, AMD is already at work on its EPYC "Genoa" CPUs based on Zen 4, which will mark a shift from SP3 to the SP5 platform. Not a whole lot is known just yet, but those CPUs are expected to feature PCI Express 5.0 and DDR5 support.