AMD EPYC Rome 64-Core CPU Brings The Pain To Xeon Platinum In C-Ray Benchmark Demo

AMD Epyc Rome versus Intel Xeon
Competition is a good thing, and AMD sure is bringing it to Intel these days, and not just on the budget end of the spectrum. Zen has proven a capable architecture, and just as importantly, it's serving as a long-term foundation to compete with Intel across the board. The latest example of this is another demo AMD posted showing a single second-generation Epyc "Rome" CPU beating a pair of Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M CPUs in the C-Ray benchmark.

The Xeon Platinum 8180M is a beastly server chip. It has 28 physical cores and 56 threads to throw at workloads, and is clocked at 2.5GHz to 3.8GHz. The burly chip also boasts 38.5MB of L3 cache.

As for the Epyc processor, AMD did not share a whole lot of details, other to say it is a prototype 1P Rome platform. We do know it is a 64-core/128-thread processor, so even when combining the two top-shelf Xeon CPUs, the Rome CPU still flexes more cores and threads.

Obviously that presents an advantage, and we would expect the AMD chip to outperform the two Xeon processors, which it does. But what's impressive is that AMD crammed all of those cores and threads into a single socket while offering comparable performance per core. That is a big win in the server space, and it comes with certain advantages.

One of those advantages is highlighted in the video at around the 59-second mark when the group of AMD demonstrators comment on the noise output of the Intel system. "I hope the Intel box isn't getting too loud," Amit Mehra, principal member of technical staff at AMD, says to the group. Bob Hershberger, server system architect, then points out that the Intel system "is getting a little louder, which can be heard in the video.

The key here will be pricing. AMD's Epyc Rome processor is based on the company's 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture and is not yet out, but will be relatively soon. AMD is very much facing an uphill battle. A recent report from DRAMeXchange noted that AMD managed to capture just a 2 percent share of the x86 market with its first-gen Epyc processors, and is expected to bump that up to 5 percent in 2019.