AMD Reveals EPYC Turin Zen 5 Server CPUs with 384 Threads Per Socket

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It's midnight right now in your author's native Texas, but it's only 1:00 PM in Taiwan, and not long before, AMD wrapped up the opening keynote for this year's Computex Taipei. We've already covered numerous announcements made during the keynote, including the Ryzen 9000 desktop CPUs, the Ryzen AI 300 mobile processors, the Instinct MI325X datacenter compute accelerators, and the Radeon Pro W7900DS GPU. AMD briefed us beforehand on these announcements, but there was a big surprise during the show: EPYC "Turin".

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If you follow hardware leaks and rumors, you'll probably already know a bit about "Turin," as we've covered it pretty extensively. AMD really didn't provide a tremendous amount of details, but here are the salient points: up to 192 brand-new Zen 5 CPU cores—meaning 384 threads with SMT—in a single SP5 socket. It's backward compatible with boards for the EPYC "Genoa" series, and according to AMD, it's "the world's best data center CPU."

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AMD did supply us with a couple of benchmarks to back up that claim. First up is NAMD molecular dynamics simulation, where AMD says that its "Turin" processor with 128 cores is three times as fast as an Emerald Rapids Xeon Platinum 8529+ with 64 cores. That's a 350W processor, and while AMD hasn't revealed the power budget for "Turin", 192-core engineering samples have been spotted with a 500-watt power limit. Even still, getting 300% the performance out of 200% of the cores is still pretty good.

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The other benchmarks were AI-related, where AMD claims massive gains over the Xeon Platinum 8592+. In this case we're looking at 2P configurations for both EPYC and Xeon, and AMD claims that its system is as much as 5.4x faster than Intel's rig. We know that Zen 5 is twice as fast as Zen 4 when performing AVX operations, likely including AVX-VNNI neural network acceleration instructions. That should make EPYC CPUs very fast indeed at AI.

AMD didn't disclose this, but based on what we know from leaks, the 192-core variant of "Turin" may actually use twelve CCDs with sixteen Zen 5C "dense" cores each. Unlike the Zen 4C cores in EPYC "Bergamo", Zen 5C is thought to wrap all sixteen cores into a single CCD, which should radically improve multi-core throughput. However, the 128-core comparisons AMD is making above are probably using "Turin" processors with standard Zen 5 cores, as those are thought to top out at 128 cores.

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AMD says that it's currently sampling "Turin" to its partners, and that its "best" EPYC chips to date will be available in the second half of this year, but declined to give any more details than that. We'll have to wait for a future presentation—possibly Hot Chips in late August—to learn more about these monstrous microprocessors.