AMD's 32-core Zen-Based Naples Server SoC Hits Geekbench For A Test Run


Like everyone else, we're anxious to see for ourselves how AMD's forthcoming Zen architecture performs. Little by little we're getting glimpses of what to expect from Zen. AMD recently revealed more details about Zen and showed a demo of its 8-core, 16-thread "Summit Ridge" desktop processor outpacing a similarly configured 8-core, 16-thread Intel "Broadwell-E" setup with both chips clocked at 3GHz, and on the server side, AMD's 32-core "Naples" SoC just made an appearance on Geekbench.

What appears in Geekbench's database are single-core and multi-core scores for a dual socket platform labeled 2S1451A4VIHE4_29/14_N. Each of the Naples chips has 32 cores and 64 threads, for a grand total of 64 cores and 128 threads. They feature a 1.44GHz base clockspeed and 2.9GHz boost clockspeed.

AMD Naples Geekbench

It's important to note that these are engineering samples, which means potentially unfinished silicon that could have features missing or disabled. Same goes for the platform as a whole—the chips are plugged into a motherboard with the model name "AMD Corporation Diesel" with very early (and probably rough) drivers.

Caveats aside, the chips are aided by a generous 128GB of DDR4 memory. Each CPU complex also has 8MB of L3 cache, which points to 32-core variants sporting up to 64MB of L3 cache. The Naples setup scored 1,141 points in Geekbench 4's single-threaded performance tests and 15,620 in its multi-threaded tests. Bearing in mind that AMD likely has some seriously optimization to do before shipping final silicon, future scores could (and should) be higher.

Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X @ 2.9GHz, for reference only

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Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X stock speed, for reference only

Update 9/5/16 1:05PM EST: We've added Intel Broadwell-E 10-core Core i7-6950X test runs, with the latest version of GeekBench, here for reference. These scores were taken at the chip's default stock speed of 3GHz base with 3.5GHz Turbo and also at 2.9GHz multiplier locked across all cores, to show a clock-for-clock comparison. It's important to underscore the fact that we're looking at alleged performance metrics of AMD's 32-Core Zen implementation versus Intel's 10-core Core i7 processor here and that we're looking at one benchmark datapoint in an application that may or may not be able to take full advantage of AMD's Zen architecture with the current version of the test tool. The performance variance is stark to be sure, but you'll also recall the Blender test run AMD performed with Zen versus the same Intel CPU, where performance for Zen was shown as slightly faster than Broadwell-E, clock-for-clock.  

Either way it's going to be an interesting showdown in the server market, and one that's not too terribly far away. AMD is planning to launch Zen to the desktop first, followed by Naples SoCs rolling out to customers in the second quarter of next year.