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AMD Targets HPC With Faster Epyc

May 5, 2020

Author: Linley Gwennap

AMD has introduced three new models in its Epyc processor line that demonstrate industry-leading per-core performance. The new F-series offers 8 to 24 CPUs, representing the lower end of AMD’s core counts, but it takes advantage of higher TDPs to boost clock speeds. Some models also provide more cache memory than previous ones. The new products, which are available immediately, target certain enterprise and high-performance-computing (HPC) applications that require maximum per-core throughput and aren’t cost sensitive.

The three F-series processors are the 24-core 7F72, the 16-core 7F52, and the 8-core 7F32. The 24- and 16-core parts carry a hefty 240W TDP, enabling base clock speeds of 3.2GHz and 3.5GHz, respectively. These speeds compare to 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz, respectively, for the standard-power 7402 and 7302, providing greater performance but lower power efficiency. Similarly, the 7F32 operates about 0.5GHz faster than the eight-core 7262. The extra performance is expensive, however, as the 7F32 costs $2,100, more than triple the 7262’s price.

The 7F72 and 7F52 also provide more level-three (L3) cache than standard models do. The 7F52 has 256MB, as much as the top-of-the-line 64-core parts, and the 7F72 has 192MB. The second-generation Epyc processor, code-named Rome, generally offers 128MB of cache for models with 32 cores or fewer; these models employ up to four CCD die. To enable the larger caches, the 7F52 includes the full complement of eight CCDs, disabling most of the 64 CPU cores while sharing the cache memory among the remainder. Similarly, the 7F72 has six CCDs but disables half of the cores. Disabling so many cores allows the remainder to consume more of the thermal budget, and it increases the cache memory per core, speeding programs with big data sets.

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