AMD Targets Intel's Xeon Line With Epyc Server Processor That Offers Up To 32 'Zen' Cores

First came the Ryzen aimed at Intel's Core in the consumer market. Now comes AMD's Epyc processor targeted at the Xeon line in the data center scene.

Officially unveiled at an event in Austin, Texas, the chip is kickstarting some much-needed competition in the business. From what the company has demonstrated so far, the current monopoly at play now faces a welcomed threat.

AMD's Epyc Brings The Heat To Intel's Xeon

Based on AMD's Zen architecture, the Epyc 7000 series is touted to offer up to 32 Zen cores and 64 threads. Compared with its predecessor the Opteron, it's said that each of its cores will deliver a 52 percent faster clock cycles per instruction.

"With our EPYC family of processors, AMD is delivering industry-leading performance on critical enterprise, cloud, and machine intelligence workloads. EPYC processors offer uncompromising performance for single-socket systems while scaling dual-socket server performance to new heights, outperforming the competition at every price point. We are proud to bring choice and innovation back to the datacenter with the strong support of our global ecosystem partners," Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO, says.

Here's a breakdown of the Epyc product lineup:

Model Core/Thread Base Frequency Max Boost TDP
Epyc 7601 32/64 2.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 180W
Epyc 7551P 32/64 2.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 180W
Epyc 7501 32/64 2.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 155/170W
Epyc 7451 24/48 2.3 GHz 3.2 GHz 180W
Epyc 7401P 24/48 2.0 GHz 3.0 GHz 155/170W
Epyc 7351P 16/32 2.4 GHz 2.9 GHz 155/170W
Epyc 7301 16/32 2.2 GHz 2.7 GHz 155/170W
Epyc 7281 16/32 2.1 GHz 2.7 GHz 155/170W
Epyc 7251 8/16 2.1 GHz 2.9 GHz 120W

To get a better look at things, AMD published benchmarks (PDF) for the Epyc 7601, much like in the way it did for Ryzen, stacking it up to Intel's Xeon E5-2699A V4, which is around the $4,000 price range.

Highlights of the chipmaker's findings include up to 25 percent improved integer performance and up to 59 percent better floating point performance.

Meanwhile, it also put the midrange Epyc 7301 against its Intel counterpart the E5-7630, claiming that it's 70 percent faster than its rival in the $800 price point.

AMD's Breathes Life Into The Competition, Meets Overwhelming Support

From server manufacturers to cloud-service providers, many showed support for the Epyc processors. That just goes to show that AMD isn't alone in terms of seeing competition in the data server chip market.

Server manufacturers unwrap Epyc-powered offerings: Companies Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, HP Enterprise, Inventec, Lenovo, Sugon, Supermicro, Tyan, and Wistron all have products planned for Epyc.

Primary hypervisor and server operating system providers backs up Epyc: Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware are supporting Epyc.

Key server hardware ecosystem partners chime in: Singing a similar tune, Mellanox, Samsung, and Xilinx are also in on the deal.

"Super 7" data center service providers voice Epyc support: Baidu, Microsoft Azure, 1&1, Bloomberg, Dropbox, and LexisNexis announced support for the new chips.

Long story short, AMD is stirring up the competition against Intel in more ways than one, introducing the Ryzen and Epyc lines.

Particularly, the company's new data center chip has the best chance to topple the leader in the industry, which is evidenced by the promising performance it's offering and the widespread support it's receiving from numerous manufacturers.

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