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AMD's new 64-core EPYC 2 CPU is an absolute monster

2 minute read


AMD has revealed details of the EPYC2 processor lineup, and it looks... epic.Using TSMC's 7nm process and incorporating an updated version of AMD's Infinity Fabric, it's yet another technological tour de force that's going to get a lot of attention at nearly every tier.

The line starts with a modest 8-core 16-thread part, but tops out with a 64-core, 128-thread monster. The top model includes a huge 256MB cache on chip.

AMD isn't skimping on I/O either, with 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 8 DDR for channels supporting 3200MHz memory for a maximum of 4TB of addressable ram.

Being aimed at high end servers, security is a big deal in EPYC 2 also.

AMD includes a security chip in the multi-chip module. Like consumer oriented Ryzen 3000, EPYC2 also includes the architectural updates that addressed speculation based exploits like Spectre and Meltdown. As an additional security measure even the memory channels can be encrypted using encryption hardware integrated into the memory channels. Its HyperVisor suppport also adds encryption, so that all of the virtual machines running on it are encrypted, and the encryption keys are locked down tight in the processor.

The top of the line 64-core EPYC 7742 has a TDP of 225 watts and a base clock speed of 2.25 GHz, with a boost clock topping out with a single core at 3.4 GHz.

With the combination of architectural updates improving the Zen line's single-threaded performance combined with a significant increase in core density, AMD is claiming a factor of four increase in floating point performance over the first generation EPYC. While this hasn't been proven with independent benchmarks yet, the Ryezen 3000's performance provides solid grounds for optimism for these claims. 

AMD EPYC comparison.jpg

Source: AMD

Frankly, there's only one part of this entire processor where AMD didn't go all out: the price. While it sounds high compared to the Ryzen 3000 pricing, relative to its competition it's actually quite a bargain at $4425.

Lenovo has also debuted a line of single-socket servers to go along with the Rome processor lineup supporting the EPYC 2 processors all the way up to the 64-core model. These servers are available now and look quite appealing. Taking advantage of the huge number of cores available in a single EPYC 2, they sport just one CPU socket, but up to 9 PCIx 4.0 slots, support for 3200 MHz memory and up to 32 NVMe SSDs. The servers can accept up to six single-wide GPUs or three double-wide. 

While there will most likely be multi-core servers available before long for even more compute heavy needs, 64 is well ahead of Intel's top 56-core Cooper Lake parts released earlier this week. 

As expected, this continues to be a banner year for AMD. Read the full specs here.

Tags: Technology