Finding Zen: The AMD Epyc 7742

Finding Zen: The AMD Epyc 7742

We couldn’t have asked for a better time for the new AMD Epyc processor line to drop, as we’re gearing up for a rapid expansion of our analytics cloud services. ICYMI: 7 nanometer CPUs have finally hit the enterprise grade market, meaning big things for those of us building servers and such.

Before I go further, I should warn you: this is another one for the hardware folks out there — and might be a bit dry to our friends on the marketing side of things. Feel free to read through my descent into a serious nerd-out.

AMD Epyc 1st generation, not Rome architecture, on an ASUS KNPA U-16 board
For reference, this Epyc 7281 is a 16 core, 32 thread CPU, utilizing only two of the four dies inside.

Our location analytics team decided to make the switch to AMD from Intel earlier this year on our cloud servers. The first generation line of Epyc CPUs delivered a price for performance that was staggering — 32 to 64 threads on the models we were using.

That was a system intended for testing, and so, it’s exciting to see the new Epyc lineup roll forward.

AMD’s new CPUs, announced on August 7th, are absolute monsters. Epyc might not be… an epic enough title for them. The top of the line Zen 2 architecture CPU, the AMD Epyc 7742, is truly in a league of it’s own.

Getting over a terabyte of RAM onto each machine would be a pretty great start — which can be done easily with the new 7nm Rome architecture AMD recently announced. With 64 cores/128 threads on the top of the line models, we can see why Intel might be worried.

More details will be added onto this rolling blog about our testing on the Zen 2 CPUs as they arrive — we’ll update this article when we have new benchmarks to share!

An Epyc Configuration…

We made the switch to AMD from Intel earlier this year on our cloud servers, which gave us our first glimpse into what they were cooking up. The results we’ve seen are already excellent — but we have a lot more we’d like to accomplish.

Check out the gallery below to see yours truly walking Brandon Bush, our CTO through an EPYC CPU installation onto an ASUS KNPA U-16 motherboard.


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