AMD EPYC 3251 Power Consumption
Please see our caveats to our test configuration. These numbers include the AMD FirePro W2100 GPU. They do not include a BMC. They also utilize a different boot OS SSD. We still wanted to show power consumption figures for the system to give some ballpark of where these CPUs would fall in terms of power consumption.
- Idle: 32.4W
- 70% Load: 52.8W
- 100% Load: 69.3W
- Peak: 77.8W
These results were taken using our calibrated Extech TrueRMS Power Analyzer 380803 in a 71F ambient environment with 41% RH on 120V power.
This power consumption, taking into account the major platform caveats, is somewhere between the Intel Xeon D-1541 and the D-2141I. When you look at the performance of the AMD EPYC 3251 it is closer to the D-2141I. We think if we had a production platform with both Intel Xeon D-2141I and AMD EPYC 3251 with the same feature set, the AMD EPYC 3251 would use less power while performing about the same. We hope to validate that claim in the future.
AMD EPYC 3251 Market Positioning
Thes chips are not released in a vacuum instead, they have competition on both the Intel and AMD sides. When you purchase a server and select a CPU, it is important to see the value of a platform versus its competitors.
AMD EPYC 3251 v. Intel Xeon
Is the AMD EPYC 3251 a competitor to Intel Xeon D-1500 and Intel Xeon D-2100? Absolutely in terms of power consumption and performance.
To the embedded systems vendors out there considering AMD EPYC, there is more to the story. This is the first competitive part AMD has had in a market that Intel dominates today. Embedded lifecycles are such that the market is determined by far more than raw performance figures. Intel has proven that it can handle longer product cycles, and has issued programs for large numbers of components when they find issues in the field. These steps go a long way in the embedded market for companies looking to partner on a product that will be in the market for the better part of a decade.
On the flip side, we need a strong AMD in the market. Our 40GbE Arista switches are powered by AMD embedded CPUs, so we did not have to worry about the Intel Atom C2000 series AVR54 bug with them. Recently, STH was hit by the Intel Atom C2000 AVR54 Bug on one of the site’s main firewalls. In the future, if we can have the same firewall appliance with both AMD and Intel silicon, in about the same performance, power, and form factor envelopes, we would deploy it in a heartbeat. The AVR54 issue extends to more than just that series, including the Another Atom Bomb Intel Atom E3800 Bay Trail VLI89 Bug we covered. These embedded platforms are now designed as SoCs so supplier diversity is a key concern.
The bottom line is that increased supplier diversity for the underlying x86 SoC infrastructure would be excellent for the ecosystem. Currently, many vendors look toward Arm solutions for a second-source embedded firewall or other appliance. In the future, the AMD EPYC 3251 or other EPYC 3000 series parts are what we want to see and better yet, what we want to deploy. The same code can run on existing Intel and AMD platforms so the software code base can remain constant.
Of course, there are a few caveats here. Intel has invested in QuickAssist technology. STH is the only major review site to have worked with QAT in Intel QuickAssist at 40GbE Speeds: IPsec VPN Testing and Intel QuickAssist Technology and OpenSSL Benchmarks and Setup Tips. While QAT is far from receiving universal support, it is a multi-generational Intel accelerator technology that is popular in the embedded systems market. AMD does not have a compatible accelerator platform at this time but Intel offers QAT on PCIe cards or via chips if that is absolutely required.
AMD EPYC 3251 v. AMD EPYC
Here is where we need more data. Where does the AMD EPYC 3251 fall with respect to the rest of the embedded AMD EPYC 3000 series lineup? We have some idea that the lack of memory bandwidth is being offset by the single NUMA node so we are seeing similar AMD EPYC 7251 to EPYC 3251 numbers.
The best we can tell our readers here is that we are working on it. We still have not seen the dual die parts in action. We also have not seen a huge uptick in platforms in the market. As a first generation embedded part this makes sense. Embedded device lifecycles are much longer than consumer parts and clearly slower than our desire to try out the new technology.
We do not have final pricing on the AMD EPYC 3251, but we know that the list price on the AMD EPYC 3301, the 12 core dual die SKU above this one, is $450. That puts one squarely in the 8-core Intel Xeon D range. AMD has a compelling product. We asked AMD, and will update this article when we get a number.
Update: AMD gave us a $315 price tag on the EPYC 3251, well below what performance competitive chips are going for on the Intel Xeon D side.
We know that many STH readers are in the embedded appliance market. AMD has the potential with the EPYC 3000 series. These markets are also extremely slow to transition which is why it is still hard to find the chips in the public market. At Computex 2018 we saw the first 3rd party system we highlighted in Piecing Together the iEi Puzzle AMD EPYC 3000 Spotted in the Wild. AMD’s APU offerings have been popular in the embedded space for years, so the AMD V1000 launched at the same time we saw several times at the show and there are publicly available platforms for the V1000.
The next step is twofold. We need embedded appliance vendors and motherboard manufacturers to make systems based on the AMD EPYC 3000 series.