AMD EPYC 7002 Rome v Threadripper for Workstations

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AMD EPYC 7002 Series Rome For The Workstation Versus 3rd Gen Threadripper Web Cover
AMD EPYC 7002 Series Rome For The Workstation Versus 3rd Gen Threadripper Web Cover

This is a question we have received a lot of inquiries about ever since our AMD EPYC 7002 Series Rome Delivers a Knockout article at launch. Many of our readers have single or dual Intel Xeon workstations and want to know if the new EPYC 7002 series, codenamed “Rome” is a direct replacement. Ever since our AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X Review that discussion has shifted. It instead focuses on whether EPYC or Threadripper is better for workstations. Since we are likely to learn more about the already announced 64 core Threadripper parts, we wanted to get a quick perspective out on which is better for the workstation market.

AMD EPYC 7002 Rome v Threadripper for Workstations

STH hit another milestone this week. We surpassed 10,000 YouTube subscribers on the ServeTheHomeVideo channel. In honor of that, we actually decided to change the format of this article that up until 48 hours ago was going to be a 2000 word written article. Instead, today we have a video.

In the video I discuss some of our experiments with using AMD EPYC CPUs in workstations including the Ultra EPYC AMD Powered Sun Ultra 24 Workstation. I also discuss why ultimately, even with access to plenty of EPYC platforms, my December 2019 workstation build was using the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X instead of EPYC 7002 series parts.

As a quick bonus here, you will notice that in the video I talk about the AMD EPYC 7282 and EPYC 7272 processors as sub $650 options. We have reviews of both of those chips in the publishing queue coming in the next few weeks.

Final Words

This is one of, if not our first mainly video piece. A big part of that is due to me wanting to try the new Panasonic DC-S1 camera once it arrived. This video was also a test of a new audio recording setup which still needs work as well. In 2020 we are going to have more video on STH but we still plan to be a web-first site for the foreseeable future. With the new studio, the goal this year is to augment more of what we already do with video rather than replace, given this is an exception to that rule.

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I’m deaf so the videos are a little bit less accessible to me, YouTube automatic captioning does work sometimes but I personally much prefer written articles unless it’s to demonstrate something that can’t be easily done with pictures etc.

  2. i dont like video articles because a can’t scroll the video in interesting section and jump another

  3. I’m not going to watch any of your videos. If you stop posting text articles I’ll stop coming here. If you want video at least leave supporting text.

  4. I think including videos in your reporting will be an excellent addition. Ignore the negative comments and keep up the valuable work. I’ll keep spreading the news about serverthehome!

  5. Hi all – I mentioned in this article, that this was going to be more of a one-off. The planned videos are all article first, corresponding video to augment. I like to read as well, so I have a strong appreciation for what we have always done.

    Misha – Noted. New camera. We still need to fix some things in the setup.

  6. I’m kind of surprised at that direct comparison between Epyc and Threadripper as far as feature sets and full ECC memory types support goes. And AMD’s EEE division is sure not going to be wanting to cannibalize their Epyc/Pro market offerings to such a degree with any Threadripper/consumer parts pricing/margins that can hurt AMD in its revenue goals towards fixing AMD’s R&D funding deficiency compared to Intel. There is no easy solution to getting around the Epyc/SP3 Motherboard makers’ ECC vetting/certification costs on any Theadripper TR4/sTR4 Motherboards as that going to make the MBs more expensive.

    There are the Epyc/Rome 7H02 branded parts that I think that AMD has for it’s HPC clients as an option that can also be thought of as more workstation friendly and if AMD decides to begin offering that in a “P” single socket option for some 7H02P series workstation offerings then what about that.

    I just do not see AMD’s EEE division as willing to let any consumer Threadripper(Lower Priced) variants have the full on ECC Memory types support or any more than 4 memory channel options. Now if AMD’s management actually decides to brand out some Threadripper Pro branding that’s distinctly targeting the Pro workstation market that’s another matter but the MSRPs for those parts will have to be in the same range as the 7H02 series pricing. AMD can not afford to suffer any gross margin stagnation if it wants to continue to remain competitive with what Intel will be offering in 2022, and AMD will have to have loads of higher margin business quarters and revenue growth to fill up that R&D war chest.

    The one advantage that TR 3000/Zen-2 series has compared to the previous generations of TR parts that makes the memory channel deficiency compared to Epyc/SP3 a bit more of a non issue is Zen-2’s larger L3 cache size relative to the 2000/1000 series TR parts. And one very nice occurrence with the 24 core TR 3960X 24 core part is that it still retains the same L3 cache size as the 3970X 32 core part. So that’s effectively more L3 cache on a per core basis for the 24 core TR 3060X part on the CCX unit for any cache hungry workloads.

    It looks like with Zen-3 the CCX unit construct/hierarchy will be fully supplanted by the CCD construct/hierarchy and the 8 CCD cores getting direct access to the DIE’s full allotment of L3 cache. So that’s also going to reduce some memory channel deficiency pressures between the TR 4000 and Epyc/Milan series offerings even more, especially if Zen-3 gets an even larger per CCD L3 cache allotment compared to Zen-2.

    AMD really should be branding out under Epyc some specifically Workstation targeted parts and keeping the markups as high as possible in order to obtain the necessary revenues to fully fund its CPU and Driver/OS development support. AMD really needs to be hiring on the Software/driver engineering side to more fully match Intel’s massive engineering capacity. It may sound consumer unfriendly but most of Intel’s consumer market engineering cost where actually paid for with the Pro/Xeon market markups and revenue dollars where the consumer market R&D was always being subsidized in that respect.

    AMD’s Epyc/Rome series pricing is so unnaturally low currently compared to Epyc/Rome’s actual performance and better feature sets than Intel’s Xeon offerings that it’s most certainly down to AMD’s aggressive server market share goals. But AMD only has about 2 more years the get back to that Opteron level server/HPC market share back and its gross margins high enough to begin to match Intel’s R&D juggernaut, and that’s going to cost billions of dollars to even begin to match.

  7. Coming here to add to the dissatisfied voices for an article with the functional content only in video format. If this is going to be more regular, consider how Hardware Canucks has done their text articles with a focus on YouTube releases: groups of video screenshots with the associated spoken script from the review. Unless looks are an important part of the product, I have very limited desire to watch a video. Basically the only thing I’ll watch in the computer products space is PC case reviews.

  8. So overclocking is possible, but limited by power delivery on Epyc Rome servers. Could one push the 7282 and 7272 parts to the 4 GHz mark, to get similar raw compute performance as on the 3950x, with all the benefits of Epyc, while staying below the 240W mark the motherboards were designed for? It’s purely academic, of course, since no business user would do that. Or maybe a scenario for a homeserver

  9. I completely not approve video only !
    as I’m not so fluent in hearing english: reading is better for me !

    please think of non americans readers !

  10. Hi Patrick, you have a very good ability to deliver content on video and are very personable, and I do know that having video content really helps your Google ranking and so on… However…

    While I read many if not most of your written articles, I don’t think I’ll spend much time with the videos. This one is twelve minutes long, but I could have read it in two minutes – and I would have had the ability to refer back to the text and graphs any time I wanted.

    Perhaps you can go hybrid? Record the video and also include the FULL article – with graphs as appropriate – below in text form.

  11. Patrick,

    I know you are excited about videos but it is hard to scan a video like one can text. Videos are less accessible.

  12. Hey guys. Thanks for the feedback. I get it as I like reading myself. At the same time, we do have to experiment a bit. Our current direction for the foreseeable future is combined. This was a bit of a test of new capabilities.

    Lots of work ahead which is good! Where I do not want to be is in five years is wishing we had started doing at least some video now.

  13. Even if you continue experimenting with videos, it will be a good idea to put more of the screen presence emphasis on information and maybe pan yourself bit out and to the side. You aren’t exactly bursting with visual charisma (not an insult, just an honest observation), so putting your head in the spotlight so to say, isn’t really adding much if anything of substance to the production, it comes out as attention seeking and trying to be trendy quite a bit late in that game, and overall boring. Different formats work for different types of people and content, that’s all, and the “talking head format” is mostly suited to edgy social commentary by vain individuals. Good luck finding what works best for you.

  14. I’m here to profit from your research for my server choices. I will rather stop visiting STH than go through the hassle to see if there’s anything worth it in the videos. So, even if they are just an extra: as long as they cover servers it’s a minus for me concerning STH.

  15. Funny how the color keeps changing in this video. I stopped listening to, talking is too fast and hard to listen to. I’d prefer to have a transcription in proper English.

  16. What a bunch of charmless pricks in this thread.

    Loved the video, keep them up. Great to see some variety on this site.

  17. Interesting comparison… With the number of tech tubers, it shouldn’t be that hard to adjust… Except for the deaf person(s)…

    @MarginsHigherOrBust
    There is a very simple reason that TR won’t have 8CH more than likely (though there was a rumor of an 8CH TR), it’s because Rome’s channels are used to divide up NUMA nodes in complex scenarios with VMs… TR is mainly throw 64 cores at an app…

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