AMD EPYC 7401P Linux Benchmarks and Review – Something Special

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AMD EPYC 7401P Power Consumption

The other side of the equation is power consumption. The AMD EPYC 7401 is putting up some impressive benchmark numbers, but that does have an associated cost. Since in our EPYC 7351P piece we caused confusion by showing a peak power consumption value (peak does not equal 100% load), we are going to break this down more simply:

  • Idle: 79W
  • 70% Load: 217W
  • 100% Load: 268W
  • Peak: 344W

Figures were taken on our APC / Schneider Electric 208V PDU at 17.6C and 72% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance.

Overall, solid numbers. They are competitive with dual Intel Xeon Silver 4114 and 4116. A single Intel Xeon Silver 4116 tops out under 130W at 100% load so AMD is trading power consumption for performance. Intel simply does not have a performance-optimized part in the sub-$1200 CPU segment.

We are using the AMD EPYC 7401 chip in single socket configuration to simulate the AMD EPYC 7401P for performance number purposes. We were told there may be a slight variance in an EPYC 7401P from a power standpoint.

Market Positioning

To provide some perspective, in the same general price range on the Intel Xeon Scalable side is the 12 core/ 24 thread Intel Xeon Silver 4116 we recently benchmarked at $1002 or about $83 per core. By the time you move to the full Intel Xeon Scalable feature set, the Intel Xeon Gold 6138 (20 cores also 2.0GHz) is around $130 per core.

AMD EPYC 7401P v. Intel Xeon Silver

At STH, we have about 150 different CPU configurations in the lab and have been covering the server space for eight years. There are very few times when we are at a loss for a comparison. The Intel Xeon Silver 4116 is the CPU in the price bracket that is closest to the AMD EPYC 7401P. It has half the TDP and half the cores. Perhaps the closest comparison is really a dual Intel Xeon Silver 4116 configuration. With that one can get close to the number of cores, at about the same frequency. One gets more memory channels (albeit at slower speeds) and almost as many PCIe lanes/ SATA III ports. One does have to move to a more expensive dual socket motherboard and the CPU cost is about $900 more, however, it could be a good comparison.

Looking to single-socket Intel Xeon Scalable there is simply no answer. Intel charges significantly more for a CPU the more cores it has. Perhaps the closest CPU Intel has to the EPYC 7401P is the Intel Xeon Gold 6138 with 20 cores, the same 2.0GHz base clock but a much higher turbo boost speed along with dual FMA AVX-512.

AMD Aggressive Volume Play MSRP Base Clock And Cores Comparison
AMD Aggressive Volume Play MSRP Base Clock And Cores Comparison

When we map the increase in Intel v. AMD cost for adding more compute on a socket in the single socket market, one can see why the AMD part is priced so competitively and how AMD is changing the single socket game.

AMD EPYC 7401P v. AMD EPYC

Given the pricing, we like the AMD EPYC 7401P versus two AMD EPYC 7251s. In the single socket (P) stack, there is little competition from the dual socket parts. To us, the AMD EPYC 7551P has a strong value proposition as a 32 core part. The 7551P is a $2100 part, or about twice that of the 7401P. In a $10,000 (or more) server, that is a 10% increase in system price for essentially 40-50% more performance.

With that, we see the main competition within the EPYC line as the 7351P. We think that the AMD EPYC 7351P is a great part. At the same time, $325 for 8 more cores is an awesome deal. For the STH infrastructure, we are looking at the AMD EPYC 7401P.

Final Words

The AMD EPYC 7401P is awesome for single-socket servers. If you are thinking about single or dual Intel Xeon Silver 4116 CPUs, there is no question the AMD EPYC 7401P is a better value from a performance perspective. This value proposition is strong because AMD specifically targeted the market with the P variant. If Intel dropped Xeon Silver 4116 pricing to $700 a dual socket system would be a lot more competitive. As it stands, your CPU cost is $900+ more (over a $1075) to get somewhat competitive performance from Intel. The AMD EPYC 7601 is a beastly CPU and the EPYC 7351P is a great value. If we had to pick the most competitive part AMD has, it is the 7401P hands down. There is no competitive part in the market for what the AMD EPYC 7401P has to offer.

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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.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Great review. I don’t see how Intel can ignore this, but there will probably have to be a hit to the OEM channel before they act, and product lines change slowly.

    FYI, the Linux kernel compile chart has the Xeon Gold 6138 twice with two different results

  2. Thanks for the review. I think this processor will be used for the next video editing workstation I am going to build. With this workstation I will follow the GROMACS advice and use GPU power to do most of the heavy lifting.
    It’s good to see that the GROMACS website advices to use GPU’s to speed up the process. GPU’s are relatively cheap and fast for these kind of calculations. Blackmagicdesign Davinci Resolve uses the same philosophie, use GPU’s where possible. AMD EPYC has enough PCIe-lanes for the maximum of 4 GPU’s supported in Windows (Linux upto 8 GPU’s in 1 system).

  3. @Bill Broadley
    Davinci Resolve supports upto 4 GPU’s under windows (4x16PCIe-lanes). I will use 8 PCIe-lanes for the DecLink card(10 bit color grading) and 2×8 PCIe-lanes for 2 HighPoint SSD7101A in raid-0 for realtime rendering/editing etc (14GB/s sustained read and 12 GB/s sustaind write, 960 pro SSD’s will be 25% overprovisioned).

  4. I still want to test it in our environment before buying racks of them. This is still helpful. Maybe we’ll buy a few to try

  5. @Girish
    Have a look at the supermicro website (4 node in 2U).
    Maybe 1 node in 1 U is already fast enough.
    I see no reason why AMD EPYC wouldn’t work with OpenStack, AMD is one of the many companies supporting the OpenStack organizations (and they have the hardware to back it up).

  6. Does anyone know when these will be in stock. I’ve tried ordering from several companies, including some that listed them as in stock– but they appear to be backordered.

  7. Do you have any information on thermals? Our EPYC 7401 run 24/7 rendering, and seem to be throttling down to 2.2GHz instead of staying at 2.8GHz boost. Any thoughts on that? Thermals are reading a package temp of 65C.

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