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.
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.
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.
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.