The AMD EPYC 7F72 is a 24-core frequency optimized part. Although AMD is marketing this as one of its “F” parts, there is a key difference. AMD is pricing this SKU at a relatively mundane premium compared to the other “F” parts. In many ways, it seems more like a next higher-up SKU rather than a pure frequency optimized part. With a 10-15% clock speed boost and 50% more cache, there is a lot to like about AMD’s newest 24 core/ 48 thread part. In our benchmarks and review piece, we are going to show what has changed and what the performance impacts are.
AMD EPYC 7F72 Overview
Key stats for the AMD EPYC 7F72: 24 cores / 48 threads with a 3.2GHz base clock and 3.7GHz turbo boost. There is 192MB of onboard L3 cache. The CPU features a 240W TDP. These are $2,450 list price parts.
Here is the lscpu output for the AMD EPYC 7F72:
Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the TDP. With an increase from the AMD EPYC 7402 180W TDP to 240W. That extra TDP headroom helps provide the budge for an additional 400MHz base and 350MHz turbo clocks. Another way to think of that is that the base clock of the EPYC 7F72 is only 150MHz lower than the turbo clock of the EPYC 7402. What is more, although we still have 24 cores, we now get 192MB of L3 cache which seems to indicate a change in the number of active chiplets on the parts.
To illustrate this, here is the topology of the EPYC 7F72:
One can see that each core has two threads along with the 32KB L1i + L1d cache and its own 512KB of L2 cache. The big change happens with the L3. Here we see 16MB of L3 cache shared across two cores. In the EPYC 7402(P) we had 16MB of L3 cache shared directly among three cores:
What this seems to indicate is that while the AMD EPYC 7402(P) has three cores active per CCX, the EPYC 7F72 has two. This means each core gets around 50% more L3 cache on its chiplet before having to go to the I/O die in AMD’s design.
Putting this part into some context, here is what the new 8-24 core, dual-socket capable SKU stack looks like from AMD.
As you can see, these new 7Fx2 chips offer strikingly higher TDP and significantly higher prices per core than alternative options along with their clock speeds. AMD is able to do this because they are offering significantly more performance per core. Here is AMD’s slide with the above subset of CPUs showing its competitive impact using dual-socket SPECrate2017_int_base which is a widely used benchmark for data center purchasing.
Here AMD is aiming for leadership performance, as well as leadership performance per dollar. We are going to discuss this more in our market impact section, but let us be clear, AMD is now extracting a premium for this capability. Here are the new SKUs in context of other AMD EPYC SKUs on a $(USD) list price/ core basis:
As one can see, the 7F72 is in-line with higher-core count parts making it an easier alternative to stepping up the core count. If you compare this to the AMD EPYC 7F52 and EPYC 7F32, the price per core looks a lot more reasonable here.
In our benchmarks, we are going to see what the premium looks like. First, we are going to take a look at the test configurations and how we received the chips.