AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa New Naming Convention
Before we get to the SKUs, the new generation is the AMD EPYC 9004 generation. The last digit means the fourth generation, the 9 is the new product series. In the middle, we get a core count magnitude and a performance designation.
In the end, we get a P (single socket only) or F (frequency optimized). There are no more letters in the middle of non-custom parts. This is a slight improvement, but it is too bad this is not the 9409624 (series 9, 4th gen, 096 cores, 2.4GHz.)
This is also why companies do not ask me for product naming advice. I once suggested the Intel Xeon Gold 5100 series should be Xeon “Pyrite”.
Next, let us get to the SKUs.
AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa SKUs and Initial Price Lists
The AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa series is launched with eighteen SKUs, or really fourteen different SKUs with four single-socket-only “P” variants.
With these, AMD has the four “F” SKUs for frequency-optimized parts at 16, 24, 32, and 48 core increments. There are five lower core count SKUs with one P variant at 32 cores. Finally, there are density-optimized SKUs with five models plus three P variants. It is somewhat amusing that AMD calls these “Core Density” SKUs since it is also saying we are a few months away from the Bergamo 128 core parts. A 48-core part at that point will not seem like a dense part.
Here is the SKU list we received from. AMD with TDP, cache, frequency, and pricing information.
Looking at that, chart, and adding some bars to it, we can see how the frequencies have increased in this generation, but also the prices, especially around the “F” SKUs.
Here is the cost per core of the Genoa SKUs. The AMD EPYC 9174F appears to have an astronomical price tag. This is designed specifically for maximum performance per core with a 4.1GHz base clock and 256MB of L3 cache for 16 cores. If you are running Windows Server, this is the way to maximize the performance per core you can get for a 16-core license.
Here are the dual-socket parts in a spreadsheet with previous-generation Milan, Milan-X, and Rome parts. A few observations are that we have gone from the Rome generation at 225W (the 7H12 was not in this spreadsheet) to 360W (with a maximum of 400W.) L3 cache figures are similar or higher excluding Milan-X. One can also see that the clock speeds have increased substantially. As an example, the higher-end 64-core AMD EPYC 7763 had a base clock of 2.45GHz. The new AMD EPYC 9554 starts at 3.1GHz base clock. If you recall a ~14% increase in performance on a performance-per-clock basis is good, but so is getting a >25% increase in base clocks that are often hit when the chips are under load. More clocks and more performance per clock mean that even at a given core count, Genoa will be faster.
A quick note, the spreadsheet did not get the $ sign on the pricing for the new parts. That will be fixed over the next few days.
AMD is generally moving its price per core up in this generation. We do not know AMD’s exact pricing methodology, but it seems like AMD is trying to capture the value of having more cores and more performance per core in this generation.
Sorting the giant list by core count we can see the pricing methodology a bit better. AMD is actually using the same $123/ core price it used with the AMD EPYC 7763 on both the EPYC 9654 96 core and EPYC 9634 84 core parts. Again, we do not know AMD’s pricing methodology, but $123/ core does not feel like a coincidence. Having a $123 price per core, but then adding 50% more cores means that the list price now spikes to $11805. A cloud provider would laugh at that number as they were not paying anywhere near $123/ core for Milan parts, but AMD’s methodology makes sense, even if it is leading to a fifth figure on the price. Another way to think about this, compared to the famous $10,008 Xeons of the past is that with inflation at over 8% per year, this is a similar price to the Xeon Platinum 8180/ 8280 at launch. Another way to look at it is that keeping $123/ core means that on an inflation-adjusted basis, AMD is actually decreasing the costs per core.
Turning to the single socket parts, a much more manageable list, AMD is doing something different. There are no more 8 core parts in the entire line. The AMD EPYC 7232P STH readers have been seen many times as that was often the chip used for photos on older systems. It has probably endured close to a hundred installation cycles at this point because it was the least costly CPU we could use. In this generation, the lowest core count “P” part is 32 cores. Also, the price per core has jumped by a massive amount. The two higher-end 96 and 64-core parts are $111/ core, not a far cry from $123/ core.
Here is the cost per core on the “P” side for this generation, one can see the generational increase in these single socket prices clearly.
Overall, it seems like AMD is aiming to increase the value it is getting from its newer faster cores. AMD is seeing a substantial deployment of single-socket servers. With previous generations, AMD was proving the paradigm shift. With Genoa, it seems like the ability to have massive 1P systems means that AMD is not discounting 1P as heavily. Here is Microsoft’s 1P and 24 DIMM design. Single socket servers are now massive in size.
Next, let us take a look at the test platform, and then get to the performance.