AMD EPYC Genoa Gaps Intel Xeon in Stunning Fashion


AMD EPYC Genoa QCT Development Platform

QCT has been making these for generations. For STH readers, this will look very familiar. Here is the system:

AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa QCT 2U Platform Overview 1
AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa QCT 2U Platform Overview 1

The biggest feature is the dual AMD EPYC processors. Each processor has 12x DDR5 DIMM slots for a total of 24 DIMMs. All of these DIMM channels can be filled in a 1DPC configuration so adding DDR5 DIMMs increases performance.

AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa 2P QCT 2
AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa 2P QCT 2

A fun one here is also just that folks may have seen this looks a lot like another system we have seen recently.

AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa 400W TDP Cooler Extensions
AMD EPYC 9004 Genoa 400W TDP Cooler Extensions

Above is the AMD EPYC Genoa cooler in the QCT AMD reference platform. Below is the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable cooler for the QCT Intel reference platform we used inĀ Hands-on Benchmarking with Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon Accelerators. Intel just said its Xeon Max parts will go up to 350W, AMD is at 360W with a cTDP of 400W so it has a denser fin design on the cooler, but it is fairly clear that a QCT design team was behind these similar cooler designs.

Dual 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable QTC Built SDP 16
Dual 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable QTC Built SDP 16

The new SP5 socket is absolutely massive. A big change is that the socket only has a single screw to hold down the CPU. AMD is changing in this generation to use the cooler’s screws to apply pressure to the chip. The chip is much larger so this is required to equalize pressure. AMD has six points on the cooler (eight in the QCT coolers because of the extra heat pipe heatsinks.)

AMD EPYC 9654 Genoa In SP5 Socket 3
AMD EPYC 9654 Genoa In SP5 Socket 3

We recently looked at the Dynatron J12 or J10 units you can see the underside of the heatsinks.

Dynatron J12 Socket SP5 2U Cooler For AMD EPYC Genoa 320W 4
Dynatron J12 Socket SP5 2U Cooler For AMD EPYC Genoa 320W 4

One other exciting note about the system is that it supports OpenBMC. OpenBMC we are starting to see a lot more of. We reviewed our first server with OpenBMC earlier this week in our Supermicro ARS-210ME-FNR 2U Edge Ampere Altra Max Arm Server Review.

AMD EPYC Genoa QCT Reference Platform OpenBMC Dashboard
AMD EPYC Genoa QCT Reference Platform OpenBMC Dashboard

Next, let us get to the performance of the new chips.


  1. $131 for the cheapest DDR5 DIMM (16GB) from Supermicro’s online store

    That’s $3,144 just for memory in a basic two-socket server with all DIMMs populated.

    Combined with the huge jump in pricing, I get the feeling that this generation is going to eat us alive if we’re not getting those sweet hyperscaler discounts.

  2. I like that the inter CPU PCIe5 links can be user configured, retargeted at peripherals instead. Takes flexibility to a new level.

  3. Hmm… Looks like Intel’s about to get forked again by the AMD monster. AMD’s been killing it ever since Zen 1. So cool to see the fierce competitive dynamic between these two companies. So Intel, YOU have a choice to make. Better choose wisely. I’m betting they already have their decisions made. :-)

  4. Do we know whether Sienna will effectively eliminate the niche for threadripper parts; or are they sufficiently distinct in some ways as to remain as separate lines?

    In a similar vein, has there been any talk(whether from AMD or system vendors) about doing ryzen designs with ECC that’s actually a feature rather than just not-explicitly-disabled to answer some of the smaller xeons and server-flavored atom derivatives?

    This generation of epyc looks properly mean; but not exactly ready to chase xeon-d or the atom-derivatives down to their respective size and price.

  5. I look at the 360W TDP and think “TDPs are up so much.” Then I realize that divided over 96 cores that’s only 3.75W per core. And then my mind is blown when I think that servers of the mid 2000s had single core processors that used 130-150W for that single core.

  6. Why is the “Sienna” product stack even designed for 2P configurations?

    It seems like the lower-end market would be better served by “Sienna” being 1P only, and anything that would have been served by a 2P “Sienna” system instead use a 1P “Genoa” system.

  7. Dunno, AMD has the tech, why not support single and dual sockets? With single and dual socket Sienna you should be able to be price *AND* price/perf compared to the Intel 8 channel memory boards for uses that aren’t memory bandwidth intensive. For those looking for max performance and bandwidth/core AMD will beat Intel with the 12 channel (actually 24 channel x 32 bit) Epyc. So basically Intel will be sandwiched by the cheaper 6 channel from below and the more expensive 12 channel from above.

  8. With PCIe 5 support apparently being so expensive on the board level, wouldn’t it be possible to only support PCIe 4 (or even 3) on some boards to save costs?

  9. All other benchmarks is amazing but I see molecular dynamics test in other website and Huston we have a problem! Why?

  10. Looks great for anyone that can use all that capacity, but for those of us with more modest infrastructure needs there seems to be a bit of a gap developing where you are paying a large proportion of the cost of a server platform to support all those PCIE 5 lanes and DDR5 chips that you simply don’t need.

    Flip side to this is that Ryzen platforms don’t give enough PCIE capacity (and questions about the ECC support), and Intel W680 platforms seem almost impossible to actually get hold of.

    Hopefully Milan systems will be around for a good while yet.

  11. You are jumping around WAY too much.

    How about stating how many levels there are in CPUS. But keep it at 5 or less “levels” of CPU and then compare them side by side without jumping around all over the place. It’s like you’ve had five cups of coffee too many.

    You obviously know what you are talking about. But I want to focus on specific types of chips because I’m not interesting in all of them. So if you broke it down in levels and I could skip to the level I’m interested in with how AMD is vs Intel then things would be a lot more interesting.

    You could have sections where you say that they are the same no matter what or how they are different. But be consistent from section to section where you start off with the lowest level of CPUs and go up from there to the top.

  12. There may have been a hint on pages 3-4 but I’m missing what those 2000 extra pins do, 50% more memory channels, CXL, PCIe lanes (already 160 on previous generation), and …

  13. On your EPYC 9004 series SKU comparison the 24 cores 9224 is listed with 64MB of L3.
    As a chiplet has a maximum of 8 cores one need a minimum of 3 chiplets to get 24 cores.
    So unless AMD disable part of the L3 cache of those chiplets a minimum of 96 MB of L3 should be shown.

    I will venture the 9224 is a 4 chiplets sku with 6 cores per chiplet which should give a total of 128MB of L3.

  14. Patrick, I know, but it must be a clerical error, or they have decided to reduce the 4 chiplets L3 to 16MB which I very much doubt.
    3 chiplets are not an option either as 64 is not divisible by 3 ;-)

    Maybe you can ask AMD what the real spec is, because 64MB seems weird?

  15. @EricT I got to use one of these machines (9224) and it is indeed 4 chiplets, with 64MB L3 cache total. Evidently a result of parts binning and with a small bonus of some power saving.


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