A question we have seen fairly consistently on STH is how would AMD Ryzen CPUs fare compared to their Intel Xeon E-2100/ E-2200 series competition. This is not exactly a fair comparison since the Ryzen platforms do not have a win at a major (top 10) server OEM. Still, there are now a handful of platforms that have a BMC for management duties. Ryzen CPUs can support ECC memory as well, although that also requires motherboard support.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF Overview
Key stats for the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF: 6 cores / 12 threads with a 3.2GHz base clock and 3.6GHz turbo boost. There is 16MB of onboard L3 cache. The CPU features a 65W TDP. These are $85 list price parts.
Here is the lscpu output for the Ryzen 5 1600 AF:
Regular STH readers may remember we had an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 review around three years ago. A lot has changed. This is a 12nm chip, not the 14nm that we originally reviewed. We get a bump to 3.6GHz turbo and DDR4-2933 speeds. The cores are now Zen+. Effectively, this is an AMD Ryzen 2600 that loses 200MHz base and 100MHz turbo clocks with a massive price drop ($85 v. $200.)
This is far from the highest performing chip. On the other hand, for $85, this is a great option. Since we are reviewing this in the context of server parts, we wanted to see if this 6-core $85 part can perform well enough to justify moving to smaller vendor platforms that are not supported by wide arrays of OSes.
Just as a quick note before we get too far here, one will note we have the “AF” numbers we are focusing on today. We also have an original 14nm Ryzen 5 1600 re-tested along with a current-gen Ryzen 5 3600.
For our review, we are using the ASRock X470D4U server platform.
- Motherboard System: ASRock X470D4U
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (AF)
- Memory: 2x Crucial 16GB ECC UDIMMs
- OS SSD: Intel S3610 480 GB
We first saw the ASRock Rack X470D4U at Computex. This is an mATX platform that is designed to take these consumer-focused chips and integrate them into cost-sensitive server segments.
We are going to have reviews of both the X470D4U and the 10Gbase-T version of the board in the near future on STH with some deeper insights into the platform.
After doing the reviews that will be published soon, we think that the Ryzen 5 1600 AF is a good match for this platform if you want to create a low-cost Core i3/ Xeon E-2200 competitor. There are, of course, some big caveats there.
Next, we are going to take a look at benchmarks before getting to some of the market analysis.