ASRock Rack ROMED6U-2L2T Test Configuration
The time that we were working on the ROMED6U-2L2T review started during the AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” era and continued past the AMD EPYC 7003 Milan launch.
- CPUs: AMD EPYC 7232P, EPYC 7502P, EPYC 7713
- Memory: 6x 16GB DDR4-3200 ECC RDIMM, 6x 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC RDIMM
- Network: Mellanox – NVIDIA ConnectX-6 (1x 200GbE port)
- Storage: 2x Intel S3710 400GB
- Power: EVGA P2 850W
- OS: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS
There are certainly a few notes from this build that are worth sharing. Perhaps the biggest is that we had to use a beta BIOS to get EPYC 7003 series support. This worked for us but using something labeled Lab/ Beta may not be what one wants to use for production. Still, the fact this is working and the platform has EPYC 7003 series support listed, makes us think that there is a clear path for mainstream EPYC 7003 support.
The CPUs are very interesting. Since there are only six memory channels, the idea of using a 64-core CPU is intriguing. One gets more memory bandwidth than the standard AMD Threadripper, but less than the Threadripper PRO and the EPYC 7002/ 7003 8-channel parts. Most of our readers are likely going to use “P” series parts since these are optimized for single-socket configurations with discounting. To us, the sweet spot is likely to be the EPYC 7402P/ EPYC 7502P, and the new EPYC 7443P/ EPYC 7543P. These provide a good mix of value along with core counts and memory bandwidth per core. AMD also kept a number of the 4-channel optimized SKUs that are lower-power parts like the EPYC 7282 that may be very interesting to users in a platform like this. You can learn more about those SKUs here:
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this system is that there are so many options given the rich I/O capabilities.
ASRock Rack ROMED6U-2L2T Performance
In terms of performance, we already have a long line of EPYC benchmarks. Instead, we wanted to focus on the 6-channel impact on a few of the different CPU options compared to our reference numbers. Of course, if we wanted a big number, something like stream on the higher-end parts would lead to a 25% reduction but we wanted to see a bit more of a real-world use case. Also, some of these results are in the +/- 1% range from our standard figures which we consider test variation and not significant.
Perhaps the best way to summarize the above in terms of key takeaways on the performance:
- For the 4-channel optimized EPYC 7232P, we saw very little impact due to the memory bandwidth decrease. This is expected given that we have six channels.
- For the 32 core EPYC 7502P, we saw some impact, but it is nowhere near the 25% one would see in an entirely memory bandwidth-bound workload. We can expect little to no loss for those applications that have relatively lower memory access needs.
- With the 64-core EPYC 7713 (there is also an EPYC 7713P that should be the same) we saw a somewhat greater impact, but it was not alarming. If one simply wants 64-cores and all of the I/O in a MATX platform, this performance is going to make sense. If one is optimizing on more balance, then lower core count options may be reasonable.
These results are going to vary based on configuration options and workload. In general, it is worth noting that there are impacts for some SKUs on lower memory channel usage. Realistically, if a larger motherboard/ chassis is an option, from a performance standpoint it is better to get a motherboard with all eight memory channels populated and filled when using higher-end SKUs. Again, this makes logical sense, but we want to point this out for our readers.
We are just going to note that we are not doing power and noise on this platform since those are going to be impacted more by the chassis and configuration options rather than the motherboard itself.
Next, we are going to discuss the market perspective followed by our final words.