This week, Gigabyte launched four new dual-socket servers with a twist. These four servers are based on the Ampere Altra and Altra Max platforms. That means each socket can handle 128 cores, and in the dual-socket servers, that means we get up to 256 cores per server (1U/2U) or 512 cores per U of rack space (2U4N.)
Four New Gigabyte 2P Ampere Altra Servers Launched with up to 256 Cores
Here are the new servers from Gigabyte. There is the 1U R182-P91 the 2U R282-P91 and R282-P92, and the 2U4N H262-P61. That H262-P61 only has one DIMM per channel (each Altra/ Altra Max processor has eight memory channels) due to physical size constraints.
Previously we covered the Gigabyte MP72-HB0 Ampere Altra Arm Motherboard and Two GPU Systems, but those were for single socket systems. Many of Ampere’s big customers are installing single socket solutions and using the Altra (not Altra Max) and up to 64 cores/ socket. Still, these solutions scale to 128 cores/ socket and therefore offer 256 cores per U (1U), 128 cores per U (2U) or 512 cores per U (2U 4-node.)
For this generation, the big advantage of the Altra Max is its ability to pack cores per U for applications that are integer focused.
The Altra Max 128 core is roughly between an AMD EPYC 7763 and EPYC 7773X in terms of performance. Ampere prices its entire line closer to what AMD and Intel price cloud CPUs at, making them often look very competitive for non-cloud customers. One of the biggest challenges is always finding servers for the Ampere products, as often the servers themselves carry a premium and are on backorder. Gigabyte has been very aggressive with Arm-based servers. We previously looked at the company’s solutions with the Cavium, then Marvell ThunderX and ThunderX2. Now the company is pushing Ampere Altra as the industry has adopted that solution. It is great to see Gigabyte offer more dual-socket solutions to have a broader portfolio.
If you want to check out some upcoming content from STH, Patrick, our Editor-in-Chief will have a session using a Gigabyte Ampere Altra Max server with an NVIDIA A100 at GTC 2022:
Developers interested in what it is like to work with Arm CPU and NVIDIA GPUs/DPUs? Join @ServeTheHome Patrick Kennedy as he shares what is possible. Video available 9/19.
Register GTC free: https://t.co/YURgdBkhng
Session link: https://t.co/nhqkc1STyg#GTC #NVIDIA #AI #Arm pic.twitter.com/ReCCpOWN9w
— GIGABYTE Server (@GIGABYTEServer) September 14, 2022
Check that out next week on STH.
Why is big customers installing the 64-core Altra? Does the 128-core Max run into memory bandwidth constraints for the expected workloads or is the 64-core model significantly cheaper? Something else?
When I asked some cloud providers what the 64 cores were for, they said they use them for automation. The 128 cores and up are for compute.