Gigabyte released three new Ampere Altra Arm server products. There is a new Gigabyte MP72-HB0 which is a dual-socket motherboard, really the first product in its class. There are then two new GPU servers similar to one that we are working on for later this quarter.
Gigabyte MP72-HB0 Ampere Altra Arm Motherboard
The new Ampere Altra / Ampere Altra Max motherboard is especially interesting. This is an EATX model. That 305x330mm form factor is important since many legacy cases or “channel” systems still support EATX. Most mainstream dual-socket servers these days utilize custom form factor motherboards because of how wide 32 DIMMs and two CPUs are. This is the first motherboard we have heard of designed to handle the new chips in a standard form factor.
To make this work, Gigabyte made some compromises. This is a single DIMM per channel design so each CPU only has 8x DIMMs for the 8x memory channels. There are only four PCIe slots. Three are x16 and one is x8. There is also a M.2 slot and two NVMe Slimline ports so PCIe connectivity is a bit less, but this board looks packed.
The dual LGA4926 motherboard also has some SATA onboard plus an ASPEED AST2600 BMC, and dual 10Gbase-T via a Broadcom BCM57416 controller. This is a cool platform that can support up to two 128-core Ampere Altra Max CPUs.
One important note, if you are looking to build a system around this motherboard, is that LGA4926 coolers are not plentiful. That is especially true compared to Ice Lake Xeon and SP3 AMD coolers. So while finding a case should be relatively easy, finding coolers will be less so. Hopefully, the availability of a motherboard helps to incentivize companies to make coolers for the new socket.
If you want a pre-assembled server, then Gigabyte has two new Ampere Altra servers.
Gigabyte G242-P35 and G242-P36 Ampere Altra Servers
Gigabyte has two new single socket servers also based on Ampere Altra (Max) CPUs.
The Gigabyte G242-P35 is a GPU-focused 2U server. One can see the cabling from the rear PCIe slots to the front GPU areas.
The G242-P36 is similar to the previous model, and what is in the NVIDIA Arm development kit but this adds NVMe support to the system.
Still, adding new systems to the mix is always a good sign.
Overall, this is a great sign. When we first looked at the original Ampere Altra Mt. Jade Server there were not many options on the market. Now, many more are starting to become available. If you saw our recent “More Cores, More Better” video, you will know that STH currently calls the Ampere Altra/ Altra Max the servers to get if you want an Arm server platform.
Stay tuned as we take a look at one of these systems for GTC Fall this year in a piece we are very excited about.
Yes, but x86_64 competition is on DDR5& PCIe5.
Both of those are big factors on server products, where 2x bandwidth really has an impact.
Onibra – Neither SPR nor Genoa are officially released at the time of this writing. Also, for many, the cost of DDR5 is going to deter switching to the new technology, especially in lower core count servers (e.g. 32 cores and under.)
With the pricing of these CPUs, I don’t think many will fret over DDR5 pricing, that is coming down anyway.
After all, one needs bandwidth to feed all those cores, otherwise what’s the point of having them ?
Memory pricing even in DDR4 days dwarfs what we spend on CPUs after both are discounted. Every vendor I have talked to recently, and even some of the CPU folks are talking about strategies to have a portion of the market stay on DDR4 because of the DDR5 pricing. It is more acute than DDR3 to DDR4 was.
Fine, but extra CPU oomph needs extra RAM bandwidth. Which isn’t there with DDR4.
Which is whole point of upgrading your stuff. And it’s not like they can just get the gear now and run it at reduced RAM bandwidth with existing DDR4 sticks and upgrade them later, when DDR5 prices drop,
so I suspect for many this distills to go for new generation or don’t.
Which makes this a niche product IMHO. Nice step up, but real ARM bomb is yet to be dropped in server world…
maybe 2x bw but using half the juice while still be faster – i think most people will not be saturating 100gbe – get 2 and run netfs to make up the difference – the chips are way cheaper additionally – arm will continue to grow faster – they need more boards from various vendors to really trickle down from big boys to smb sector but so far compelling – will be a thread to watch #discount value compute #delidded
How much cheaper is Ampere Altra Max actually ?
Is there any data on pricing ?
@Onibra: The max DRAM bandwidth of Altra is exactly the same as EPYC, and they both max out at 128 threads per socket, so bandwidth per thread is also equal.
Note that AnandTech’s review of Altra Max shows 30-50% higher bandwidth than EPYC on STREAM. So what is your point exactly?
The list price for most expensive Altra Max is $5800 compared to $7890 for EPYC 7763.
You are comparing old Epyc with new Altra Max.
Old EPYC is practically out of the door.
Genoa is practically here. And it has more “cores” ( counting SMT), DDR5, PCIe5 and CXL.
@Onibra: Altra (Max) is older than current EPYC. Ampere should announce their next generation soon. Yitian and Graviton 3 already use DDR5 and have been available for a while now. Genoa isn’t released, let alone available.
Would love to see proving on these things. I’ve been interested in arm alternatives, but total performance is often still undercut by x86 options.
I don’t know why they’re even mentioned about what they produce or design.All they make us cheap garbage that doesn’t work properly out of the box.They releaae bios updates that doesn’t even improve anything no half works.Gigabyte is a joke as a motherboard manufacturer!