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AMD EPYC Rome Server CPUs: 6 Important Things To Know

CRN runs down six important things solution providers should know about AMD's second-generation EPYC processors, including how they compare to Intel's Xeon processors, how they can reduce TCO and how AMD plans to compete with Intel in the data center.

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How AMD EPYC Lowers TCO Compared To Intel Xeon

One of AMD's biggest claims with second-generation EPYC is the processors can provide a 25 percent to 50 percent lower total cost of ownership over Intel's second-generation Xeon Scalable processors.

At the chipmaker's launch event earlier this month, it laid out an example of how this would work in an enterprise deployment using VMware's vSphere Enterprise Plus hypervisor software when comparing AMD's single-socket EPYC processors to Intel's dual-socket Xeon processors.

In the example, the company set the baseline deployment as a setup hosting 2,560 virtual machines on 80 dual-socket, 32-core Intel Xeon Gold 6242 processors. In comparison, AMD would only require 40 single-socket, 64-core EPYC 7702P processors to run the same amount of VMs, thanks to their higher core density per socket, while also providing the same amount of memory per VM.

With half the servers, AMD's configuration resulted in a total hardware acquisition price of $947,480 while Intel's came out 78 percent higher at nearly $1.7 million. Comparing per-socket licensing costs for vSphere, the TCO per VM per year was $207 for AMD's configuration and $448 for Intel's. On power consumption, Intel had a three-year total power cost of $251,280 for Intel while AMD's was $98,040.

Intel's space costs for 160 rack units for Xeon-based systems, equal to four rack cabinets, amounted to $228,636 over three years, while AMD's 40 rack units for EPYC-based systems, equal to one rack cabinet, amounted to $57,159 over three years based on an estimated space cost of $19,053 per year.

As for server administration costs, AMD estimated three-year administration cost of $686,360 for 80 Intel Xeon-based systems versus $343,180 for 40 AMD EPYC-based systems. The chipmaker made the calculations assuming the cost of $89,795 per server administrator, with one admin serving 30 servers.

With these factors combined, AMD said the estimated three-year TCO is $3.4 million for the Intel-based configuration and $1.6 million for the AMD-based configuration, which translates into a TCO per VM per year of $448 and $207, respectively. With 75 percent lower licensing costs, 61 percent less power and 50 percent fewer servers, AMD said this represents on overall TCO reduction of up to 54 percent.

AMD offered the caveat that this example includes many assumptions and estimates and should "not be used as a basis for decision making over actual testing."

 
 
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