When it comes to comparing AMD and Intel, it’s difficult to avoid the many biases individuals have. Some swear by Intel, others by AMD. However, it should be recognised that both perform extremely well. This blog focuses on Intel’s Xeon processors, and AMD’s EPYC processors and attempts to reach a consensus summarising key information. Ultimately this blog leaves you to make your own decision.
The price of Intel’s Xeon processors will vary by design. However, as these are Intel’s fastest 28-core CPU’s, the price should be expected to be quite high. Especially when compared to its competitor. AMD’s new EPYC processors undercut the Xeon price point by up to a staggering 73.2%! Such a large price difference would raise anyone’s brow, and this price difference can be seen across the board. The EPYC averages at roughly half of the cost of Xeon processors. This leaves us needing to find out if the price negates functionality and performance.
Both Intel and AMD will have multiple cores within a single processor. The performance of a single core is important because there are plenty of applications that don’t equally and neatly divide up tasks. For example, most gamers want fewer cores that offer better singular performance, and most productivity/software engineers would prefer processors with many cores, but with less focus on singular core performance. AMD overall offer more cores than Intel, and this is especially important regarding AMD’s new EPYC 7003. It pulls ahead of Intel’s Xeon in single-core performance. It also tops out at 64 cores per socket, which is far more than Xeon.
A new cache design also features in AMD’s new EPYC 7003. It doubles the amount of memory that a single core can access, offering up to 6 times more cache memory per socket. This ultimately improves the performance of a single core and makes it more equipped than the Xeon to deal with workloads that have large datasets. As there are many different models of both the XEON and the EPYC, it’s difficult to directly compare. However, the raw performance of the 3rd generation EPYC on SPEC tests show that you can expect to see 30 – 50% greater performance of tasks when compared with its predecessor.
When compared with Intel’s latest Xeon, you should expect to see roughly a 10-15% increase in performance. Although the EPYC’s performance is better, you may have to upgrade your RAM when using the EYPC due to bottlenecks and other variables. The benefits of upgrading your servers to encompass the AMD 64c EPYC would see at least a 30% reduction in server costs, space used, power consumed, and finally admin costs.
Overall, the new AMD EPYC’s have impacted the server processor market significantly, becoming the go-to choice over competitors. The reason why is because they’re better equipped to handle extensive amounts of server workloads. AMD is also able to achieve this for a much lower price point relative to the Xeon, and their market share reflects this, having risen by 12%. Although AMD is now able to offer all of this, something to remember is that Intel may be a better choice depending on compatibility you require with certain software; Intel still leads in AI applications.
AMD is making very big moves within the processor market which shouldn’t be ignored; therefore, we recommend that you carefully look at AMD’s server products.