AMD EPYC Processors Buyers Guide

What is an AMD EPYC CPU or Processor?

The Central Processing Unit, or the CPU, is one of the most critical components to consider when buying or building a new server or upgrading an existing one. The AMD EPYC family of processors are designed for both single and dual-socket workstations and servers. This guide will take you through the AMD EPYC range of products to ensure you choose the best processor for your applications and workloads.

It is essential when choosing your EPYC CPU (or CPUs if multiple are required) that you choose a compatible motherboard so we'll indicate this for each processor family as we go through them. As AMD has a regular upgrade cycle for their product range it is vital to know if you are looking at the latest generation, and if you’re considering an upgrade what CPU supersedes your current one, so we’ll cover this too.

AMD EPYC Logo

EPYC is aimed squarely at the workstation and server markets, so these CPUs typically offer more cores than mainstream PC CPUs, but the clock speeds don’t necessarily directly compare well to their Ryzen counterparts. EPYC CPUs tend to have a lot more built-in business-critical technology - for example, they support error-correcting code (ECC) memory, which prevents data corruption and system crashes. For businesses where continuous workloads are mission-critical, even a few hours downtime can cost far more than ECC memory is worth. Also EPYC processors support far higher memory bandwidth and more RAM capacity than Ryzen range CPUs do, as well as many more PCI-E lanes for connecting add-in cards and NVMe SSDs. With all these extra features, scalability and fail-safes, naturally, the price reflects this.

AMD EPYC 7002P-series Processors

AMD EPYC 7002P-series

The EPYC 7002P-series is a range of single socket CPUs. However in all other regards they have the same features and capabilities of standard EPYC processors. EPYC 7002P processors have up to 64 cores and 128 threads, support up to 4TB of DDR4 ECC Registered memory and have 128 PCI-E 4.0 lanes for add-in cards and NVMe SSDs.

The ‘P’ series of processors has been designed around a couple of specific scenarios - firstly that up to 64-cores in a single processor is enough that a second CPU is not required, and secondly for GPU-accelerated servers, where the majority of compute occurs in the GPU rather than CPU, so an over-specified CPU can be an expense that is rarely utilised.

LATEST ACHITECTUREZen 2

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDSSP3

PREVIOUS GENERATIONAMD EPYC 7001P Processors

VIEW EPYC PROCESSORS VIEW EPYC WORKSTATIONS AND SERVERS

AMD EPYC 7002 Processors

AMD EPYC 7002P-series

The EPYC 7002 processors is a range of single or dual socket CPUs, all models featuring 128 PCI-E 4.0 lanes - from the 8-core base model right up to the flagship 64-core model. However it is worth pointing out that in dual socket configurations half of the PCI-E lanes are disabled and the resources inside the CPU used for inter-CPU communication, so the maximum number of useable lanes in a dual-socket EPYC system is 128. EPYC 7002 processors have up to 64 cores and 128 threads, support up to 4TB of DDR4 ECC Registered memory and have 128 PCI-E 4.0 lanes for add-in cards and NVMe SSDs. A dual-socket AMD EPYC workstation or server is idea for compute intensive tasks such as high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications thanks to their huge memory bandwidth, memory capacity and outstanding I/O.

Special Edition AMD EPYC 7002 Processors

You may see that several of the higher spec EPYC 7002 CPUs have a letter in their name that denotes a special feature regarding that particular model. These are explained below:

H - denotes processor optimised for HPC use featuring higher power ratings
F - denotes processor with higher frequency and higher turbo rating and increased cache

It is worth checking when choosing a processor with a feature letter that the power supply of your chosen server is compatible as these processor models often have a higher rated TDP or power consumption.

LATEST ACHITECTUREZen 2

COMPATIBLE MOTHERBOARDSSP3

PREVIOUS GENERATIONAMD EPYC 7001 Processors

VIEW EPYC PROCESSORS VIEW EPYC WORKSTATIONS AND SERVERS

AMD EPYC Summary

Still not sure which AMD EPYC processor is right for you? This table shows the relative performance and features of the two main ranges of EPYC processor.

7002P 7002
SMP
SUPPORT
MAX CORES
/ THREADS
64/128 64/128
MAX BASE
CLOCK SPEED
3.1GHz 3.7GHz
MAX TURBO
CLOCK
3.35GHz 3.9GHz
MEMORY TYPE EEC DDR4 Reg EEC DDR4 Reg
MAX MEMORY
CHANNELS
8 8
MAX MEMORY
SPEED
3200MHz 3200MHz
MAX MEMORY
SUPPORTED
4TB 4TB
PCI-E
VERSION
4.0 4.0
PCI-E
MAX LANES
128 128
SOCKET SP3 SP3

We hope this guide has proved helpful in providing some insight as to which AMD EPYC processor may best suit your server requirement, but if you’re still in need of guidance don’t hesitate to contact our team of system architects on 01204 474747 or [email protected]