AMD announces Epyc 9004: up to 96 cores for around $12,000

In the context: AMD took the audience on a rollercoaster ride by unveiling the fourth generation of Epyc datacenter processors at a live event last week. The hosts threw number after number at the audience throughout the performance, so buckle up while we sort them out.

You should start with the name of the series: 9004, followed by 7003, 7002 and 7001. Why nine? I’m not sure, but the last four are references to both the Zen 4 generation and architecture. The series’ codename is Genoa, continuing AMD’s tradition of naming the Epyc series after Italian cities, which in the past included Milan, Rome, and Naples.

AMD has also developed an affinity for number five. Eight DDR4 lanes became twelve DDR5-4800 lanes (up to 6TB per socket), while 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes gave way to 128 PCIe 5.0 lanes and 64 CXL 1.1+ lanes. The series is also switching from TSMC’s 7nm to 5nm and using a new socket called SP5 (LGA 6096). And finally, AMD is finally joining Intel with support for the AVX-512 instruction set.

Model Cores/Threads Base/boost clock Default TDP Price (USD)*
Epic 9654 96/192 2.40/3.70 GHz 360 W $11,805
Epic 9654P 96/192 2.40/3.70 GHz 360 W $10,625
Epic 9634 84/168 2.25/3.70 GHz 290 W $10,304
Epic 9554 64/128 3.10/3.75 GHz 360 W $9087
Epic 9554P 64/128 3.10/3.75 GHz 360 W $7,104
Epic 9534 64/128 2.45/3.70 GHz 280 W $8,803

In total, AMD announced 18 models (tables above and below). They have from 16 to 96 cores and have suffixes indicating their type: F – fast and inefficient; P, for one outlet only; and no suffix for regular and two-socket. AMD has shared much more detailed specs than we could fit here, such as cache size and configurable TDP, so if you’re interested, start with AMD. data sheet and then check them documentation page for Genoa.

Model Cores/Threads Base/boost clock Default TDP Price (USD)*
Epic 9474F 48/96 3.60/4.10 GHz 360 W $6780
Epic 9454 48/96 2.75/3.80 GHz 290 W $5225
Epic 9454P 48/96 2.75/3.80 GHz 290 W $4598
Epic 9374F 32/64 3.85/4.30 GHz 320 W $4850
Epic 9354 32/64 3.25/3.80 GHz 280 W $3420
Epic 9354P 32/64 3.25/3.80 GHz 280 W $2,730
Epic 9334 32/64 2.70/3.90 GHz 210 W $2990

AMD claims that Zen 4 has a ~14% IPC advantage over Zen 3 in server scenarios. It says the increase is due to a doubling of the L2 cache capacity to 1MB and improvements in the front-end, branch prediction, load/save, and execution engine. Genoa also more than doubles the theoretical memory bandwidth per socket from 205 GB/s to 461 GB/s.

In addition to a slightly higher clock speed and a significant increase in core count over the 9654, the new flagship is 1.9x faster than the previous one, according to AMD, which used a Java-based processor. SPECjbb 2015 instrument as a reference. Sure, the 9654 is $11,805 and the 64-core 7763 is a third cheaper at $7,890, but the Genoa part is still more expensive.

Model Cores/Threads Base/boost clock Default TDP Price (USD)*
Epic 9274F 24/48 4.05/4.30 GHz 320 W 3060 USD
Epic 9254 24/48 2.90/4.14 GHz 200 W $2299
Epic 9224 24/48 2.50/3.70 GHz 200 W 1825 USD
Epic 9174F 16/32 4.10/4.40 GHz 320 W $3850
Epic 9124 16/32 3.00/3.70 GHz 200 W $1083

If you’re not thrilled with AMD’s carefully curated metrics, Phoronix has a comprehensive launch day review of 9654 and 9554. It’s worth reading, but the bottom line is that the new Epyc parts come out on top in all multi-core tests and land among the Intel Xeon parts in light single-threaded workloads. Genoa’s flagships are simply “bigger” in all respects: more performance, more power consumption, and more expensive. But they are so fast that they are still more efficient and more profitable than the competition.

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