Just weeks after AMD launched its first cloud-native processor, the 128-core EPYC 9754, the processor has started to appear online (in tray, rather than retail box) in several European markets. 

The CPU, labeled 100-000001234, can be preordered but is out of stock from all the eight online retailers I checked today. Finnish outlet, MacPeople, is the only one that gave an estimated time of arrival (June 30th) although that’s likely to be an estimation.

The 9754 has a suggested retail price of $11,900 when purchased in 1000 units but none of the e-tailers came close to that price. Dutch outlet Max ICT sold the 9754 for just under $9,500 (a discount of more than 20%) with the most expensive one coming from France-based LAFI at $11,200. None of the usual suspects in the US (Ingram Micro, Avnet, Element14 etc) had stock or publicly available pricing of the new AMD part, which is surprising to say the least.

Benchmarks shed light on outstanding performance

The EPYC 9754 is almost certainly the fastest x86 processor in the world right now thanks to its 128 cores, 256 threads, 256MB L2 cache and an enhanced Zen 4C/Bergamo architecture. It has a fairly low base clock (2.25GHz) and a boost speed of only 3.1GHz to keep its default TDP in check (360W). If you want top-of-the-range single-thread performance, the EPYC 9174F will be a better bet with a 4.1GHz base clock (but only 16 cores).

It also supports 6TB RAM (12 channels x 512GB DDR5 memory), PCIe 5.1 and offers standard enterprise RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability). AMD says that its workload affinity ranges from VDI to HPC and web hosting (likely to be bare metal, cloud hosting).

Other than the benchmarks displayed at launch, a few others have emerged that show its outstanding performance on applications that rely heavily on multi-threading and multiple cores. On the popular V-Ray 5 benchmark, a single 9754 processor is faster than two Xeon Platinum 8490H CPUs, currently Intel’s fastest and most expensive model with 60 cores and 120 threads, with a combined suggested retail price of $34,000. Ouch.

A more enterprise focused benchmark, SPEC CPU 2017, show that a two-socket EPYC 9754 deliver a higher results than a four-socket 8490H with the added bonus of consuming about 40% less power at maximum load (plus an idle power consumption of 117W only). Another vendor, Asrock, also claims that a 2P AMD EPYC 9754 server will be almost 4X faster than a 2P Ampere Altra Max M128-30 system when using NGINX (request/sec WRK comparison).

There’s of course a flurry of other benchmarks (66 at the time of writing) that AMD has published on its site that focus primarily on enterprise workloads. Don’t be surprised though if the 9754 finds its way into some of the best workstation PCs around: 256 cores in a tower setup is too attractive to be ignored.

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