Eventually, AMD caught up to Intel’s IPC (Instructions Per Clock) but kept all the cores, which makes the much anticipated Zen 4 Epyc CPUs (code name “Genoa”) a hot topic for professional and corporate customers.
The Big Product Stack Leak
While there have been little bits and pieces of information leaking about these processors for a while, now the entire stack has been leaked and assuming that the leak is accurate, it promises a huge selection of processors at every price point for professional users.
Zen 4 Epyc promises to bring much-needed updates to AMD’s aging platform. Zen 4 Epyc is expected to have PCIe 5 and DDR5 support, bringing more bandwidth to systems where core counts can now exceed 100 in a single CPU package, much less multi-socket systems.
It seems that Zen 4 Epyc processors will feature eight cores for each chiplet, using a 5nm process. Rumors also suggest that we’ll see similar 3D vertical cache memory technology in the “Genoa-X” variant as seen in the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which has taken the gaming world by storm.
Getting to Grips With The Stack
Tom’s Hardware summarized the leaked data in this neat table, and there’s a lot to sink one’s teeth into.
SOURCE: Tom’s Hardware
With no fewer than 18 SKUs in this chart, there will be a mountain of choices for professional customers. At the very top, we have the 96-core 192-thread EPYC 9654P. The frequency range is incredibly narrow, slated at 2-2.15Ghz, but even then this CPU will supposedly have a TDP of 360W all by itself.
Oddly enough, this CPU doesn’t have the highest TDP, according to the leak. Two EPYC 9000 ES model with 96 and 64 cores respectively can ramp all the way to 400W. If you didn’t know, “P” Epyc CPUs are only usable in single-socket motherboards. Non-P models dedicate PCIe bandwidth to communication between multiple CPU sockets. Although, again, we don’t know what AMD will change and wether what we know from Epyc CPUs in the past will still apply.
The leaked core configurations are 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 84, and 96. With double the number of threads in since cases. There are also a number of “F” CPUs in this list that have power and frequency targets than non-F CPUs with the same core configuration. In some cases processors with the same core configuratio have double the amount of cache, such as with the EPYC 9224, 9254, and 9274F SKUs, which double up on cache with each step.
If this stack leak is accurate, you’ll have to carefully decide how much CPU cache will impact your use cases, since it’s certain to make a significant difference to the price!
Perhaps the most confusing part is that AMD has decided to give the Zen 4-based Epyx Genoa CPUs 9000-series numbers. Despite the architecture being the same as the 7000-series desktop CPUs. AMD has been causing confusion with its weird generational names between laptop, desktop, and workstation CPUs for a while now, and if this is the naming scheme, it’s not helping!
What About “Bergamo”?
Genoa is only one line of Zen 4 professional CPUs; there’s also the rumored Bergamo, which could top out at 128 cores! While Genoa has eight cores per chipset, Bergamo is rumored to double that number, so it promises to be a truly “Epyc” CPU at the top of its stack.
Genoa is set to cover the mainstream needs of professional users, although it does feel a little ridiculous to include a almost 100-core CPU in a “mainstream” market segment!
Although the TDPs for these CPUs don’t seem too crazy, there are worrying reports of Ryzen 9 Zen 4 CPUs having temperature troubles. These leaked frequency specs are quite conservative, so it may not be an issue either way, but the sheer transistor density of these 5nm cores poses unique issues when it comes to moving heat away, although of course we relish the challenge of building some of the best cooling solutions of any workstation system builder, so Epyc Genoa can bring it on!