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AMD 32-Core Milan CPU Takes on Dual Xeon 28-Core Chips

AMD EPYC Processor
AMD EPYC Processor (Image credit: AMD)

If you're wondering what Zen 3 can offer AMD's EPYC lineup, the EPYC 7543 (codename Milan) processors can likely answer that question. The 32-core Zen 3 chip (via Leakbench) was tested multiple times in Geekbench 4 last month.

Milan's formula will be very similar to Rome in terms of the core specifications. The new core-heavy processors will once again top out at 64 cores and feature TDP (thermal design power) limits within the 120W and 225W range. The biggest and maybe most significant difference maker is the transition over to the Zen 3 microarchitecture in addition to the improved 7nm+ process node. Zen 3 has already been proven to provide very important IPC (instruction per cycle) gains in AMD's Ryzen desktop processors, and we expect to see the same level of treatment for EPYC.

The upgrade path to Milan should be pretty straightforward too. The Zen 3-based chips will continue to live on AMD's Socket SP3 so it'll be backwards compatible with previous motherboards that supported Naples and Rome. This also means that Milan retains native support for DDR4-3200 memory and the PCIe 4.0 interface.

AMD EPYC 7543 Milan Specifications

ProcessorCores / ThreadsBase / Boost Clocks (GHz)L2 Cache (MB)L3 Cache (MB)TDP (W)
EPYC 7543*32 / 642.8 / 3.716256?
EPYC 754232 / 642.9 / 3.416128225
EPYC 753232 / 642.4 / 3.316256200
Xeon Platinum 828028 / 562.7 / 4.02838.5205

Given the model of the processor, the EPYC 7543 should be the successor to the EPYC 7542. Both processors are equipped with 32 cores, 64 threads and 16MB of L2 cache. However, the EPYC 7543 flaunts 256MB of L3 cache, twofold of what's available on the EPYC 7542. 

AMD had previously enabled 256MB of L3 cache on other 32-core Rome chips too, such as the EPYC 7532. It really just comes down to the composition. The EPYC 7542 features four CCDs , while the EPYC 7532 makes use of eight CCDs. The end result is the same in regards to core count, but the EPYC 7532 ends up with 256MB of L3 cache since each CCX carries 16MB of L3 cache.

When it comes to clock speeds, the EPYC 7543 has a 100 MHz lower base clock than the EPYC 7542, but the Milan chip does sport a 300 MHz boost clock though. So far, the EPYC 7543 has the highest boost clock speed we've seen in a Milan chip, even higher than the EPYC 7763, which hits 3.5 GHz.

Dual Xeon Platinum 8280 vs. EPYC 7543 (Image credit: Primate Labs Inc.)

The EPYC 7543's best result had the 32-core processor scoring 6,204 points in the single-core test and 112,152 points in the multi-core test. In single-core performance, the EPYC 7543 seemingly destroys a pair of Xeon Platinum 8280 (codename Cascade Lake) processors by up to 22.9%. 

On the flip side, the Xeon Platinum 8280 only beat the EPYC 7543 by 4.5% in the multi-core test, despite the setup having up to 56 cores at its side against the 32-core Milan part.

Admittedly, Geekbench 4 is an outdated benchmark, and not a very good one to evaluate modern processors that have pushed the core limits to new horizons. Nevertheless, that doesn't make the Zen 3 microarchitecture any less impressive. In a world where the business model is based on a per-core or per-socket basis, the value in Zen 3's IPC improvements will certainly appease enterprises.

  • mdd1963
    One of these just might be needed as my home NAS quite (only 50-60 GB of files, and on only 1 GbE network, of course!)shortly! :)
    Reply
  • mjlitola
    mdd1963 said:
    One of these just might be needed as my home NAS quite (only 50-60 GB of files, and on only 1 GbE network, of course!)shortly! :)
    Two socket mobos have lowered in pricing, so I would rather take two zen2 epycs for much cheaper price. For example if EPYC 7543 is 95,7% of XEON Platinum 8280 (Passmark=37575 and EPYC 7543 therefore ab. 36000) for ab. 2/3 of the price of 8280's USD 16000 > so. around USD 10000, you can easily buy dual socket Supermicro H11DSi-mobo for USD 500 and 2 pieces of EPYC 7282 processors (each passmark=31525 and total ab. 63000 with a price of USD700 each) SO YOU SAVE AB. USD 8000 AND CAN LAUGH ALOUD ON YOUR WAY TO THE BANK!!!
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    mjlitola said:
    Two socket mobos have lowered in pricing, so I would rather take two zen2 epycs for much cheaper price. For example if EPYC 7543 is 95,7% of XEON Platinum 8280 (Passmark=37575 and EPYC 7543 therefore ab. 36000) for ab. 2/3 of the price of 8280's USD 16000 > so. around USD 10000, you can easily buy dual socket Supermicro H11DSi-mobo for USD 500 and 2 pieces of EPYC 7282 processors (each passmark=31525 and total ab. 63000 with a price of USD700 each) SO YOU SAVE AB. USD 8000 AND CAN LAUGH ALOUD ON YOUR WAY TO THE BANK!!!
    He was joking as indicated by the smiley face. Who would use a 32 core Epyc system for a home NAS? For the price of the CPU alone, you could build a mainstream system with 128GB of RAM that could cache his entire current NAS storage needs (50-60GB).
    Reply
  • mjlitola
    spongiemaster said:
    He was joking as indicated by the smiley face. Who would use a 32 core Epyc system for a home NAS? For the price of the CPU alone, you could build a mainstream system with 128GB of RAM that could cache his entire current NAS storage needs (50-60GB).
    I guess it depends on what you are running on your home NAS. I am running an ad company from my home, so I have 64 VMs attached via fibre optics to my home NAS running a large MYSQL -table, so for me 32 cores is perfect--the faster the better!
    Reply