If you're looking for unreleased hardware, Taobao is probably the best online shopping platform to find it. For example, qualification samples (QS) of the AMD EPYC 7773X (via HXL) have already made their way to Taobao for just $2,823.97.
AMD announced its EPYC Milan-X processors with 3D V-Cache back in November of last year. Although AMD didn't put an exact date on Milan-X's release, the chipmaker did confirm a Q1 2022 launch, which explains how qualification samples have escaped to the black market.
Milan-X packs the same Zen 3 cores, built on TSMC's 7nm node, as Milan. The flagship SKU will still max out at 64 cores, 128 threads, and 256MB of L3 cache. The most substantial upgrade arrives in the shape of the 3D-stacked L3 cache, bumping the total to 768MB per processor. The EPYC 7773X tops AMD's Milan-X product stack at 280W and checks in with a 2.2 GHz base clock and 3.5 GHz boost clock.
Before the Taobao listing, the EPYC 7773X appeared at an international retailer for $10,746.99. Understandably, the asking price from the Taobao seller isn't even half of the retail price since it's a qualification sample. That means the chip's specifications aren't on equal terms with the retail model. The Taobao merchant specifically listed a 2.1 GHz base clock, 100 MHz under the official specifications, and an unknown boost clock speed. Being a qualification sample that's illegal to sell, the chip won't have any warranty.
Milan-X will land this quarter and won't require a motherboard upgrade. Milan-X works fine in the existing SP3 socket using a similar recipe as Milan. However, a firmware upgrade will likely be the only requirement to get the new EPYC chips up and running. We've already seen Milan-X in action in a plethora of benchmarks, and the processors pack enormous firepower - firepower that will cost a small fortune, of course.
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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.