An EPYC Processor Requiring Epic Cooling for HPC Workloads
AMD unleashed a new flagship EPYC “Rome” server processor at its European launch event in Rome, Italy earlier this week. The new AMD EPYC 7H12 is a 64 core (128 thread) processor with all the features of “Rome” EPYC 7002 series processors but with an even higher 280W TDP allowing for higher base and all-core turbo boost clockspeeds.
The new EPYC 7H12 CPU will have general availability soon for any OEM that wants to harness it, but it is primarily aimed at the HPC (high performance computing) market in servers outfitted with liquid or immersion cooling. The processor comes clocked at 2.6 GHz base and 3.3 GHz boost. Interestingly, the EPYC 7H12 has a 100 MHz lower maximum boost clock versus the EPYC 7742, but the base clock is 350 MHz higher along with a higher all core boost clock (though AMD did not disclose the exact number). The 55W increase in TDP versus the EPYC 7742 allows the 7nm Zen 2 based cores to stretch their legs a bit more – offering up to 11% higher performance in the HPL LINPACK benchmark, for example.
AMD launch partner Atos will be offering 1U liquid cooled Bullsequana XH2000 blade servers with eight EPYC 7H12 CPUs each with a claimed 4.2 TFLOPS of compute performance. Dell EMC has also announced they will be offering five new servers powered by the new processors.
The extra performance will certainly come with a price, however. In addition to requiring beefier cooling methods (AMD is pushing liquid cooling solutions or better), the new chips are likely to be priced well above the $7,000 EPYC 7742. With that said, the increase performance will allegedly be more than sufficient to make up for the increased upfront costs and result in a more efficient TCO (total cost of ownership).
Exact pricing and other details are still forthcoming. I am interested to see the design wins AMD can secure and the kinds of systems the new chips will be used in and HPC workloads they will be used for.