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Ampere Altra Max 128-Core CPU Is Priced Lower Than Flagship Xeon, EPYC CPUs

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  • Ampere Altra Max 128-Core CPU Is Priced Lower Than Flagship Xeon, EPYC CPUs

    Phoronix: Ampere Altra Max 128-Core CPU Is Priced Lower Than Flagship Xeon, EPYC CPUs

    From our Ampere Altra Max M128-30 Linux performance preview earlier this week, one of the questions a number of readers were wondering about and a question I also still had open was on the Altra Max pricing... I've now received the current price list and actually comes in much lower than expected for a 128-core CPU in 2021...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...ra-Max-Pricing

  • #2
    Strange how low clock the 32 core model is. I can see they did it for lower TPD (only 65w), but I feel they also should offer a higher clocked one, or at least allow for overclocking. 1.7GHz is lower than what a fanless Raspberry Pi 4 can do.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 30 September 2021, 06:31 AM. Reason: Bigger forces forced me to hide the truth.

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    • #3
      So what's missing? Does Ampere Altra do virtualization?

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      • #4
        That's good news on the pricing. I like that $800 "get your toes wet" processor model. If there were corresponding cost reduced motherboards to go with it.

        I wonder how many leftover die they have that don't fit their product stack.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Inopia View Post
          So what's missing? Does Ampere Altra do virtualization?
          Yes, it has hardware virtualization lol.

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          • #6
            I know Michael promised us some FreeBSD action and I am EXCITED to see that but I was wondering if we could see if the 128 core beast will boot into OpenBSD 6.9 or 7.0-BETA? Please?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
              Strange how low clock the 32 core model is. I can see they did it for lower TPD (only 65w), but I feel they also should offer a higher clocked one, or at least allow for overclocking. 1.7GHz is lower than what a fanless Raspberry Pi 4 can do.
              What is strange about it? The Cascade Lake Xeon lineup has a handful of sub-2.0 Ghz SKU's, clocked at 1.8 and 1.9 Ghz. And EPYC Milan has a few 2.0 Ghz SKU's.

              Remember that not everything requires high clocks. Virtualization hypervisors for example, where a low clocked many core CPU is perfect for running a pile of business VM's.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                What is strange about it? The Cascade Lake Xeon lineup has a handful of sub-2.0 Ghz SKU's, clocked at 1.8 and 1.9 Ghz. And EPYC Milan has a few 2.0 Ghz SKU's.

                Remember that not everything requires high clocks. Virtualization hypervisors for example, where a low clocked many core CPU is perfect for running a pile of business VM's.
                I understand that. But what I find strange is they are only offering the low clock model in the 32c. The 64c have 3 different speeds to choose from.

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                • #9
                  Of course, big customers are unlikely to pay list price - and the implementation has limitations respective to the competition in certain workloads.

                  The software story is almost there, though - although I've still faced issues with packaging of software that is in some cases only supports amd64 because that's what the main developers use, or systems relying on older versions or unmaintained software without arm64 support. Hopefully now that we have widely available cloud support that will become less of a problem.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                    I understand that. But what I find strange is they are only offering the low clock model in the 32c. The 64c have 3 different speeds to choose from.
                    Speculating here, but IME these are targeting virtualization hypervisors where memory capacity is the limiting factor long before CPU. Where I work, we bought some quad socket 16-core Opteron servers in ~2012. Memory was 512 GB per server. With our workload (RHEL VM's running Oracle products) we hit the memory limit while CPU utilization was ~10%. Learning from this, our next hardware refresh we used single socket EPYC, 16 cores, also with 512 GB. Same thing, CPU at ~10% with enough VM's running to reach the memory limit. In summary, there doesn't appear to be a need for >32 cores when running standard business workloads (e.g. Oracle database, Weblogic, SOA Suite, etc).

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