Benchmarking Amazon's Graviton2 Performance With 64 Neoverse N1 Cores Against Intel Xeon, AMD EPYC

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 15 May 2020. Page 1 of 12. 23 Comments

This week Amazon announced the general availability of their EC2 "M6g" instances powered by their second-generation Graviton processors. Amazon is offering a variety of M6g instances with the Graviton2 CPU, including a bare metal instance. In this article are many benchmarks looking at the various Amazon EC2 M6g instances compared to other EC2 Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC instances as well as looking at the M6g Graviton2 metal performance up against various Intel/AMD CPUs in our lab.

Graviton2 is a big upgrade over the original Graviton CPUs that were designed by Annapurna Labs. With Graviton2 there are 64 Arm Neoverse N1 cores per system (for metal or up to their maximum M6g instance type) and this new generation supports always-on DRAM encryption, dual SIMD units, int8/fp16 instruction support, and other architectural improvements over the original Graviton and other Arm server SoCs for that matter.

With the original Graviton CPUs we ended up being less than impressed with their performance, but Graviton2 really ratchets up the competition against Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC server processors in a healthy number of workloads.

First in this article are benchmarks of the new m6g.2xlarge, m6g.4xlarge, m6g.8xlarge, and m6g.16xlarge instance types with the Graviton2 CPUs. Those instances are then compared to the older a1.2xlarge and a1.4xlarge Graviton instances. On the Intel Xeon side are benchmarks of the m5.2xlarge, m5.4xlarge, m5.8xlarge, and m5.16xlarge instances. On the AMD EPYC side were benchmarks of m5a.2xlarge, m5a.4xlarge, m5a.8xlarge, and m5a.16xlarge instances. It's worth noting that those EPYC instances are using EPYC 7571 processors and not yet EPYC Rome processors for wide availability on EC2.

Beyond looking at the raw performance for those many instance types, the performance-per-dollar was also analyzed in using the current EC2 spot pricing.

All of those instances were deployed and running the latest Amazon Linux.

Following those benchmarks of EC2 instance types, the m6g.metal instance was tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and compared to various Intel Xeon / AMD EPYC servers running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS locally for seeing how the bare metal performance plays out for Graviton2. The m6g.metal offers all 64 N1 cores and 256GB of RAM.

Graviton2 EC2 M6G Benchmarks

Benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite.

Related Articles