AMD EPYC 72F3 Linux Performance For 8-Core Zen 3 Server CPU

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 26 April 2021. Page 1 of 5. 13 Comments

Over the past month we have been quite impressed by the performance of the EPYC 7003 series Milan processors when looking at the top-tier parts, but how does Zen 3 do for lower-tier server CPUs? Recently we were supplied with two EPYC 72F3 processors from AMD for these 8-core high performance SKUs. In our initial look at the EPYC 72F3 Linux performance is seeing how they compare to the similar previous-generation EPYC 7F32 processor.

With just having our hands on the EPYC 72F3 processors for a few days, the initial look is just some 1P testing compared to the EPYC 7F32 processor for looking at the generational advancement with Zen 3. In the days/weeks ahead will be more tests including the 2P benchmark results and additional comparison figures. Via is also already various comparison points that can be made for those interested.

The AMD EPYC 72F3 sports the same core/thread counts and nearly the same clock frequencies as the prior EPYC 7F32 processor. Both are eight cores / sixteen threads with a 3.7GHz base clock. Besides Zen 2 vs. Zen 3, the other key differences are the new EPYC 72F3 sports a 4.1GHz maximum boost clock speed compared to 3.9GHz with the EPYC 7F32 while also having double the L3 cache at 256MB for the eight cores compared to 128MB with the previous generation part.

Other attributes in common to these processors are both having a 180 Watt TDP (though the 72F3 can also be configured down to 165 Watts or up to 200 Watts), 128 lanes of PCI Express 4.0, eight channels of DDR4-3200, and other standard features of the EPYC 7003 "Milan" series.

So with the EPYC 72F3 you end up with a Zen 3 server processor that has the same base clock as the former EPYC 7F32 but with a boost clock up to 200MHz higher and going from 128MB to 256MB for the L3 cache. This F-Series per-core optimized SKU carries a 1Ku list price of $2468 USD, which is quite respectable considering the EPYC 7F32 is still retailing for $2.2~2.5k depending upon the retailer while originally launching last year at the $2100 price point.

For this initial benchmarking of the EPYC 72F3 1P configuration, the EPYC 7F32 vs. 73F3 were tested on a Supermicro H12SSL-i motherboard that supports both these Rome and Milan processors when updated to the latest BIOS. Cooling these processors was the Dynatron A38.

Given the recent release of Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" and the performance it brings, both of these processors were tested on that newly-released Linux distribution for offering a look at the performance with the latest Linux software -- including Linux 5.11. For this testing I also manually moved the compiler to a recent GCC 11.0.1 development snapshot for having the latest Znver3 (and Znver2) compiler support.

AMD EPYC 72F3 Performance Benchmarks

This initial AMD EPYC 72F3 Linux benchmarking is quite a straight-forward benchmarking comparison so let's get straight to some numbers.

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