AMD EPYC 9684X Genoa-X Provides Incredible HPC Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 19 July 2023 at 09:00 AM EDT.

Last year AMD launched Milan-X as their first server processors with 3D V-Cache. The performance uplift from the 768MB of L3 cache per socket was phenomenal, but now here we are today with the next-generation successor: Genoa-X. The flagship EPYC 9684X is the new leader for HPC and AI performance as in addition to a 1.1GB L3 cache it leverages AMD's modern Zen 4 micro-architecture with AVX-512, 12 channel DDR5 memory, and other improvements found with existing EPYC 9004 series processors to easily triumph as the new best CPU for high performance computing from CFD and FEA to dozens of other scientific workloads. Here are the first benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 9684X processors.

AMD EPYC 9684X CPU

Last month at AMD AI Day the Genoa-X and Bergamo processors were announced while today marks the review embargo lift for these products. This article is looking at the AMD EPYC 9684X processor while there is also a review of Bergamo too. The EPYC 9684X is AMD's flagship Genoa-X SKU with 96 cores / 192 threads, 1152MB of L3 cache (3D V-Cache), a 2.55GHz base clock, an all-core boost speed of 3.42GHz, and a maximum boost clock of 3.7GHz. The EPYC 9684X has a 400 Watt default TDP but can be configured down to 320 Watts as well. The list price on this Genoa-X beauty is $14,756 USD.

AMD AI Day slide

Compared to the EPYC 9654 Genoa (non-X) flagship, the 9684X has the same core count, a higher base clock of 2.55GHz compared to 2.5GHz, a slightly lower all-core boost clock of 3.42GHz rather than 3.55GHz, the same 3.7GHz maximum boost clock, and then the real special element of being the 1152MB of L3 cache compared to 384MB. The Genoa-X flagship does carry the pricing premium of $14,756 compared to the EPYC 9654's list price of $11,805. The other features are in common with the rest of the 4th Gen EPYC line-up including 12 channel DDR5-4800 memory, 128 lanes of PCIe 5.0, etc. Genoa-X is drop-in compatible with existing AMD SP5 Genoa server motherboards.

AMD EPYC CPUs

Like with Milan-X, Genoa-X is really geared for HPC computing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis (FEA), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) fields among others where able to benefit from the hefty 3D V-Cache -- similar to Intel's new Xeon Max processors for Sapphire Rapids with HBM2e memory.

AMD EPYC 9684X processor

In the weeks so far of testing the AMD EPYC 9684X, its performance has been a real treat. Milan-X was stunning last year but now with Genoa-X the L3 cache size is much larger, AVX-512 on Zen 4 benefits many of the HPC areas where the 3D V-Cache has proved very beneficial, and we basically end up with the already very great Genoa performance now even better.


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