How AMD EPYC & Intel Xeon Gold Compare To Various Amazon EC2 Cloud Instances

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 20 September 2017. Page 1 of 4. 13 Comments

Last week we began with our EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarking of this high-end AMD server CPU featuring 32 cores / 64 threads per socket. Earlier this week were also some 10-year old Opteron vs. EPYC benchmarks and power efficiency tests while the latest in our EPYC Linux testing is seeing how the new AMD processor compares to various Amazon EC2 cloud instances.

For this testing, the dual Intel Xeon Gold 6138 and AMD EPYC 7601 results from last week were compared to various current-generation EC2 Cloud instances. The instance types tested included the:

c3.8xlarge - 32 vCPUs with 60GB of RAM at $1.680 per hour.

c4.4xlarge - 16 vCPUs yielding 62 ECU compute units. This instance comes with 30GB of RAM and at $0.796 per hour.

m4.10xlarge - 40 vCPUs yielding 124.5 ECUs, 160GB of RAM, and $2.00 per hour.

c4.8xlarge - 36 vCPUs yielding 132 ECUs, 60GB of RAM, and $1.591 per hour.

m4.16xlarge - 64 vCPUs yielding 188 ECUs, 256GB of RAM, and $3.20 per hour.

r4.16xlarge - 64 vCPUs yielding 195 ECUs, 488GB of RAM, and $4.256 per hour.

All of these instances were tested running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the stock packages. Those were the high-end instances available for testing. Unfortunately the few larger instances possible were not available to my Amazon account. While the hourly rates may not seem like much, they do add up if considering EC2 for your server infrastructure. Here's a look at pricing on the higher-end m4.16xlarge::

More on the Amazon EC2 pricing can be found here for all the instances. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to compare the total cost of ownership for acquiring a Xeon Gold or EPYC server and then factoring in the electrical / data center / Internet costs, etc. But as a reminder, the EPYC 7601 retails for about $4200 USD per chip and the Xeon Gold 6138 comes in at $2600 USD.

As a reminder on the two Tyan servers for this Xeon and EPYC testing:

2 x Intel Xeon Gold 6138 - 40 core / 80 thread, Tyan S7106, 12 x 8GB DDR4-2666 memory, 256GB Samsung 850 SSD.

AMD EPYC 7601 32 core / 64 thread, Tyan B8026T70AE24HR, 8 x 16GB DDR4-2666 memory, 256GB Samsung 850 SSD. The EPYC benchmarks were done both out-of-the-box on Ubuntu and with numactl --interleave=all set for its NUMA policy.

All of these CPU-focused benchmarks were run in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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