Ampere Altra Performance Shows It Can Compete With - Or Even Outperform - AMD EPYC & Intel Xeon
For those thinking about a 160 core server for render farm purposes, the Ampere Altra 2P configuration was generally competing with or outperforming the Xeon Platinum 8280 2P depending upon the scene and how well the software is optimized for ARMv8, such as with Blender. In worst case scenarios the Ampere Altra came a bit behind the Xeon Platinum 8280P but still enjoying significantly lower power consumption.
For other creator workloads like texture compression, Ampere Altra also had no problems shining against the current x86_64 leaders. Only in a few cases did we notice subpar performance but in those cases generally comes down to the software ecosystem support with AArch64 and some open-source projects not yet being well tuned for a world where high performance ARM cores are a reality.
While Coremark is a rather simple benchmark, given how common/popular it is with RISC-V and other alternative architectures, here are those numbers for reference. The Coremark performance of the Ampere Altra Q80-33 was managing to outperform AMD's top-end EPYC 7742 2P.
Or on a performance-per-Watt basis based on the real-time CPU power consumption, the Ampere Altra was well ahead of both AMD's Zen 2 and Intel's Cascade Lake server processors.
In the case of the High Performance Conjugate Gradient benchmark from Sandia National Labs, HPCG on the top-end Ampere Altra was about 37% faster than the AMD EPYC 7742 2P and 54% faster than the Xeon Platinum 8280 2P.
On a performance-per-Watt basis, the Ampere Altra Q80-33 was also leading in HPCG.