FreeBSD 13.0 vs. DragonFlyBSD 6.0 vs. Linux On AMD EPYC 7003 Series "Milan"

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 22 June 2021 at 07:30 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 8 Comments.

For those wondering how well the likes of FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 performance on AMD's EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors launched earlier this year, here are some initial benchmarks of those BSDs alongside a few Linux distributions. With recently having a Tyan 1U server in the lab with EPYC 7543 32-core processor, I've been running a number of BSD benchmarks on it given these recent BSD releases have been running well on this 1P server.

This initial round of BSD operating system testing on AMD EPYC 7003 series was carried out using a retail Tyan Transport CX GC68-B8036-LE barebones server. A full review of this server will be posted on Phoronix in the coming weeks along with more (Linux) benchmarks of this 1U1S cloud server while today we are just looking at the BSD support and performance.

The Tyan GC68-B8036-LE barebones server uses the Tyan S8036GM2NE motherboard. This S8036 motherboard supports AMD EPYC 7002/7003 series processors, offers sixteen DDR4-3200 memory slots, two PCIe x24 slots (one of the slots is limited to PCIe x16 link), dual Gigabit network interfaces via a Broadcom BCM5720, and has an ASpeed AST2500 BMC.

For all the benchmarks in this article the Tyan server was running with the AMD EPYC 7543 32-core / 64-thread processor, 8 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, and 1TB WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD.

Both FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 were running fine with this Tyan server with all core functionality working and not running into any other surprises along the way. With both the latest-generation Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC server platforms there are routinely various motherboards having issues with the latest BSDs either due to unsupported NICs, various panics at boot, and other issues. Thus it was quite refreshing to see this Tyan server for AMD EPYC Milan processors working just fine on both these newest BSD operating system releases.

FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD Benchmarks On AMD EPYC Milan

Besides seeing that FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 run on this Tyan AMD server, I also ran various performance benchmarks in seeing how the performance compares up against a few Linux distributions. The Linux distributions tested for reference included Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 21.04, CentOS Linux 8, and CentOS Stream 8. On the following pages are those reference benchmarks for those curious about BSD vs. Linux performance on this 32-core server. Each operating system was freshly installed and tested in its out-of-the-box / default configuration.

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