AMD Milan-X Upgrade In The Cloud Makes Microsoft Azure HBv3 Very Compelling For HPC
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 21 March 2022. Page 1 of 5. 2 Comments

Today the AMD EPYC 7003 Milan-X processors are officially shipping. See my AMD EPYC 7773X Linux review for more details and plenty of benchmarks. The 768MB of L3 cache per CPU won't be of benefit to all workloads, just as the forthcoming Ryzen 7 5800X3D is focused on gaming. Aside from the dozens of benchmarks covered in my review, if you are still left wondering about whether other workloads stand to benefit from Milan-X, thankfully it's easy to already test drive it in the cloud with Microsoft Azure. Here are some Microsoft Azure HBv3 benchmarks looking at the Milan-X uplift in the cloud.

When AMD originally introduced the EPYC 7003 "Milan" series, Microsoft was out of the gate with EPYC Milan on Azure right away. With Milan-X, they are ramping things up as well right away. In fact, going back to Q4 they already had Milan-X beginning to roll out to early customers/partners. Rather than launching Milan-X as a new instance series on Azure, Microsoft is phasing it in as an update to their HBv3 series that launched earlier this year for Milan. No customer changes are required but will be rolling out Milan-X as same-size HBv3 VMs to provide a nice mid-cycle performance upgrade.

Not only is this coming as an "upgrade" to HBv3, but Microsoft is maintaining the same pricing as current for these instances... So now with the increased competition from Google Cloud Tau VM and other public cloud providers, HBv3 is becoming much more compelling in the shift to Milan-X at the same pricing level.

Microsoft has found Milan-X to be particularly compelling for large HPC workloads deployed across multiple VMs.

Even if you are hoping to purchase Milan-X processors, the immediate Azure HBv3 availability is nice if wanting to begin profiling your code-bases for AMD 3D V-Cache cache usage and further code tuning around the massive cache or simply seeing what workloads you have that would benefit from the 3D V-Cache.

These are old but new benchmarks: Microsoft kindly provided us with advanced (and no-cost for review testing) access to the new HBv3 VMs (as well as existing HBv3 VMs for re-testing over our prior benchmarks). Going back to November 2021 is when I actually carried out this Milan-X HBv3 benchmarking, thanks to Microsoft, and drafted the original article. But then to only find out that AMD requested these benchmarks not be published until the formal Q1 launch. Thus here we are today with these Azure HBv3 benchmarks. Thanks to Microsoft providing Phoronix with early access to their Milan-X instances and here are those benchmarks. Since then it's possible for even greater performance out of newer firmware and any other software stack upgrades, while for launch day are just these original benchmarks I conducted.


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