Since 2017, AMD has gone from effectively zero market share in the enterprise server market to securing well over 10 percent and putting Intel’s monopoly in question for the first time. There’s a good reason for this: AMD’s EPYC server processors deliver substantially more performance for less money than Intel’s Xeon equivalents.
For a long time, a virtual monopoly on the server market meant that Intel could decide what prices to set, instead of according them due to competition: they were the sole vendor. AMD’s server offerings in earlier years were so poor that Microsoft at one point even deemed one AMD core equivalent to 0.75 Intel cores. Bulldozer cores could approach Intel performance levels when clocked high–the 5 GHz 9590 was a testament to this. But this involved massive increases in power consumption, making them irrelevant for server buyers.
But with the Zen architecture, AMD finally got the IPC uplift they needed to be competitive. Ryzen parts now offer better performance-per-watt than their Intel equivalents.
In recent benchmarks, the AMD EPYC 7742 was put up against Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8280. These benchmarks show exactly what we’re talking about. In
With the next generation of AMD server parts, EPYC Milan, arriving built on the 7nm+ process, we’ll see even greater efficiency. In server workloads, maximum performance isn’t as important as performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar. AMD seems to have hit it out of the park in all three respects with the 7742, though. The only reason it’d make sense to continue using Intel is the potential changeover costs and the need to support legacy platforms.
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