At one point AMD was rivalling and indeed outperforming Intel in the CPU market, this was certainly the case as I was becoming a teenager (some 17 years ago now). Not only were AMD faster in many benchmarks, on many occasions they were better value than their Intel processor equivalent. Sadly, for AMD, that hasn’t been the case for many years and their desktop products seem to be marketed towards low to mid-end desktop computers and laptops. AMD have also rarely had much success when it comes to the Dedicated Server/ Workstation market, however, with Enterprise becoming such an integral part of big business, AMD decided to try their luck with a new range of processors providing a large number of dedicated cores per processor. AMD has already released their new desktop range earlier this year, and has also made clear their plans for a new APU launch to hit the mobile market. However, between the release of these two product lines comes Naples (current codename and not official) and as a IT Hosting provider with experience in large customer server and Enterprise solutions we are most excited about the Naples product line in particular, what it could mean for Enterprise solutions available to ourselves and of course in turn our current and prospective customers.
With so much of the Enterprise market being dominated by Intel products, AMD will at least not have to be concerned about other competition, and will most likely gain a small portion of Intel’s Market at the very least. The early benchmark released by AMD show much promise although the specific processor tested is not known for either brand:
From a business standpoint it will be interesting to see where the pricing will align itself in the market, but even if AMD are able to provide more value compared to the Intel range, will their previous efforts in this market lead to incredulous would be customers. AMD’s Opteron range was quite successful to a point, but has been less relevant in the past 5 years, possibly down to the performance when compared to Intel’s range (Opteron processors tended towards more cores with weaker clock speed and performance) and would major server providers be willing to adapt their products to fit the AMD range.
As a provider of dedicated servers to a wide audience, and with our increase in Enterprise based solutions for our customers, we appreciate the potential competition and the increase in different options AMD’s new processors will provide. We also looking for to stress testing/ benchmarking the Naples Processors to ascertain whether or not they can compete with Intel’s processors in other areas such as reliability, performance, thermal output, I/O and whether or not they can offer a wide enough range to appeal a broad range of customer requirements.
Interestingly there seems to be somewhat of a bottle neck when it comes to using dual processors. A single Naples 32 Core Processor will provide 128 PCIe lanes. However, when in dual mode the processors will need to use 64 PCI-e lanes each to communicate with each other which results in the same number of PCIe lanes being required. This may prove to be a deal breaker for some users who were otherwise interested in the product.
VooServers has already had customers show interest in the new range and should that interest continue as the year progresses then it’s certainly an option we’d consider providing to our customers, which is especially relevant as we are soon to be launching our own Enterprise website. VooServers will also be eager to see the full product line to see whether customers using basic and intermediate setups can also benefit from the new architecture.
AMD’s new Naples architecture will be available some time during Q2 of 2017.
By Matthew Porter on March 22nd, 2017