Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon Platinum ES CPUs Fail To Impress Against EPYC Milan (X) & Last-Gen Xeons In Leaked Benchmarks

Intel’s Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon Platinum CPUs that leaked out yesterday have now been tested in a range of benchmarks but fail to impress when compared to AMD’s EPYC & even older Intel Xeon chips.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon Platinum ES CPUs Tested In Dual Socket Configuration, Lackluster Performance So Far Against AMD’s EPYC CPUs

In yesterday’s leak, we reported how the latest Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon Platinum CPUs in ES state consume 350W of power at PL1 and 420W of power at PL2 limits. The CPU itself, which is a Xeon Platinum 8476 or Xeon Platinum 8480, is a 56 core part with 112 threads based on the Golden Cove core architecture, & and comes with 112 MB of L2 & 105 MB of L3 cache, and features clock speeds up to 3.7 GHz (3.3 GHz all-core). Now, these aren’t the final clocks but the power figures are definitely worrisome for Intel’s upcoming part.

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Yuuki_Ans has now provided benchmarks for the same Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP ES CPU against Intel’s Cascade Lake Xeon 8280L (8S Config), Ice Lake Xeon 8380 (2S Config), EPYC 7763 (2P config), and EPYC 7773X (2P config). The Sapphire Rapids-SP chips were also running a dual-socket config with 64 GB of DDR5-4800 memory. The rest of the platforms were running DDR4 platforms at the max specs that the platforms can support, respectively.

Intel’s upcoming Sapphire Rapids-SP ES CPU has been tested in various benchmarks. (Image Credits: Yuuki_Ans)

As for the benchmarks, In single-core, the Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP CPU did show a little boost over the Ice Lake-SP chips but was beaten by AMD’s EPYC Milan parts in 4 out of 6 benchmarks. Despite the new Golden Cove architecture, the CPU was only able to match the Zen 3 server chips in 1T CPU benches. In multi-threaded benchmarks, the AMD EPYC Milan lineup destroyed the Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP chips outright. Just for comparison’s sake, in CPU-z, the AMD EPYC Milan CPU ran at up to 2.3x faster performance than the unreleased Intel chip.

Interestingly, the CPU does deliver much higher performance in the CPU-z AVX-512 tests but we know that AVX-512 makes the CPU consume way more power and that could lead to power figures nearing the 700-750W BIOS limit. This is also why the AVX-512 clock speeds are rated much lower due to their intensity on each individual core. AVX-512 has been used in the past by Intel to inflate their benchmark numbers and while there are certain HPC workloads where the tech is useful, it isn’t widely adopted and as such, non-AVX-512 workloads will benefit from standard core compute performance more.

Although this is an ES chip and we expect performance to improve significantly for the Sapphire Rapids-SP chip in the QS state, the final chip may still be only competitive against AMD’s EPYC Milan parts while it will be launching at the same time when AMD will come out guns blazing with its next-generation EPYC Genoa 7004 CPUs. With such high power draw and not enough performance at hand, it looks like Intel will be getting a serious beating in the server segment by AMD, something that has been the case over the past few generations.

Intel Xeon SP Families (Preliminary):

Family Branding Skylake-SP Cascade Lake-SP/AP Cooper Lake-SP Ice Lake-SP Sapphire Rapids Emerald Rapids Granite Rapids Diamond Rapids
Process Node 14nm+ 14nm++ 14nm++ 10nm+ Intel 7 Intel 7 Intel 3 Intel 3?
Platform Name Intel Purley Intel Purley Intel Cedar Island Intel Whitley Intel Eagle Stream Intel Eagle Stream Intel Mountain Stream
Intel Birch Stream
Intel Mountain Stream
Intel Birch Stream
Core Architecture sky lake Cascade Lake Cascade Lake Sunny Cove Golden Cove raptor cove Redwood Cove? Lion Cove?
IPC Improvement (Vs Prev Gen) 10% 0% 0% twenty% 19% 8%? 35%? 39%?
MCP (Multi-Chip Package) SKUs Do not And it is Do not Do not And it is And it is TBD (Possibly Yes) TBD (Possibly Yes)
Socket LGA 3647 LGA 3647 LGA 4189 LGA 4189 LGA4677 LGA4677 TBD TBD
Max Core Count Up To 28 Up To 28 Up To 28 Up To 40 Up To 56 Up To 64? Up To 120? Up To 144?
Max Thread Count Up To 56 Up To 56 Up To 56 Up To 80 Up To 112 Up To 128? Up To 240? Up To 288?
Max L3 Cache 38.5MB L3 38.5MB L3 38.5MB L3 60MB L3 105MB L3 120MB L3? 240MB L3? 288MB L3?
Vector Engines AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-512/FMA2 AVX-1024/FMA3? AVX-1024/FMA3?
memory support DDR4-2666 6-Channel DDR4-2933 6-Channel Up To 6-Channel DDR4-3200 Up To 8-Channel DDR4-3200 Up To 8-Channel DDR5-4800 Up To 8-Channel DDR5-5600? Up To 12-Channel DDR5-6400? Up To 12-Channel DDR6-7200?
PCIe Gen Support PCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes) PCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes) PCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes) PCIe 4.0 (64 Lanes) PCIe 5.0 (80 lanes) PCIe 5.0 (80 Lanes) PCIe 6.0 (128 Lanes)? PCIe 6.0 (128 Lanes)?
TDP Range (PL1) 140W-205W 165W-205W 150W-250W 105-270W Up To 350W Up To 375W? Up To 400W? Up To 425W?
3D Xpoint Optane DIMM N/A Apache Pass Barlow Pass Barlow Pass crowd pass CrowPass? Donahue Pass? Donahue Pass?
Competition AMD EPYC Naples 14nm AMD EPYC Rome 7nm AMD EPYC Rome 7nm AMD EPYC Milan 7nm+ AMD EPYC Genoa ~5nm AMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa) AMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa) AMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa)
Launch 2017 2018 2020 2021 2022 2023? 2024? 2025?

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