Netflix considers switching from Intel to AMD EPYC in its datacenters

Netflix could use single AMD EPYC to replace dual-socket Intel Xeon CPUs in its datacenters.

@anthony256
Published Mon, Nov 4 2019 8:01 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:46 AM CST

AMD has been making all the right moves lately with its EPYC line of processors, but now a huge name might be changing over from Intel Xeon CPUs to AMD EPYC CPUs in its datacenters: Netflix.

Netflix considers switching from Intel to AMD EPYC in its datacenters 09 | TweakTown.com
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Netflix has servers in place that can hit 100Gbps of bandwidth, but as you can expect from a streaming giant like Netflix it is always looking forward. The next goal from there is a 200Gbps server, so Netflix has the option of going to a dual-socket Intel Xeon set up or a single-socket AMD EPYC solution.

If Netflix wants to hit 200Gbps of bandwidth it's going to need some beefy I/O, with the server infrastructure Netflix has deployed right now being a mix of Intel Xeon CPUs in both Broadwell and Skylake/Cascade Lake families. Broadwell-based Xeons have around 60GB/sec of memory bandwidth and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes (with 32GB/sec I/O bandwidth).

Netflix considers switching from Intel to AMD EPYC in its datacenters 08 | TweakTown.com

Moving up to the Skylake and Cascade Lake-based Xeons which have 90GB/sec of memory bandwidth and 48 lanes of PCIe 3.0 with 38GB/sec of I/O bandwidth. If Netflix want to get close to 200Gbps, they're going to have to add a helluva lot more Intel Xeon CPUs... or switch to AMD EPYC.

A single-socket AMD EPYC 7502P solution has 120-150GB/sec of memory bandwidth (much higher than the 60-90GB/sec on the Intel Xeon solutions) and 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 with 200GB/sec of I/O bandwidth (much, much higher than the 32-38GB/sec on the Intel Xeon solutions).

Netflix considers switching from Intel to AMD EPYC in its datacenters 07 | TweakTown.com

Netflix has considered moving to a dual Intel Xeon CPU solution, but a single AMD EPYC solution is much cheaper. If it wanted to go to a dual AMD EPYC solution in the future, then it's an even more attractive platform.

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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