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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

By Anthony Garreffa on Nov 4, 2019 08:01 pm CST - 1 min, 29 secs reading time

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 |

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 |

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).

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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.

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Anthony Garreffa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Anthony Garreffa

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With 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 high-end, custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU technology is unwavering, and with next-gen NVIDIA GPUs about to launch alongside 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors and BFGDs (65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync TVs) there has never been a time to be more excited about technology.

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