AMD's baby Epycs are nothing more than Ryzens in disguise

Not content with stealing share from Intel at the high-end, the House of Zen is going low

AMD unveiled a line of tiny Epyc processors designed to compete with Intel's entry-level E-2400 Xeons.

Unlike the rest of AMD's Epyc lineup, its latest 4004-series processors don't use the SP5 or SP6 sockets, instead opting for the comparatively tiny AM5 platform.

In fact, aside from some enterprise-centric features and validation, these aren't exactly new chips. Peel back the heat spreader and you'll find a familiar chiplet architecture, with up to two eight-core compute dies and a single central I/O die. These chiplets are based on TSMC's 5nm and 6nm process tech, respectively.

If that sounds at all familiar, it's because the silicon underpinning these chips has been around for the better part of two years, just under a different name. AMD's Epyc 4004 series processors are just rebadged Ryzen 7000 parts.

"We have been addressing the dedicated hosting market with our Ryzen for Server products, but we've gotten some feedback that they were looking for more of an enterprise class solution," Greg Gibby, senior product marketing manager for AMD's datacenter products, said in a video shared with the press.

So, while the silicon may be the same, AMD says the Epyc-branded parts have been validated for server environments, including integration with baseboard management controllers (BMCs), server OSes, and offers software RAID support.

At launch, AMD's Epyc 4004 processors are available in eight SKUs, ranging from four to 16 cores with TDPs ranging from 65W to 170W depending on your needs.

Epyc 4004-Series Cores L3 Cache TDP Base Clock Max Boost Price
4564P 16 64MB 170W 4.5GHz 5.7GHz $699
4464P 12 64MB 65W 3.7GHz 5.4GHz $429
4364P 8 32MB 105W 4.5GHz 5.4GHz $399
4344P 8 32MB 65W 3.8GHz 5.3GHz $329
4244P 6 32MB 65W 3.8GHz 5.1GHz $229
4124P 4 16MB 65W 3.8GHz 5.1GHz $149
4584PX 16 128MB 120W 4.2GHz 5.7GHz $699
4484PX 12 128MB 120W 4.4GHz 5.6GHz $599

Scanning the SKU list, we see the chip's specs line up exactly with AMD's existing Ryzen 7000-series roll, with the $149 Epyc 4124P which caps out at just four cores as the only exception.

Interestingly, the House of Zen's 4004-series Epycs also appear to borrow from its cache-stacked X3D lineup. Both the 16-core 4584PX and 12-core 4484PX come equipped with 128MB of L3 cache thanks to a 64MB SRAM tile stacked atop one of the compute dies. This technically makes them the least expensive X-series Epycs ever.

Epyc name, consumer compromises

Dropping consumer chips into servers isn't new for AMD, among others. Motherboard makers have been building server boards for the Ryzen line for years now with AsRock Rack's X470D4U being a particularly popular board among home lab enthusiasts.

But while their lower core count may be advantageous in power or thermally constrained systems - and can even help skirt under per-core licensing requirements - these are still consumer chips and that means major concessions when it comes to memory and I/O.

AMD's 4004-series Epycs are limited to just 28 lanes of PCIe 5.0 connectivity and two memory channels at 5200MT/s. For comparison, its full fat 9004-series parts, which launched at the end of 2022, boasts 128 PCIe lanes and support for up to 12 memory channels.

The chips do support up to 192GB of unbuffered error correcting memory, something that would be notable, except the same can be said of AMD's standard Ryzen processors as well. What's more, the chips lack support for registered ECC memory entirely.

On the bright side, all of AMD's Epyc 4004 processors appear to be using the full fat Zen 4 cores as opposed to the miniaturized Zen 4c cores found in the Bergamo and Siena platforms, which we looked at last year.

Going after the low end market

Since launching its first-generation Epycs in 2017, AMD has steadily stolen share from long-time rival Intel. As of February, the market watchers at Mercury Research estimated that AMD claimed 31.1 percent of the x86 market.

As its CPUs have grown more popular, AMD has also diversified its lineup with chips aimed at technical, cloud, and edge computing. Now it seems, AMD has its sights set on stealing share from Intel at the low end.

Specifically, AMD is pitting its Epyc 4004 processors against Intel's low-power Xeon E-2400 series processors, which can be had with between 4-8 cores and are capable of boosting to 5.6 GHz.

According to AMD, its eight core Epyc 4364P is faster than every E-2400-series part in the popular SPECrate 2017 Integer benchmark. At the top end, AMD says its 16-core 4584PX — that's the 3D V-Cache part we mentioned earlier — is as much as 1.7x faster than Intel's top specced E-2488.

As usual, we recommend taking AMD's claims and anyone else's for that matter, with a healthy dose of salt.

As far as platform availability, AMD says ASRock Rack, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI, Supermicro, and Tyan plan to launch systems based around the rebadged parts. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like