Ampere Altra Max Q8030 80 Core Arm CPU Delidded & Benchmarked, Beats Fastest AMD Threadripper In Geekbench

Although Ampere's Altra Max CPUs have been out for a while, overclocker Der8auer decided to take one of the Arm chips out for testing and see how it performs in a standard PC benchmark & what really lies under its hood.

Ampere's Altra Max Q8030 CPU With 80 80 Neoverse-N1 Cores Delidded, Beats AMD's Fastest Threadripper In Geekbench Benchmark

Dera8uer shot the video at Hetzner, a large data service provide in Germany which uses Ampere's Altra Max CPUs to power its servers. The CPU which the overclocker got his hands on is the Ampere Altra Max Q8030 which features 80 Neoverse-N1 cores based on the Arm v8 core architecture and runs at a clock frequency of 3.0 GHz. There's also a faster version of the chip called the Q8033 that offers a higher 3.3 GHz clock frequency. The Q8030 has a max TDP of 210W, features 128 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes and an 8-channel DDR4-3200 memory system.

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The Ampere Altra Max Q8030 Arm CPU was tested on a reference motherboard platform that uses the LGA 4926 socket which is much larger than the current LGA 4096 socket that is used by AMD's Threadripper CPUs on the TRX40 & WRX80 platform. The motherboard features 8 DDR4 DIMM slots on both sides of the socket for a total of 16 DIMMs which can support up to 4 TB capacities.

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The platform also comes with some seriously impressive industrial-grade heatsinks which have a massive aluminum block fitted with several copper heat pipes within them.  The servers utilize a duct-based active cooling solution that cools the heatsink and also vents out all the hot air from an exhaust vent.

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As for performance, Der8auer used the Geekbench 5 benchmark running on a Linux platform. At idle, the CPU consumed around 30-40 Watts of power. Loading up Linux, we can see the power went up to 95-100W with an average temperature of around 50C. Do note that this is power for all the components and not just the CPU itself. While running Geekbench 5, in single-thread, Ampere's Altra Max Q8030 CPU consumed around 100W to 105W power at around 50-55C, and in multi-core which loaded up all 80 cores, the peak power was rated at 310W and temperatures peaked around 70C.

Coming to the performance figures themselves, the Ampere Altra Max Q8030 scored 882 points in single-core and 44,425 points in the multi-core tests within the Geekbench 5 benchmark. The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X which features 64 Zen 2 cores, has a world record score of 34,735 points in the same multi-threaded benchmark which means that the Arm CPU was at least 28% faster. The Arm CPU is also highlighted to offer extremely good efficiency with the CPU itself drawing just 170-180W of power which is around twice more efficient than the Threadripper CPU.

Update: Added AMD Ryzen Threadripper 5995WX performance numbers from TechTechPotato's review (Credits: @FlanK3rXS).

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Ampere Altra Max Q8030 Arm CPU Benchmark (Geekbench 5)
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Finally, we have the delidding part which shows that the Ampere Altra Max Q8030 CPU features TIM-based solder and a die size of 573.75mm2 (22.5 x 25.5) which is a little bit larger than Intel's older Skylake-X parts which measured around 480mm2 but also crammed in much fewer cores. Overall, this was a good showcase for an ARM-based CPU but the elephant in the room is that the chip is mostly suited for an Arm-based ecosystem whereas AMD and Intel continue to dominate the x86 landscape.

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