Intel Replies to AMD’s Demo: Platinum 9242 Based 48 Core 2S Beats AMD’s 64 Core 2S

A featured image of Intel Xeon Platinum and Gold's namesake metals.

AMD recently showcased its brand new 64-core Rome part going up against an Intel counterpart and while it was fair from a cost perspective (in my opinion), it was pretty obviously unfair from a performance POV considering you are pitting a 56 core setup against a 128 core setup (less than half the core count naturally results in half the performance). Intel reached out to me with their own version of the benchmark, with an SKU that they have positioned against AMD Rome.

Intel does its own run of the AMD Computex 2019 demo with the Intel 9242

The company also tells me that AMD was not using the correct NAMD optimizations during the Computex 2019 demo, which is to be expected considering it is a first party benchmark designed to showcase something in the best light possible and you should always take first party benches with a grain of salt. To this end, Intel gave me a run with the optimizations in place and an SKU that consider to be positioned against AMD's Rome die: ie the Intel Platinum 9242 - a 48 core part.

While the original demo ran an Intel 28-core part in 2S configuration (running less than half the cores of AMD's Rome CPU) for a total core count of 56, the 9242 has 48 cores to boast and results in a 2S configuration with 96 cores, much closer to AMD's 128 core setup. This time, the 48-core setup manages to beat out AMD's Rome die. Keep in mind, however, that the 9242 is not the most powerful SKU that Intel has in its arsenal, they have a 56-core variant too, which should offer even higher performance.

The message Intel wants to send is clear: that they still have the performance crown and charge a premium for it. I think what the AMD demo truly showcases is a problem in pricing for Intel more than anything else. Considering these pricing levels were established back when AMD wasn't competitive, they are now problematic and risky. At the same time, it is also clear to me that, as of yet, Intel still has the performance crown. This is going to have to be a rather short post I am afraid, but let us know in the comment section what you think of this and which company was fairer in your opinion.

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