AMD processors are usually seen as value-for-money budget alternatives to the mainstream Intel Core series processors and it is no matter of discussion that Intel has been dominating the computing enthusiast world for quite some time.  However, in the world of servers, AMD is slowly but surely gaining a foothold and taking market share away from Intel.

AMDs EPYC server processors are now directly competing with Intel's Xeon lineup as they offer similar performance and are competitively priced.  In some ways, EPYC processors can be considered better than Intel's Xeon Scalable lineup. An example of this would be core count, as the current top of the range Platinum Intel Xeon Scalable CPU has 28 processing cores whereas AMDs EPYC CPUs can come with up to 32 cores.  

Intel Xeon server chips are still very much the industry standard with a report from Spiceworks claiming that currently 93% of organisations are using Intel Xeon chips and only 16% of organisations use AMD processors.  Interestingly, the report also claims that 5% of organisations plan to add AMD server hardware to their infrastructure within the next 2 years, and 8% of organisations at 2 years and beyond.

This shows the industry’s strong faith in Xeon chips to be effective in data centers but it also shows that the industry is not afraid to experiment with AMDs alternative.   This is the result of AMDs efforts to chip away Intel’s market share by one-upping them in terms of core count and pricing their products competitively. They have been successful in this regard across the board and not just in the data center market, with AMD taking away market share from Intel for 5 consecutive quarters and it seems to be continuing.  

It seems that AMD plan to continue with this strategy with the next generation of server chips.  They have recently released a video showing a next-generation EPYC “Rome” 64-core CPU beating 2 Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M CPUs in the C-Ray benchmark.  This could mean Intel is at risk of potentially losing a substantial amount of market share when the next generation of server CPUs comes around later this year, especially considering that Intel have announced that new generation Xeon processors will be available with up to 56 cores.  

AMD still has an uphill battle to fight if they want to secure a larger share of the server CPU market in the future especially considering Intel’s focus on advanced CPU technologies such as optimization for AI workloads, which AMD are yet to catch up on.  It’s also very possible that a big reason Intel is so dominant in this sector is due to the perception that Intel’s products are just better compared to AMD, which is definitely starting to come into question as AMD prove that they can provide excellent yet cost-effective performance.


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