For the past weeks nearly everyone has been talking about AMD’s Zen CPU’s and battled in releasing benchmarks and comparison tests.
To be honest I’m not very enthusiastic when it comes to such releases as I prefer to comment upon newly released hardware or software after a year or so. We all know what happened to Samsung’s phones or with Intel’s Atom CPU’s amongst many many other hardware deceptions.
So for starter’s AMD’s newly released CPU’s look promising, but they are late and they are targeting a different market nowadays.
A while back when you were talking CPU’s you were considering just two vendors: Intel for higher performance and more robust processors and AMD for low-cost, overclocked performance and less robust processors.
Due to this a lot of people nowadays tend to think that stuff hasn’t changed and the market remained the same while that’s not quite true.
The CPU market is transforming and AMD’s supremacy on their specific market share is now being threatened by the rise of ARM CPU’s which are starting to represent more and more the low-cost solution.
ARM’s were first developed for mobile devices and became a reality with one-board micro-computers like RaspberryPI, but they were soon considered suitable for other things like cloud hosting or development environments. Scaleway were amongst the first to make the big step and provide ARM based cloud servers.
Contrary to the initial thought, the open-source community adapted and began providing native solutions for ARM based systems both in terms of operating systems and in terms of needed software. I used to run quite a few instances on Scaleway’s ARM powered cloud servers and was impressed with the performance. When I decided to walk away it wasn’t because of the performance, but actually due to two different reasons. One was a misconfigured NAT routing on Scaleway’s end which randomly put some of my servers’ IP’s in null route and the second was caused by the fact that despite paying extra for their “developer” plan which entitled me to up to 25 cloud servers (and included a swag pack that I never received despite having the “developer” plan for a couple of months), the folks at Scaleway continued to limit my account to 10 servers (same as a basic plan) and refused to increase it with at most two servers upon request invoking the lack of server availability for other customers.
Coming back to ARM CPU’s and their potential I must say that when I thought that the market would basically stall for a while I noticed that the folks at System76 are building 1U servers with 96 ARM cores:
With pricing starting at $6399 they sure don’t come cheap, but if we take a look at the full tech specs they can provide the price doesn’t seem that high at all:
Needless to say that given the current market context it isn’t Intel that should feel threatened by the rise of ARM, but actually AMD.