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EPYC Installed in TR4 Socket with Some Success

Category: CPU's
Posted: 11:36AM

Since before its launch even, the Threaderipper HEDT CPUs from AMD have been of great interest for the power and features the platform offers, and their similarities to AMD's EPYC processors. For example, both Threadripper and EPYC show four Zeppelin dies if you remove the heat spreader, as der8auer did back in September. Even before his video, there were some speculating if Threadripper and EPYC CPUs, with their similar TR4 and SP3 sockets, could be installed in systems meant for the other. Now der8auer is at it again, actually installing an EPYC CPU in the ASUS Zenith Extreme x399 motherboard, and showing the results in a YouTube video.

As this was only meant as a test, der8auer did not install a CPU cooler or even a GPU, but thanks to the motherboard's built-in OLED screen he could still watch for what the system was doing. Initially the system would not boot with EPYC, but after covering what appears to be an ID pin, distinguishing EPYC and Threadripper processors, the system actually powered up. If you are hoping to see a 32 core/64 thread EPYC in a consumer motherboard though, the success is limited. The system consistently crashes when while checking the memory, but der8auer speculates a proper EPYC BIOS could make this viable, though to a point.

While it might become possible to fully boot up EPYC on a TR4 motherboard, two of the dies will suffer from very high latencies because they will not have direct access to RAM. Each Zeppelin die has its own memory controller supporting dual-channel memory setups, and with Threadripper having two active dies, it supports quad-channel, while EPYC with four dies supports eight-channel memory. With TR4/x399 being a quad channel platform, two of the EPYC dies would need to go through the other dies to access memory, resulting in a latency penalty.



Source: der8auer YouTube

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