FreeBSD 13.0 vs. DragonFlyBSD 6.0 vs. Linux on AMD EPYC 7003 Series “Milan”

For those wondering how well FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 performed on AMD’s EPYC 7003 “Milan” processors released earlier this year, here are some initial benchmarks of those BSDs alongside a few Linux distributions. With recently a Tyan 1U server in the lab with a 32-core EPYC 7543 processor, I ran a number of BSD performance tests, as these latest versions of BSD worked well on this 1P server.

This first round of BSD operating system testing on the AMD EPYC 7003 series was performed using a Tyan Transport CX GC68-B8036-LE barebones server. A full review of this server will be released on Phoronix in the coming weeks along with further (Linux) benchmarks of this 1U1S cloud server as today we are only looking at BSD support and performance.

The Tyan GC68-B8036-LE barebone server uses the Tyan S8036GM2NE motherboard. This S8036 motherboard supports AMD EPYC 7002/7003 processors, offers sixteen DDR4-3200 memory slots, two PCIe x24 slots (one of the slots is limited to PCIe x16 link), two Gigabit network interfaces through a Broadcom BCM5720 and has an ASpeed ​​AST2500 BMC.

For all references in this article, the Tyan server was running with 32-core / 64-thread AMD EPYC 7543 processor, 8 x 8 GB DDR4-3200 memory, and 1 TB WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD.

FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 worked well with this Tyan server with all basic features working and no other surprises along the way. With the latest generation Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC server platforms, various motherboards regularly have issues with the latest BSDs due to unsupported network cards, various boot panics and other issues. So it was quite refreshing to see this Tyan server for AMD EPYC Milan processors running flawlessly on these last two versions of the BSD operating system.

Besides seeing that FreeBSD 13.0 and DragonFlyBSD 6.0 are running on this Tyan AMD server, I also ran various benchmarks to see how the performance compares to a few Linux distributions. The Linux distributions tested for reference included Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 21.04, CentOS Linux 8, and CentOS Stream 8. On the following pages are these benchmarks for those curious about how BSD performs against Linux on this 32-core server. Each operating system has been freshly installed and tested in its out of the box / default configuration.

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