AMD finally goes native with Barcelona
Preps pair of Octals
Entire computing platforms have come and gone* in the time that it has taken AMD to shove the four-core version of Opteron known as Barcelona into end customers' hands.
AMD today will hold events in Spain and San Francisco to celebrate the release of its latest server chip. The Barcelona part - meant to arrive about six months ago - will go up against Intel's long-shipping four-core Xeon chips and handle beefy server software jobs. Sadly, the product will do so initially at speeds well below AMD's original expectations.
You'll find a wide variety of Opterons available, stretching from 2.0GHz standard to 1.8GHz low voltage parts. The highest end 2.0GHz chip (8350) consumes 75W on average and comes in at $1019 in volume purchases. Meanwhile, the 1.8GHz chip that eats up 55W (8346 HE) comes in at $698.
AMD has shifted to the average power measurement in the hopes of presenting "apples to apples" comparisons with Intel. AMD has tended to give maximum power consumption figures in the past - usually only attainable in the labs - and chastised Intel for giving average power consumption figures. In addition, Intel tends to leave out the power consumption issues it faces from things such as FB-DIMMs. (AMD will continue to provide the older measurements to OEMs that ask for the information.)
By the fourth quarter, AMD expects to ship low-voltage parts at 1.9GHz, standard chips beyond 2.0GHz and high-end chips that stretch up to 2.5GHz.
AMD, of course, also has a 45nm four-core follow-on to Barcelona called Shanghai set for 2008. Then the company should follow with a pair of octal core chips in 2009, according to Pat Patla, director of AMD's server and workstation business. So far, AMD has confirmed the latter chip as running on a new "Sandtiger" core but has yet to release a code-name for the earlier octal-core part.
"Yeah, you will most likely see that," Patla said, when asked about the two octal core parts in 2009.
As is typical, AMD found a number of benchmarks where Barcelona-based systems beat out Xeon-based boxes by significant margins. Intel has long countered with similar benchmarks of its own.
The vendors remain locked in a tit-for-tat struggle dominated by whichever company has put out the freshest silicon. Overall, this is a positive turn of events for x86 server customers, who are enjoying price, feature and performance gains.
Interested parties can find everything they've ever wanted to know about Barcelona here. ®
*The answer to today's trivia question is Palm's Foleo.
the 64 bit angle
yes I am kind of wondering about how well this does in the sixty four bit area the intel designs have not been all they could be in that platform and thats really needed now as the memory addressing is making 32 bit look more and more like a toy, god I never thought I would say this but 4G of ram is looking far too small even for desktops much less servers. I think we need benchmarks now dammit.
....I'm miles behind the bleeding edge, having just purchased the upgrade for our old DL145G2 - 2 x Opteron 275 cpus :-) Still it got me dual dual-core (if that makes sense) for less than £175 so watch me not care :-P
I echo the comments about 45nm - if AMD don't pull their finger out then I doubt it'll matter what architectural differences there are.
We NEED AMD. Anyone who remembers the very early 1990s (when x86 = Intel) will know just how much we need them!
oh dear oh dear
"I reall thought that AMD were going to put up a fight. Instead they release a part that's about 70% as fast as the one I got in my Mac 6 months ago."
classic mac-user comment. Loving it.
Raw clock speed, does not determine actual processing power, the point is, that these chips can acheive a lot more at the same speeds as intel's chips, just as the Core 2 Duo could achieve a lot more at the same speeds than the previous king, AMD's K8 (Windsor/Brisbane era)
don't mean to be funny, buyt go back to your double mocha and ipod touch and forget the real workd of technology, steve jobs designed it for you so you don;'t have to think, so don't try, it just embarrasses other mac users.