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AMD today pushed out its latest round of quad core Opteron chips, this time designed for four-socket and eight-socket x86 server beasts.

The Sunnyvale, California-based chip maker said it has already begun shipping processors, which are in its 2300 and 8300 models and aimed squarely at the enterprise market, to Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Dell and IBM.

It is AMD’s latest attempt to stomp on rival Intel with its Opteron or “Barcelona” chip, after the original launch was scuppered by a design fault in the silicon last autumn.

Barcelona has already been gobbled up by the major OEMs, including HP and Dell. Opterons have also been shipped for lower end one socket systems.

The latest AMD quad core chips include the Opteron 2358 SE (2.4GHz) and the Opteron 2360 SE (2.5GHz), and customers can also get their hands on the Opteron 8358 SE (2.4GHz) and the 8360 SE (2.5GHz).

Each processor, which AMD said will work with a 95 watt thermal envelope, is loaded with the same 512KB of Level 2 cache per core as the other Barcelona chips, while all four cores share 2MB of L3 cache.

Apparently, Microsoft is wetting its pants over the new chip.

“As we prepare for the general availability of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 [which has missed its launch date by a considerable margin], we are excited about our work with AMD to provide our mutual customers a state of the art data platform for their business critical workloads such as ERP, Web, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing,” said Redmond’s SQL Server general manager Dan Neault.

No word from AMD on how much enterprises can expect to cough up for systems running the chips, however. It simply proclaims that the chips will be priced at an “industry-standard”.

Last week AMD launched its long-awaited Puma laptop platform into an unexpectedly open market after Intel was forced to delay its refreshed Centrino 2 platform. ®

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