Feeds

AMD's Opteron 4100s march into x64 price war

Battle for the clouds

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

No Specials

Because low-heat and low-price are more important than anything with these customers, AMD is not creating a high-cost, high-wattage Special Edition (SE) part for the Opteron 4100 processors, as it did with the Opteron 6100s. Conversely, there is no Opteron 6100 EE part since customers buying four-socket servers tend to want to maximize performance.

According to Margaret Lewis, director of software product marketing at AMD, four motherboard makers are stepping up to make boards using AMD's chipsets and C32 sockets to support the Opteron 4100 processors. (Given that the C32 socket is not all that different from the Rev F socket, this should not be a big deal). Gigabyte, MSI, Super Micro, and Tyan are all doing Opteron 4100 boards with lots of power optimizations, and Super Micro is expected to also do bare-bones platforms as it always does with any new x64 chip.

Dell's Data Center Solutions unit, which makes custom servers for hyperscale data centers and which accounts for a sizeable portion of the company's server unit shipments every quarter, has committed to using the Opteron 4100 in its boxes, and upstart server maker Acer, which carried the Opteron 6100 banner into the x64 war back in March, is picking up the Opteron 4100 and committed to delivering power-optimized twin servers (which put two servers side-by-side in a single 1U chassis, or sometimes four units in a 2U chassis) and tower machines for small and medium businesses in the second half of 2010.

Power optimization means cutting out USB ports, serial ports, parallel ports, service processors, and any other unnecessary item from the system board to cut the power usage of the board. Lewis says that additional tier one server makers are expected to put out Opteron 4100 products "in the coming months."

The problem with focusing on the cloud market is that the companies building or using Opteron 4100 systems, as well as those based on earlier energy-efficient Opteron designs, are unwilling to talk about what they are doing. (Indeed, it took El Reg a year of pestering to finally wear Dell DCS down enough to admit it used Opterons in at least some of its bespoke cloud servers).

"What you're using in the servers tells competitors what you are doing to get an edge and reach higher levels of energy efficiency," says Lewis. "But what I can tell you is that we have at least 2 million Opteron processors in cloud providers today."

That's somewhere on the order of a million boxes – and that is a pretty good business, even for Intel, much less AMD.

The good news for customers buying or building Opteron 4100 systems today is that AMD is committing to the C32 socket and the future "Valencia" Opterons – presumably the 4200s – due in 2011 with six or eight cores will plunk right into existing C32 systems with the SR5600 series chipsets from AMD. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Storage array giants can use Azure to evacuate their back ends
Site Recovery can help to move snapshots around
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.