It turns out that AMD is being downright sneaky about the launch of their next generation Magny-Cours server class CPUs. Some recent reports indicated that the 12-core chips, officially called the Opteron 6100 series, were shipping out to OEMs. AMD’s Product Manager for Server/Workstation John Fruehe finally came clean and admitted that the new server parts have been shipping since earlier in February. He also said that full scale production was underway, but no announcements were being made at this time.
This news certainly helps to explain where the set of Magny-Cours processors on eBay came from. AMD is most likely looking to get the new chips out the door to combat Intel’s anticipated 6-core Xeons. No official pricing for the Opteron 6100s has been announced, but the set on eBay is still listed for $7,700.
The suits over at Sun Microsystems are claiming new world records from the company's new Fire X4640 server built around six-core AMD Opteron chips.
Sun says the Fire X4640 uses up to eight six-core AMD chips in 4RU, "making it the most compact 24- to 48-core system available from tier one vendors." The company claims up to a 65 percent performance boost over previous-gen Sun Fire X4600M2 server, along with up to half a terabyte of memory in 64 memory slots.
As to the in-house benchmarking, Sun says the Fire X4640 server set an eight-processor world record with 10,000 SAP SD Benchmark users running the SAP enhancement package 4 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application. Versus the competition on the two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark, Sun says its new server offers up to 33 percent better performance than a 16-processor NEC Express 5800 server, 2.7x the performance of a four-processor IBM System 550 server, and runs 21 percent faster than an eight-processor HP ProLiant DL785 G6 system.
AMD over the weekend added to its Opteron line with a new series boasting six-cores and a low 40W ACP. That's the same power rating as AMD's quad-core chips released in April of this year.
"Unlike other chips manufactured by the competition [Intel Xeon], our six-core Opteron retains certain, much-loved features that are consistent with AMD's quad-core iteration," AMD spokesperson Brent Kerby told TGDaily. "For example, we have not reduced the memory speed, bus support, hyperthreading, or cache size. As such, deployment of the 40W Opteron will undoubtedly extend well beyond Cloud 2.0 and social media environments."
Remarkably, the wattage breaks down to about 6.67W per core. As John Fruehe, Director of Business Development for Server/Workstation products at AMD, points out in a blog post, single-core processors consumed up to 58W per core just six years ago.
But it's not all about power savings. Compared to AMD's quad-core Opteron, the company claims the new six-core part offers up to 30 percent better performance, while significantly lowering memory investment in Cloud computing servers compared to Intel's Xeon platform.
AMD hasn't put up much of a fight in the desktop market, but when it comes to the server sector, the scrappy chip maker is giving Intel everything it's got. Adding to its arsenal, AMD is launching new versions of its Opteron HE and SE series, both of which will add to its existing six-core lineup.
AMD first launched a six-core chip on June 1, 2009, six months ahead of schedule. According to the chip maker, these new ones boast 18 percent better performance per watt than the original models, though that doesn't necessarily mean a low wattage design.
On the contrary, the high-performance Opteron SE will consume 105W and is being aimed at those who need performance more than power savings. The low-power Opteron HE, however, will consume just 55W and will likely find a home in cloud computing data centers.
The HE chips will run anywhere from $455 to $1,019, while the SE will cost $1,514 to $2,649.
AMD has its head in the cloud, and that may not be such a bad thing. The chip maker this week released another Opteron 1000 Series processor, codenamed Suzuka, with performance per watt and compatibility taking center stage.
"The flexibility of four cores and a low-cost infrastructure gives customers an edge when designing for a cost-effective or power-efficient platform," John Freuhe, director of business development for server and workstation products at AMD, wrote in a blog post.
Suzuka, which was designed for cloud computing, Web servers, small business servers, and other applications where lower power consumption is the primary focus, runs at 2.9GHz with 6MB of cache. And because Suzuka is based on the same core as Shanghai, existing AM2 platforms should only need a BIOS update to run the chip.
Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
AMD has released its new Shanghai platform, signaling a move to 45nm. The first chips out the door are quad-core Opteron parts, which AMD claims will deliver up to 35 percent more performance and up to a 35 percent decrease in power consumption when idle.
"This enhanced AMD Opteron processor represents the most dramatic performance and performance-per-watt increases for AMD products since the introduction of the world's first x86 dual-core processors nearly four years ago," Randy Allen, AMD senior VP for Computing Solutions Group, said in a statement. "Simply put, the quad-core AMD Opteron is the right technology at the right time."
Shanghai, which is essentially a refresh of Barcelona and not an entirely new architecture, supports DDR2-800 memory and comes with a tweaked Direct Connect Architecture. The current batch of 75-watt Shanghai chips will be followed up by a launch of 55-watt Opteron and an SE 105-watt part in Q1 2009. And according to CNet, a desktop platform (codenamed Dragon) consisting of 45nm Shanghai desktop CPUs along with AMD 700 series chipsets and ATI Radeon HD 4000 graphics will also see the light of day in the same time frame and attempt to compete with Intel's Core i7 platform.
Will Shanghai get AMD back on track? Hit the jump and give us your take.