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AMD Introduces Quad-Core Opteron Processor

Barcelona finally here

September 10, 2007 - Today AMD introduced its Quad-Core Opteron processor. Finally. Barcelona is what the chip manufacturer calls a "native" Quad-Core, meaning that all four cores sit on a single die.

Dual-Processor (DP, 2P):

Model Clock speed Power dissipation Introduction price
Quad-Core Opteron 2347 1.9 GHz 75 W ACP $316
Quad-Core Opteron 2350 2.0 GHz 75 W ACP $389
Quad-Core Opteron 2360 SE 2.5 GHz 105 W ACP December 2007

Dual-Processor (DP, 2P), High Efficiency (HE):

Model Clock speed Power dissipation Introduction price
Quad-Core Opteron 2344 HE 1.7 GHz 55 W ACP $209
Quad-Core Opteron 2346 HE 1.8 GHz 55 W ACP $255
Quad-Core Opteron 2347 HE 1.9 GHz 55 W ACP $377

Four/Eight-Processor (4P-8P):

Model Clock speed Power dissipation Introduction price
Quad-Core Opteron 8347 1.9 GHz 75 W ACP $786
Quad-Core Opteron 8350 2.0 GHz 75 W ACP $1019

Four/Eight-Processor (4P-8P), High Efficiency (HE):

Model Clock speed Power dissipation Introduction price
Quad-Core Opteron 8346 HE 1.8 GHz 55 W ACP $698
Quad-Core Opteron 8347 HE 1.9 GHz 55 W ACP $873

Energy Efficiency, Virtualization, and Investment Protection

According to Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO of AMD, performance, energy efficiency, virtualization, and investment protection are the most important features of the new server processor.

Tests by the Tech Report show that the new Barcelona-based Quad-Core Opterons bring major performance gains over their Dual-Core predecessors while fitting comfortably into the same power and thermal envelopes. However, Barcelona's gains in performance per clock aren't quite what we expected, especially in Floating-Point-intensive applications. As a result, Barcelona is sometimes faster, sometimes slower, and oftentimes the equal of Intel's Core microarchitecture, MHz for MHz. Given the current clock speed situation, that's a tough reality.

Others worry about the low clock speeds, but praise the architecture. However, they found the Barcelona to be faster than Intel executing Floating-Point calculations (FP), and slower on integer instructions.

Compared clock to clock, AMD is now on par with Intel's Core Xeon processors. However, when it comes to raw performance, the current Barcelona processors with their low clock speeds are lagging.

In power-efficient performance AMD is taking the lead. That and pricing could make the new Opteron processors a perfect fit for the booming blade market.

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