The Lineup - Opteron x75

Prior to the dual core frenzy, multiprocessor servers and workstations were referred to by the number of processors that they had.  A two-processor workstation would be called a 2-way workstation, and a four-processor server would be called a 4-way server. 

Both AMD and Intel sell their server/workstation CPUs not only according to performance characteristics (clock speed, cache size, FSB frequency), but also according to the types of systems for which they were designed.  For example, the Opteron 252 and Opteron 852 both run at 2.6GHz, but the 252 is for use in up to 2-way configurations, while the 852 is certified for use in 4- and 8-way configurations.  The two chips are identical; it's just that one has been run through additional validation and costs a lot more.  As you may remember, the first digit in the Opteron's model number denotes the sorts of configurations for which the CPU is validated. So, the 100 series is uniprocessor only, the 200 series works in up to 2-way configurations and the 800 series is certified for 4+ way configurations. 

AMD's dual core server/workstation CPUs will still carry the Opteron brand, but they will feature higher model numbers; and while single core Opterons increased in model numbers by 2 points for each increase in clock speed, dual core Opterons will increase by 5s.  With each "processor" being dual core, AMD will start referring to their Opterons by the number of sockets for which they are designed.  For example, the Opteron 100 series will be designed for use in 1-socket systems, the Opteron 200 series will be designed for use in up to 2-socket systems and the Opteron 800 series will be designed for use in 4 or more socket systems. 

There are three new members of the Opteron family - all dual core CPUs: the Opteron x65, Opteron x70 and Opteron x75. 

There are a few things to take away from this table:
  1. The fastest dual core runs at 2.2GHz, two speed grades lower than the fastest single core CPU - not too shabby at all.
  2. The slowest dual core CPU is priced at the same level as the fastest single core CPU; in this case, $637.
  3. Unlike Intel, AMD's second core comes at a much higher price. Take a look at the 148 vs. 175. Both run at 2.2GHz, but the dual core chip is over 3.5x the price of the single core CPU.
Now, let's look at the 200 and 800 series CPUs:

The pricing structure at the 200 and 800 levels doesn't change much either - the stakes are simply higher.

While AMD will undoubtedly hate the comparison below, it's an interesting one nonetheless.  How much are you paying for that second core on these new dual core Opterons?  To find out, let's compare prices on a clock for clock basis:

AMD's margins on their dual core Opteron parts are huge. On average, the second core costs customers over 3x as much as the first core for any of these CPUs.  As you will soon see, the performance benefits are definitely worth it, but know that AMD's pricing is not exactly designed to drive dual core into widespread adoption. 

A Look at AMD’s Dual Core Architecture The Lineup - Athlon 64 X2
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  • Jep4444 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    I don't like how you use the Opteron to give a rough estimation on the A64 X2 as their are other architectural changes between Opteron and A64

    That aside maybe AMD could bring out X2s using 256KB of cache per core to get slightly lower price points and atleast compete with the 830(3ghz)
    I doubt it'll be too bandwidth limited given AMD is selling Semprons with only 128KB of L2 cache
    Reply
  • KillerBob - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    It is usual to see that Anandtech favors the AMD, looks at the artificial tests, and not the real-world tests, where Intel wins out (as usual).

    In other tests itis pointed out the the PEE can be overclocked past 4GHz, in which case it'll kick everything's ass.
    Reply
  • KillerBob - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • dannybin1742 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    drool, i want one Reply
  • Doormat - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Typo P13: Intel's "975x" at bottom of page.

    The high price of the dual core opterons kinda puts me off. I was hoping for 2x the price of the single core, instead of 3.5x (I'm looking at 246 vs 270s). It looks like I'll be going single core (or just holding off) instead of dual core (at least until the end of the year and AMD gets price competition from Intel on the server DC front).

    The 3.5x doesn't even make sense from the yield standpoint. If AMD's yeilds are 70% (wild talking-out-of-my-ass guess, no real factual grounding in picking that number), then their dual core yields will only be 49% (70% for the first core, 70% for the second core). So out of a batch of 1000 chips, instead of 700 you only get 490. Thats 210 chips you need to make up for. If opterons have a Avg selling price of $500, then the "adjusted" selling price would be around $715, an increase of 43%, not 250%. Granted, if AMD's yields are higher, the numbers look better (from our perspective - lower prices), but if their yields are less, it looks really bad (if their yield was only 50%, they'd only get 25% yield on dual core, and would have to double price).

    I guess AMD is just trying to squeeze every dime they can out of this... hopefully that extra money goes to pay for Fab36 and more capacity.
    Reply
  • cbuchach - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Wow....Very impressive offering from AMD. I think the quote that sums it up best for me is: "you no longer have to make a performance decision between great overall performance or great media encoding performance, AMD delivers both with the Athlon 64 X2."

    I was very impressed with Intel dual core chips, but now I know that my next system will go back to be AMD-based. Overall the dual core Athlon64 should be killer.

    As for cost, yes it is expensive, but the performance is really phenomenal. I am sure that it too will come down.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    All hail teh X2! Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    All I can say is.....WHOODOGGIE!!!! Reply
  • Brian23 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    ME WANTY!!! Reply
  • jamawass - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    quote: Despite AMD's lead in getting dual core server/workstation CPUs out to market, Intel has very little reason to worry from a market penetration standpoint. We've seen that even with a multi-year performance advantage, it is very tough for AMD to steal any significant business away from Intel, and we expect that the same will continue to be the case with the dual core Opteron. It's unfortunate for AMD that all of their hard work will amount to very little compared to what Intel is able to ship, but that has always been reality when it comes to the AMD/Intel competition."
    This statement should be qualified. The Rendering market is much more adventurous than the standard server market(didn't they use winxp-64 beta running on opterons to render SWIII?) and will continue to rapidly adopt opterons.There're tangible benefits (faster rendering, lower energy costs=$$$) in moving to opteron for rendering farms. Also more oems like supermicro and broadcom have embraced AMD which should result in much more rapid market penetration than 2 yrs ago.
    Reply

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