Introduction

In Q1 of 2006, AMD-based systems accounted for over $1 billion, or one sixth of the x86 server space. The Opteron grew from a 6% market share to 15% market share in the astonishingly short period of only one year. In four socket servers, the Opteron grabbed 48% of the US market, up from 23% last year. What's more, this is not a "US only" phenomenon: the Opteron has a firm grip on 36% of the worldwide four socket market. Bear in mind that less than 4 years ago, AMD was nothing more than a blip on the server CPU radar.

Sun, which was getting strangled by the high volume Intel Xeon and the mighty Itanium, has also made a big comeback. An attractive UltraSparc IV+ with a fast, integrated L2 cache and massive L3 cache keeps the traditional Sparc buyers loyal, while the well-designed Galaxy Opteron based servers are pretty popular and the UltraSparc T1 "throughput CPU" attacks the midrange x86 market.

It's high time for Intel to find a proper response, as the competition is taking the wind out of Intel's server CPU sails. What's the answer? A Xeon based on the Core architecture: Woodcrest. We compared the Core and K8 architectures just a month ago. Memory disambiguation, large OOO buffers and a large but low latency shared L2 cache should make the Core architecture more efficient in server related tasks than any other x86 CPU.

This article compares a Woodcrest based Intel server with its closest rivals: AMD Opteron based servers such as the HP DL385 and MSI K2-102A2M and the UltraSparc T1 based Sun T2000 server.

The New Intel Platform
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  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Running 4 threads of SSL on 8 core Opteron gives you almost exactly the same scores as 4 threads on a 4 core Opteron. The 2.2 GHz DC Opteron runs at almost exactly the same speed as the 3 GHz woodcrest (that is why you can almost not see it), the 2.4 GHz is clearly in the lead.

    Sign/s: the 2.4 GHz Opteron is keeping up.

    Windows tests: see Jason Clark :-). At the end of this week, Jason will present the Windows based ones.
    Reply
  • hondaman - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Is gentoo using 64 bit? Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Yes. Added that to the configuration page. Thx. Reply
  • vortmax - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Can't keep a company the size of Intel with all it's resources down for too long. They came back and came back hard. I'm sure AMD was expecting this and I'm guessing they have some kind of contingency plan to counter. It might not be this year, but I would expect that in Q1 of 07, they will have some big announcements.

    Competition is a good thing.
    Reply
  • stmok - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Yeah, the contingency plan is called K8L. ;-) Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    So much for the fanboys saying the FSB would cripple Woodcrest. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    Woodcrest, maybe. It will be interesting to see how the quad processor version does. Reply
  • eRacer - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    A typo in the conclusion...under AMD Opteron disadvantages:

    - DDR2 offers lower latency, less power and less cost (for now)

    should be an advantage
    Reply
  • vijay333 - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    i think AT is correct - unless i'm mistaken, opterons don't support DDR2, so they don't have the benefits of DDR2 (lower latency etc) Reply
  • eRacer - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - link

    quote:

    i think AT is correct - unless i'm mistaken, opterons don't support DDR2, so they don't have the benefits of DDR2 (lower latency etc)


    Oops, you are probably correct. I was thinking ahead to rev. F Opteron.
    Reply

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