AMD's Newest Quad-Core

Before we start talking about benchmarks, here's a short overview of the new models and their pricing in the competitive landscape. AMD is launching both 4/8-way (4S) and 2-way (2S) models of the new quad-core Opterons at speeds ranging from 1.7GHz to 2GHz. To keep things simple, we'll first take a look at the 4S (four socket) market.


AMD uses a different power rating than TDP: "Average CPU Power" or ACP. AMD claims that this power rating is very similar to Intel's TDP: it is the average power draw when the processor runs high utilization workloads. A CPU with a TDP of 95W has an ACP of 75W; one with a TDP of 68W has an ACP of 55W. According to AMD, ACP should be the number we use to compare to Intel's TDP. We'll verify this claim in a later article.

Let's see how the new Opterons compare to Intel's CPUs when it comes to pricing and power:

Intel 4S Processors
Core Architecture CPUs
Quad/ Dualcore Clock Codename L2 L3 FSB Mem bandwidth TDP Price
Xeon MP X7350 Quad 2.93GHz Tigerton 2 x 4MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 130W $2301
Xeon MP E7340 Quad 2.4GHz Tigerton 2 x 4MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 80W $1980
Xeon MP E7330 Quad 2.4GHz Tigerton 2 x 3MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 80W $1391
Xeon MP E7320 Quad 2.13GHz Tigerton 2 x 2MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 80W $1,177
Xeon MP E7310 Quad 1.6GHz Tigerton 2 x 2MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 80W $856
Xeon MP L7345 Quad 1.86GHz Tigerton 2 x 4MB - 266 MHz Quad 8.5GB/s 50W $2301
NetBurst Architecture CPUs
Xeon MP 7140M Dual 3.4GHz Tulsa 2x 1MB 16MB 200 MHz Quad 6.4GB/s 150W $1980
Xeon MP 7130M Dual 3.2GHz Tulsa 2x 1MB 8MB 200 MHz Quad 6.4GB/s 150W $1391
Xeon MP 7120M Dual 3GHz Tulsa 2x 1MB 4MB 200 MHz Quad 6.4GB/s 95W $1117
AMD 4S Processors
Barcelona Architecture CPUs
  Quad/ Dualcore Clock Codename L2 L3 HT Mem bandwidth TDP Price
Opteron 8350 Quad 2GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $1019
Opteron 8347 Quad 1.9GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $768
Opteron 8347 HE Quad 1.9GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $873
Opteron 8346 HE Quad 1.8GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $698
K8 Architecture CPUs
Opteron 8224 SE Dual 3.2GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 119W $2149
Opteron 8222 Dual 3GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $1514
Opteron 8220 Dual 2.8GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $1165
Opteron 8218 Dual 2.6GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $873
Opteron 8218 HE Dual 2.6GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $1019

First of all, it is worth noting that the old Tulsa Xeons remain very expensive and are not even worth considering as they only offer half the performance of Tigerton. The same can be said about the Opteron 82xx series. These CPUs are clocked a lot higher which is interesting for applications that scale badly and need excellent single threaded performance, but nobody is going to buy a 4S machine for such an application. It will be interesting to see if AMD lowers the prices of these CPUs or not.

Back to Barcelona, it also has to face the newly launched Tigerton (of which we are preparing a review). It seems that AMD's CPUs might conquer the high performance blade market easy: AMD offers 55W (68W TDP) quad-cores for about $700-$900, while Intel wants no less than $2300 for their lower power 4S quad-core. Our first tests indicate that a 1.9GHz Barcelona should outperform a 1.86GHz Tigerton, but more testing is needed. For now, we can only conclude that Intel has priced itself out of the 4S blade market. Then again, pricing doesn't always seem to be the primary concern with blades.

AMD also positions the 2GHz 8350 against the Tigerton 2.13GHz, which should allow them to defend the new found territory: AMD has no less than 56% of the 4S market in the US. Basically, we can conclude that AMD's pricing in the 4S market should be quite competitive.

2-Way Market

The 4S market has some great profit margins, but 75%-80% of the server market is 2S. Below is AMD's pricing for this very popular market.


So how does AMD's pricing compare to Intel's?

Intel 2S Processors
Quad Core CPUs
  Quad/ Dualcore Clock Codename L2 L3 FSB Mem bandwidth TDP Price
Xeon X5365 Quad 3GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 120W $1172
Xeon E5355 Quad 2.66GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 120W $744
Xeon E5345 Quad 2.33GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 80W $455
Xeon E5335 Quad 2GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 80W $316
Xeon E5320 Quad 1.86GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 266 MHz Quad 17GB/s 80W $256
Xeon L5335 Quad 2GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 50W $380
Xeon L5320 Quad 1.86GHz Clovertown 2x 4MB - 266 MHz Quad 17GB/s 50W $320
Dual Core CPUs
Xeon DP 5160 Dual 3GHz Woodcrest 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 80W $851
Xeon DP 5150 Dual 2.66GHz Woodcrest 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 65W $690
Xeon DP 5148 Dual 2.33GHz Woodcrest 4MB - 333 MHz Quad 21GB/s 40W $519
AMD 2S Processors
Quad Core CPUs
  Quad/ Dualcore Clock Codename L2 L3 HT Mem bandwidth TDP Price
Opteron 2350 Quad 2GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $389
Opteron 2347 Quad 1.9GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $316
Opteron 2347 HE Quad 1.9GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $377
Opteron 2346 HE Quad 1.8GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $255
Opteron 2344 HE Quad 1.7GHz Barcelona 4x 0.5MB 2MB 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $209
Dual Core CPUs
Opteron 2224 SE Dual 3.2GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 119W $873
Opteron 2222 Dual 3GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $698
Opteron 2220 Dual 2.8GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $523
Opteron 2218 Dual 2.6GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 95W $377
Opteron 2218 HE Dual 2.6GHz Santa Rosa 2x 1MB - 1000 MHz DDR 10.6GB/s 68W $450

AMD positions the 2350 2GHz between the 2.13 and 2.33GHz quad-core Xeon. The 1.9GHz version squarely targets the 2GHz E5335. AMD has no answer to the X5365 and E5355, but currently those CPUs are offered in a higher power consumption band, so this is not the really the end of the world. The 3.2GHz and 3GHz Opterons might still make sense for some hard to scale applications if AMD lowers the prices significantly.

Index Thanks and Testing Setup
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  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    well said. I don't think AMD will have that advantage for a long time in 2P space :-) Reply
  • JackPack - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    The problem is, 45nm Harpertown and 1600 MHz FSB will be rolling in soon.

    Barcelona would have looked great 6 or 9 months ago. But today, it's a little weak unless they can raise the frequency fast.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    quote:

    45nm Harpertown and 1600 MHz FSB will be rolling in soon


    True, but so will HT 3.0 and the newer mem controller for the Barcelonas...
    Reply
  • jones377 - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    You got your work cut out for you now :) Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    AMD won't compete against Intel's Tulsa chips anymore. They will have to compete against Tigerton Xeon MP and the newly introduced Clarksbro chipset.

    On the DP server platform, Intel will introduce Harpertown and Seaburg chipset. Seaburg chipset features 1600MHz bus with significantly improved memory controller performance. We'll see how it all turns out but as of now, Barcelona is a bit late to be competitive.
    Reply
  • wegra - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    You should not forget the Penryn. 2.5Ghz Barcelona will face to 3.1+Ghz Penryn. According to result from this article, I expect the performance of 2.5Ghz Barcelona will reach between 2.8 ~ 2.9Ghz Penryn. So wait till (hopefully) next year to see that AMD becomes the performance king. BTW, talking about the multi-processor servers, AMD will lead w/o much difficulties, I expect, thanks to the scalable architecture. Reply

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