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AMD unveiled their Opteron 6300 series server processors, code name Abu Dhabi, back in November 2012. At that time, no review samples were available. The numbers that AMD presented were somewhat confusing, as the best numbers were produced running the hard to assess SPECJbb2005 benchmark; the SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks were rather underwhelming.

Compared to an Opteron 6278 at 2.4GHz, the Opteron 6380 (2.5GHz) performed 24% better, performance per Watt improved by 40% according to AMD. In contrast, SPECint_Rate2006 improved by only 8%, and SPECfp_Rate2006 by 7%. However, it is important to note that SPECCPU2006 rates do not scale well with clockspeed. For example an 8% clockspeed (6380 vs 6376) only results in a 3.5% higher SPECint_Rate2006 and a 3% higher SPECfp_Rate2006. And the SPEC CPU 2006 benchmarks were showing the Interlagos Opteron at its best anyway. You can read our analysis here.

Both benchmarks have only a distant link to real server workloads, and we could conclude only two things. Firstly, performance per GHz has improved and power consumption has gone down. Secondly, we are only sure that this is the case with well optimized, even completely recompiled code. The compiler setting of SPEC CPU 2006, the JVM settings of Specjbb: it is all code that does not exist on servers which are running real applications.

So is the new Opteron "Abu Dhabi" a few percent faster or is it tangibly faster when running real world code? And are the power consumption gains marginal at best or measureable? Well, most of our benchmarks are real world, so we will find out over the next several pages as we offer our full review of the Opteron 6300.

Positioning: SKUs and Servers
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  • arnd - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I have dual Opteron 6344 workstation system, which tends to be either near complete idle or near complete busy, so C states are extremely important to me. The CPU has power sensors that are exposed in Linux using the 'sensors' tool. With C6 enabled, I get the power consumption per socket down to 42 Watts, which still seems like a lot, but disabling C6 made it jump to 104W per socket, when under 100% load it is constantly within 1W of the 115W TDP limit.
    I did not see a significant impact of C1E, neither with C6 enabled nor disabled, presumably because I rarely have cores that are idle for a short period.
    More annoying to me is the lack of S3 suspend mode, the system still consumes around 100W on S1.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    The difference I believe is that you cannot use AES-NI instructions when using Twofish and serpent. I guess that AMD's AES-NI implementation is just slower. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Sounds reasonable. The question is then why Twofish and serpent are so fast on the Opteron. They probably scale very well with cores. Reply
  • Yorgos - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I've been abandoning tech sites due to stupid posters and internet trolls.
    There is so much addition info and questions in the comments and I don't know why are you letting people ruin that feature from your site?
    You should make a ranking system(similar to /. ) for users, in order to automatically hide someone's comments, so we don't have to double check every time the poster and/or the comment.

    I feel stupid for making that type of comment, also reading specific stupid opinions, below that article.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I like your ideas, however most of the laugh (or should I say cringe?) worthy comments would be hidden and the entertainment value would be tainted by having to click the Show button all the time. ;) Reply
  • lwatcdr - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Or requiring real names. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I had meetings and people visiting me, so I could not "baby sit" the reactions. But if you don't react to the offensive message we can delete them. So the best way to deal with th trolls is to ignore. Sooner or later, they will be banned. Reply
  • coder111 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Because some of the people posting here are obviously trolling for Intel and do not bring anything constructive to the discussion. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Yes, it is quite pathetic. An ignore button would take care of this situation nicely. Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    An ignore button and a report button would be great! Reply

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