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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  • tshen83 - Monday, October 01, 2007 - link

    according to mysql site, starting with 5.0.37, the mutex contention bug and the Innodb bug has been improved by a lot, which helps 8 core systems.

    I was wondering that since 5.0.45 is available on mysql's website, why isn't the latest mysql being benchmarked? 5.0.26 still has that bug, and you can see it in the benchmark where a 8 core system is slower than a 4 core which is slower than a 2 core.

    Now that we are benchmarking 8-16 core systems, the newest versions of software should be used to reflect the improved multithreading.
    Reply
  • swindelljd - Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - link

    I currently have a 4 way 2.4ghz opteron as a production db server that I am considering upgrading. I'm trying to use the Anandtech benchmarks to help project how much performance gain we'll see in a new machine.

    We're running Oracle but are considering moving to MySQL. So I am trying to compare the stat's in 2 Anandtech reviews to see how the new Barcelona cores compare to the Intel Woodcrest and Clovertown.


    In looking at this article from June 2006( http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2772&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2772&am... ) , 2x3ghz Woodcrests (4 cores, right?) run the MySQL test at about 950 QPS (queries per second) for 25,50 and 100 concurrent sessions.

    However this recent article in September 2007 ( http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3091&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3091&am... ) appears to show the same 2x3ghz Woodcrests running 700,750 and 850 QPS for 25,50 and 100 connections respectively. That represents a 20% or so DECREASE in performance of the same chip in the last 12 months.

    What am I missing?

    Ultimately I want to compare the Opteron 2350 vs Xeon 5345 and then the Opteron 8350 vs Xeon E7330 but I'm starting with what exists for benchmarks first so I can make sure I understand what I am reading.

    Can someone please help set me straight.



    thanks,
    John
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, September 17, 2007 - link

    The article in june 2006 uses 5.0.21, and there might also be a small change in tuning. The article in September 2007 uses the standaard 5.0.26 mysql version that you get with SLES 10 SP1.

    The best numbers are here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...

    The newest version 5.0.45 will give you performance like the above article: MySQL has incorporated the Patches we talked about (that Peter Z. wrote) in this new version.
    Reply
  • Jjoshua2 - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    I like this benchmark alot as I am a fan of computer chess. Higher was spelled wrong on the graph on that page in Hiher is better. Reply
  • Schugy - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    Maybe it's too early for gcc optimizations but how about testing programs like oggenc, ffmpeg, blender, kernel compilation, apache with openssl, doom III and so on? Reply
  • erikejw - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    I read another review and they got these scores on the slightly lowerspeed 1.9 GHz Barcelona.

    Barcelona 2347 (1.9Ghz)
    37.5 Gflop/s

    Intel Xeon 5150(2.6Ghz)
    35.3 Gflop/s

    It seems your Barcelona scores are way off for some reason.
    The Xeons score is more or less identical.
    This seems really weird. Normally the higher score is the correct one due to some bad optimizations. The rest of the article is great though.

    Reply
  • kalyanakrishna - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    This article seems to be very biased.
    1) they choose faster Intel processors, 2 GHz Opteron. There are 2 GHz processors available across all the processors used in this analysis.
    2) No mention of what compiler was used. Intel compilers earlier had a trick, which was not documented - any code optimized for Intel processors if used on non-intel processors (uhm! AMD), would disable all optimizations. Who knows what else they are doing now. And this gentleman used Intel optimized code on AMD to test performance. Who in the right mind measuring performance would do that?
    3) Intel MKL was used for BLAS. Shouldnt they use ACML for AMD code? Again, who would do that when looking for performance?
    4) Memory Subsystem - knowing that the frequencies are different, why were all the results not normalized?
    5) They managed to comment that Tulsa and Opteron 2000 series are half the performance of core or Barcelona and hence should not be considered in the first page. But in Linpack page, it is mentioned that Intel chips ate AMD ones for breakfast. Of course, they did - peak of Xeon 5100 series is twice that of Opteron 2000 series. You dont need LINPACK to tell you that. Gives a very biased impression.
    6) LinPACK results graph could not be any more wrong. The peak performance of each CPU considered is different ... obviously their sustained performance is going to be different. The author should have at least made the effort to normalize the graph to show the real comparison.
    7) Since when is Linpack "Intel friendly"

    The author says they didnt have time to optimize code for AMD Opteron ... why would you do a performance study in the first place if you didnt have the methodology right.

    I didnt even read beyind LinPACK .. I would be careful reading articles from this author next time and maybe the whole site ... Its sad to see such an immature article. Whats worse is majority of people would just see the "fact" Intel is still faster than AMD.

    Over all, a very immature article with false information cleverly hidden behind numbers. or could it be that this article was intended to be biased .... who knows.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    quote:

    why would you do a performance study in the first place if you didnt have the methodology right.
    quote:

    Memory Subsystem - knowing that the frequencies are different, why were all the results not normalized?


    What about the bytes/Cycle in each table?

    quote:

    The author should have at least made the effort to normalize the graph to show the real comparison.


    Why is that the "real comparison"? If Intel has a clockspeed advantage, nobody is going to downclock their CPUs to be fair to AMD.

    quote:

    ) Since when is Linpack "Intel friendly"


    First you claim we are biased. As we disclose that the binary that we run was compiled with Intel compilers targetting Core architecture, it is clear that the binary is somewhat Intel friendly.

    quote:

    why would you do a performance study in the first place if you didnt have the methodology right.


    It not wrong. It is incomplete and we admit that more than once. But considering AMD gaves us a few days before the NDA was over, it was impossible to cover all angles.



    Reply
  • erikejw - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Why is that the "real comparison"? If Intel has a clockspeed advantage, nobody is going to downclock their CPUs to be fair to AMD.


    That is true in the desktop scene but I am sure you know that servers is about performance/price and performance/w. Prices will declinge and we don't know what the price is tomorrow. It is ok to compare against a similarly priced cpu but a comparison against a
    same frequency cpu is very interesting too.

    Your LINPACK score just seems obscure. Somewhat Intel friendly compiler? LOL. If the compiler is so great why is the gcc score I read on another review 30% higher with the Barcelona(with a 1.9 GHz CPU)? That is just ridiculous. I thought this review was about architechture and what it can perform and not about which compiler we use and if it is true that optimizations is turned off in then Intel compiler if it is an AMD cpu then the score is worthless and the comparison is severly biased.



    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Your LINPACK score just seems obscure. Somewhat Intel friendly compiler? LOL. If the compiler is so great why is the gcc score I read on another review 30% higher with the Barcelona(with a 1.9 GHz CPU)? That is just ridiculous. I thought this review was about architechture and what it can perform and not about which compiler we use and if it is true that optimizations is turned off in then Intel compiler if it is an AMD cpu then the score is worthless and the comparison is severly biased.


    Which review? Did they fully disclose the compiler settings?

    If the Intel compiler did fool us and turned off optimisations, we will update the numbers.
    Reply

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