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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  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Anand, Jason and Ross.. hell of a job guys, you have out done yourselves. As for the X2 4400+ preview results, holy shit is all I can say, better than I expected and those scores are WITHOUT the aid of an NCQ enabled drive. The cost is high, very high infact but the X2 just scales so much better than the equivelent Intel. All I want to see now is an X2 4400+ with the FSB overclocked to DDR500 speeds, I am really interested to see how much that extra 1gb/s+ of bandwidth helps a dual core setup. Perhaps that is something you can look into for us please Anand and Co? T.I.A. ;)
  • Darth Farter - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link
    Current Intel Price List(3)

    Price in
    1,000 unit
    Performance Processors quantities

    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.33 GHz with 8 MB L3 cache $3692
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.00 GHz with 8 MB L3 cache $1980
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 2.83 GHz with 4 MB L3 cache $1177

    Value Processors

    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.66 GHz with 1 MB L2 cache $963
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.16 GHz with 1 MB L2 cache $722

    Intel's not too shabby with pricing either... ;)

    btw Dual OPTERON vs 4way(?) XEON @ techreport
  • Groovester - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    65- Recommend you reread "A Look at AMD's Dual Core Architecture" page. The fact that AMD's Athlon64 and X2 memory controllers are on-die gives it a leg up on Intel's Pentium D's. On the X2, the communication between the two cores doesn't have to traverse the external FSB.
  • bob661 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

  • Quanticles - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    68 - he did the best he could, but the point is the same... lol. we're going to see some pretty amazing preformance from the real thing
  • Son of a N00b - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    hit me up with one of these, four vid cards, some headphones and a 24' screen for hours of gaming bliss....w00t!

    anyway i can actually see also a game suddenly coming out written for dual core, with the developers pulling something outta their collective a$$'s....

    I'll wait for these to get a bit more refined though and the pwnage is clear that a dual core offers total uberness...

    good article anand...almost to complete lol...i actually have to save some time in my day to read em....gj!
  • fishbits - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    From the article: "Although the use of ECC memory and a workstation motherboard would inevitably mean that performance will be slower than what will be when the real Athlon 64 X2s launch, its close enough to get a good idea of the competitiveness of the Athlon 64 X2."

    Anand didn't "cripple" or "misrepresent" anything. He got as close as he could with the materials available to him, and made it clear that some liberties/extrapolation would be required.

    However, it does look promising that the X2 will perform even better than projected today. Just as Anand said up front.
  • KillerBob - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    You are right Griswold, and it was in these tests the Intel won the race;)
  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Expect at least 15% more performance when real X2 is released.

    Anand crippled/misrepresented it by running a 175 in his tests... Which has ECC memory, 2T, and my guess is 3-3-3 (most all ECC ram is 3-3-3 since he does'nt say I must go with the odds).

    Talk about hamstringing a A64. Anands own tests show just how crippleing 2T is for A64 upwards of 10% alone less performance. I've shown 3-3-3 vs 2-2-2 to be signifigant in my mem matrix tread about 5% since A64's love low latency. ECC knocks out about 3-5% more performance due to extra wait state. Would the "real" X2 debuting at 18% faster be unfair?? I don't think so when paired with desktop memory.

    It's going to get REAL ugly on the desktop for Team Blue no matter how you slice the numbers when a real live X2 comes with un-buffered mem, LL and 1T since Intel already loses to a unadventurous server chip right now.
  • Fricardo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    64 - I'd like to know the same. I definitely won't buy a processor for more than 250, no matter what the performance is. I'm sure they'll drop eventually, but I wonder if that'll happen before 939 is completely obsolete and I have to buy an M2 mobo anyways...

    Also, something I've been wondering: if dual core does have such an impressive effect on desktop performance and future programs will be multithreaded to take advantage of dual core, how come nobody ever talks about making multi-socket desktop boards? A dual-939 setup with a couple of $120 OC'd Winnie's would be just as fast as the X-2 and a heck of a lot cheaper. Or you could slap a couple of X-2's in there when they actually come out and have sick performance.

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