The future is performance per watt.

Given the way that the energy markets have gone during the past year, it was fairly obvious that there was going to be a focus on power, and performance per watt. Some may say that power is irrelevant and performance is key. While performance is important, performance per Watt is more important. Both Intel and AMD are focusing on ways of delivering more performance with less power - it is the future. We're facing rising energy prices everyday, and those numbers trickle down to everyone, whether you are drying your clothes, or running a few racks of servers at a datacenter.

Recently, we spoke to a bandwidth provider in one of the largest datacenters on the US east coast. The datacenter that this provider uses for its services is out of power. They can't add any more racks because the datacenter doesn't have enough power. We're not talking about a small datacenter either; this is a very large datacenter that serves some of the world's largest websites. They can't get anymore power because government regulations won't allow it; so, now what? They have to find ways to reduce power consumption.

Space is also a concern at most datacenters, so blade systems are becoming very popular at the datacenter. IDC recently forecasted that blade systems would reach 8% of the server market this year, from 2% a year ago. Blade systems may solve the space problem, but add to the power problem, as you end up with a more power-dense environment.

Intel's performance per watt play won't come into full effect until next year, with Woodcrest. Rough numbers for Woodcrest put it at somewhere in the 80Watt range or less. If you think back over the past few years at how the focus has been all about performance, people seem to have overlooked where AMD is in terms of performance per Watt. The Opteron has been competitive with Intel since its inception not only on performance, but delivering that performance in a lower power envelope. The Opteron 280 processor is a 95 Watt part already, and has been very competitive with Intel's Xeon.

Intel Power/Performance Roadmap

Index Test Configuration


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  • Furen - Sunday, December 18, 2005 - link

    I think the comparison is fair enough considering that Benseley should be coming out within the next 3-5 months. The most I'd expect from AMD by then is maybe a bump in clock speed. Socket F is scheduled to come out in Q4 2006, if I remember correctly, and mentioning it would serve no purpose since we know absolutely nothing about it. Reply
  • Heinz - Monday, December 19, 2005 - link

    Ok, if your information would be correct I would agree, however Socket F is due to H1/2006, i.e. the same 3-5 month timeframe we have to wait for Bensley. Thus Bentley is not competing with the tested S940 Sytem but with a Socket F System.

    Look here:">

    Apart from that, I do not see your point about not being interested in Socket F at all. Of course, there is little information about it, but what it is sure is that it will be presented in 2006. Because new product generations are normally faster/better than the old ones (old tradition in the computer, if not any market ;-). I would be interested to know that.
    It is like saying the new Volkswagen is next year best car on the market, because it is better than the current competition, without mentioning that there will also be a new Toyota model.

    If the information from pcstats is incorrect and anandtech got better information about a delayed/later launch of the Socket F platform, I apologize. But then again ... it should have been mentioned in the article :)


  • Furen - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    Interesting, that's the first time I've seen that road map. I was kind of hoping that Socket F would come out at the end of the year with FB support, since I think tri/quad-core CPUs may be bandwidth limited with two DDR2 channels, then again the fact that they'll be DDR667 dimms may help enough. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The first Intel dual core for dual core servers is out and the CPU is called Paxville. It uses the aging Lindenhurst chipset with single 800MHz FSB while Bensley will use dual 1066FSB. The highest clock for Paxville is 3.0GHz.">

    It says Bensley with Dempsey will be out Q1 of 2006.">

    3.2 and 3.46GHz will be 1066FSB.
    2.5, 2.83 and 3GHz will be 667FSB.

    MV versions will be 3.2GHz with 1066FSB.
    LV versions will be 2GHz with 667FSB(ouch).
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Interesting, though with that projected clock frequency on the LV Dempsey, they might as well use the Sossaman processor. As the Roadmap in this article no longer points out LV Dempsey parts.
  • Griswold - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Mostly information I didnt ask for / can be found in the AT article. Thank you for that. Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I dont mind that AMD has held the lead for quite some time bc they needed it badly. But it wasn't good that Intel had nothing that could compare. Now at least Intel is on the map again as AMD which might acctually force AMD to go a bit faster again.

    Then on the topic of power, if it is 8k, 20k or 50k you save per year by buying product A instead of B isn't important if everything else is equal. 8k is more then enough to rule in favour of AMD (remember everything else equal).

    The future looks interestin and Im gonne pick a Denmark up soon :0)
  • menting - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    problem is that even if performance is equal..price parity on the cost of servers aren't... :)
    you get a huge discount if you go mostly intel.
  • phaxmohdem - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Wow! A Dual core server/workstation chip. Way to go Intel! AMD better get its $hit together soon.... Oh wait...

    Do they make a special Silver stake or bullet that will ever kill fvcking Netburst?
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    These are probably the last NetBurst based server processor you will see for this segement, the next slated update is Woodcrest core over the Dempsey core used now, which is part of Intel's NGMA. Reply

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