"AMD has no answer to the armada of new Intel's CPUs."

"Penryn will be the final blow."

These two sentences have been showing up on a lot of hardware forums around the Internet. The situation in the desktop is close to desperate for AMD as it can hardly keep pace with the third highest clocked Core 2 Duo CPU, and there are several quad core chips - either high clocked expensive ones or cheaper midrange models - that AMD simply has no answer for at present. As AMD gets closer to the launch of their own quad core, even at a humble 2GHz, Intel let the world know it will deliver a 3GHz quad core Xeon with 12 MB L2 that only needs 80W, and Intel showed that 3.33GHz is just around the corner too. However, there is a reason why Intel is more paranoid than the many hardware enthusiasts.

While most people focus on the fact that Intel's Core CPUs win almost every benchmark in the desktop space, the battle in the server space is far from over. Look at the four socket market for example, also called the 4S space. As we showed in our previous article, the fastest Xeon MP at 3.4GHz is about as fast as the Opteron at 2.6GHz. Not bad at all, but today AMD introduces a 3.2GHz Opteron 8224, which extends AMD's lead in the 4S space. This lead probably won't last for long, as Intel is very close to introducing its newest quad core Xeon MP Tigerton line, but it shows that AMD is not throwing in the towel. Along with the top-end 3.2GHz 8224 (120W), a 3GHz 8222 at 95W, 3.2GHz Opteron 2224 (120W) and 3GHz 2222 (95W) are also being introduced.

The 3.2GHz Opteron 2224 is quite interesting, as it is priced at $873. This is the same price point as the dual core Intel Xeon 5160 at 3GHz and the quad core Intel Xeon 5355. The contrast with the desktop market is sharp: not one AMD desktop CPU can be found in the higher price ranges. So how does AMD's newest offering compare to the two Intel CPUs? Is it just an attempt at deceiving IT departments into thinking the parts are comparable, or does AMD have an attractive alternative to the Intel CPUs?

A Closer Look at AMD's Newest Offering
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  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - link

    it is a car analogy
  • Gul Westfale - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    good analogy there, except that mustangs (and various other cars) use pickup truck engines for cost reasons. large trucks use larger engines (often diesels) because they offer considerably more torque at much lower RPM than a smaller gasoline engine; and thus provide more pulling power.
  • Gul Westfale - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    these are not regular consumer cpus, but intended for use in commercial servers and workstations. they and their motherboards cost more because they support features such as multiple sockets (so in addition to having multiple cores on one chip you can also have multiple chips on one motherboard).

  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link


    Intel has a clear lead in the rendering market. If you are rendering complex high resolutions images, the quad core Xeon is clearly the best choice.

    they win 1 of 2 tests, and it is clear they are the winner ? Why ? Because they won the software rendering also ? Anyone interrested enough in rendering, and HAVING to have this sort of hardware for it is NOT going to bother with software . . .

    This means your conclusion on this point is incorrect, and in which case, it boils down to which application the rendering machine is going to do.

    Man you guys come to the wierdest conclusions based on your own data, and I am not even the first to notice/mention this sort of thing . . .
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    The Quadcore wins all high resolution rendering tests. Where do you see the DC opterons win against the Quadcore Intel in high resolution rendering? Show me a rendering engine where a 3 GHz K8 DC core is faster in high resolution renderering than a 2.33 GHz Quadcore. All decent and used in the realworld rendering engines will more or less show the same picture.

    In fact, the "rendering performance" situation will get worse for the K8 as SSE-2 tuning will get more common. All Intel CPUs since core and all AMD CPUs since Barcelona will show (or are already showing) high performance boost from using better SSE-2 code.
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Ok, I see now with the graphs 'lower is better' on 3ds max, I missed that with the tables, which is actually what I meant this morning 'table obfustication'. I personally do not mind tables, but when the data is not in a uniform spot, it confuses/makes it harder to read at a glance.

    Anyhow, I was tired when I posted this morning, cranky, and was overly harsh I think. However it *is* much easier for me personaly to read the graphs at a glance (I cannot speak for everyone though).
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Oh, and while on the subject, you guys here at anandtech have lately mastered the art of graph obfustication. Is it really THAT hard leaving items in the same rows / columns for different tests ? Are we trying to confuse the results, or is there some other reason this happens, and has gone completely over my head ?
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    The only reason is that until very recently I didn't master the graphing engine. I got some weird error messages and gave up. But I have found the error, and you should see some nice graphs which don't obfusticate...
  • Spoelie - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    the gif on page 2 is non-looping, so after a very quick jump from 1ghz -> 2.8ghz (why??) -> 3.2ghz , it stays put on the 3.2ghz image. If reading the article, by the time the reader sees the image, it's already 5 minutes on the last image and staying there, making it for all intents and purposes a static image instead of an animated one

  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Thanks, fixed that. The reason to show 2.8 GHz is that for example Specjbb and other applications sometimes don't completely stress the CPU and then the cpu dynamically goes back to 2.8 GHz. It are simply the 3 stages I saw the most, and found the most interesting to show.

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