"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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  • Spoelie - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the clarification, I was under the impression the only real states were idle (1ghz) and full tilt (3.2ghz). Never seen any other states but all I ever use are the desktop chips, I wasn't aware CnQ could be more dynamic than that.
  • yuchai - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    I believe all A64 chips including the desktop ones have the different power states. For example my X2 4200+ has 4 states. 1.0, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 Ghz.
  • ButterFlyEffect78 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Are they talking about the barcelona?

    If not, then this is old news.

    I'm sure everyone by now knows that intels new cpu's are better then the current AMD opterons.
  • KingofFah - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    It really isn't. The were demonstrating the new 3.2ghz opteron. Also, this was a dual socket setup, and anand said, and everyone who monitors the server world knows, that the opterons come out ahead overall in the 4S environment.

    The more sockets, the more performance advantage opterons have on intel in the server space. This is well known. The purpose of this was to show it in the dual socket environment.
  • duploxxx - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    confused, no it is the stupidity of people like you that think that all Intel offerings are better then the ones for AMD.

    @anand, you're conclusion of the database world that the quadcore still rules..... where are the benchmarks?

    now it is nice to see all these benches next to each other, when are you going to combine benches, no longer servers are used for one application, they are more combined these days with more apps. Maybe its time you also have a look at vmware esx etc.... will probably give you a different look at the offerings of AMD these days.
  • clairvoyant129 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    You don't have to get hostile because he does have a point. In the desktop market, Intel is clearly better unless we're talking about low end. Server market, it's still a toss up but Intel still has a lead.
  • yyrkoon - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Um, you guys obviously have not been paying much attention have you ?

    1) AMD CPUs=cheaper
    2) AMD CPUs of comparrible speed perform nearly as good if not as good or better than their Intel counterparts. ie: I think you better check the last benchmarks anandtech post 'homie', because I saw a lot of AMD on top of the game benches. (6000+ vs e6600).
    3) Yes, a C2D *may* overclock better, and if it is you intention to overclock, it makes perfect sense to buy one, just be prepared to pay more for the CPU.
    4) Up until recently, or possibly still happening into the near future, AMD system boards availible often offered more features for less cost. It does seem however with the P35 Chipset, vendors are starting to come around.
    5) last, but not least, THIS article IS NOT about desktop hardware now IS IT ?! why bring some stupid lame ass coment into some place that it does not even fit ? GOd, and I thought I needed a new life . . .
  • Final Hamlet - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    It is these "but"s, that make the difference.
    If they exist, you can't state "all Intel CPUs" anymore, because there are exceptions.
  • ButterFlyEffect78 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    I'm sorry everybody.

    English is my 2nd language so I sometimes can't always express what I want to say.

    What i meant to say is that Intel's new line of cpu's based on Core 2 duo tech. are better-(more advanced) then those based on K8 technology. If this is not true then there should not be a reason to introduce the K10 later this year to counterattack core 2 duo/quad.

    But again, I could be wrong.
  • Calin - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Core2Duo technology from Intel is better overall than the K8 technology from AMD - this includes basic architecture, current improvements on the initial architecture (K8 is older and has more of those small improvements), and process/production technology.
    However, Intel lagged in introduction of Core2 based server processors, and even now their FBDIMM technology is slower and hotter (power hungry) than AMD's Opteron/DDR. Until this changes, AMD still has a market in servers, albeit not as good as before the Core2Duo Xeon processors.

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