"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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  • 2ManyOptions - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    ... for most of the benchmarks Intel chips performed better than the Opterons, don't know why Intel should get scared from these, they can safely wait for Barcelona. Didn't really understand why you have out it as AMD is still in game with these in the 4S space.
  • baby5121926 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    intel got scared because they dont want to see the real result from AMD + ATI.
    the longer intel lets AMD lives, the more dangerous intel will be.
    that's why you guys can see Intel is attacking AMD really really hard at this meantime... just to kick AMD out of the game.
  • Justin Case - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    What are the units in the WinRAR results table?
  • coldpower27 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Check Intel own pricing lists, and you will see that Intel has already pre-empted some of these cuts with their Xeon X5355 at $744 or Xeon E5345 at $455 and the "official" Xeon X5365 should be cout soon if not already...">
  • TheOtherRizzo - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    I know nothing about 4S servers. But what's the essence of this article? Surely not that NetBurst is crap? We've known that for years. Is the real story here that Intel doesn't really give a s*** about 4S, otherwise they would have moved on to the core 2 architecture long ago? Just guessing.
  • coldpower27 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Xeon 7300 Series based on the Tigerton core which is a 4 Socket Capable Kentsfield/Clovertown derivatives is arriving in Sepetember this year, so Intel does care in becoming more competitive in the 4S space, but it is just taking some time.

    They decided to concentrate on the high volume 2S sector is all first, since Intel has massive capacity, going for the high volume sector first makes sense.
  • mino - Monday, August 13, 2007 - link

    Yes and no, actually to have two intel quads running on a single FSB was a serious technical problem.

    Therefore they had to wait for 4-FSB chipset to be able to get them out the door. Not to mention the qualification times which are a bit onger for 4S platforms that 2S.

    AMD does not have these obstacles as 8xxx series are essentially 2xxx series from stability/reliability POW.
  • Calin - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    The 5160 processor is Core2 unit, not a NetBurst one. Also, the 5345 is a quad core based on Core2
  • jay401 - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    People built 3.0GHz - 3.33GHz E4300 & E4400 systems six months ago that cost roughly $135 for the CPU. Others went for an E6300 or more recently an E6320, both again under $200.
    They were all relatively easy overclocks.

    Why does anyone with any skill in building their own computer care about an $800+ CPU again?
  • Calin - Monday, August 6, 2007 - link

    Why don't Ford Mustangs use a small engine, overclocked to hell? Like an inline 4 2.0l with turbo, and a high rpm instead of their huge 4+ liter engines?
    Why do trucks use those big engines, when they could get the same power from a smaller, gasoline, turbocharged engine?

    People pay $800+ for processors that work in multiprocessor systems (your run of the mill Athlon64 or E4300 won't run). Also, they use error checking (and usually error correcting) memory in their systems - again, Athlon64 doesn't do this. They also use registered DDR in order to access more memory banks - your Athlon64 again falls short. On the E4300 side, the chipset is responsible with those things, so you could use such a processor in a server chassis - if the socket fits.

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