What's new with Shanghai?

Besides the die shrink to 45nm using a new Immersion Lithography process, AMD has thrown some other enhancements at the Barcelona architecture to increase performance in a variety of workloads. Details on the various features are quite scarce, but here is what we know at this point.

L3 Cache Increase

One of the first enhancements, and perhaps the biggest change, is the increase of the L3 cache from 2MB to 6MB. On average, it's expected that this will increase performance by anywhere from 5-10%.

Memory Bandwidth

Memory bandwidth is up from 667MHz to 800MHz with the introduction of Shanghai.

Smart Fetch

This allows cores to enter a halt state during idle times to reduce CPU power consumption. According to AMD, this can reduce CPU power consumption by as much as 21% or 15W.


Enhanced Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) / ~25% faster world switch and L3 Cache index disable (improved data integrity).

It's obvious that AMD is still focused on performance per Watt, which you'll see in the results.

Test Setup

AMD Shanghai System
2U Supermicro rack mount with H8DMU+ board
16GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
1 15.5K Cheetah SAS Drive for OS
Windows 2008 Enterprise
SQL 2008 Enterprise

Intel Harpertown System
2U Supermicro rack mount with X7DWN+ board
16GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
1 15.5K Cheetah SAS Drive for OS
Windows 2008 Enterprise
SQL 2008 Enterprise

Raid Setup
Promise J300s Enclosure
6 Seagate 1TB SAS Drives configured in a Raid 0 array for performance
LSI Logic 8480E MegaRaid Controller

Index Benchmark Overview
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  • piesquared - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    I mean really, how many times AT? You didn't seem to have a problem with i7 results, what's the hold up? Or is this going to be another dfi790, 790fx, 790gx, 780g etc, etc, etc, type of review. You know, the kind where you pay lip service to it, and then go back to cuddling up with Intel.... Frauds
  • LTG - Friday, November 14, 2008 - link

    Another power variable I didn't see in the review - The harpertown that matches AMD's price listed is the lower TDP model.

    The E5450 is 80w TDP
    The X5450 is 120w TDP
  • LTG - Friday, November 14, 2008 - link

    Sorry just found it on the benchmark graphs - looks to be the "E" version.
  • LTG - Friday, November 14, 2008 - link

    It would be very helpful to know this because almost all new Intel systems support the lower voltage FB-DIMMs.

  • segerstein - Friday, November 14, 2008 - link

    Yes, the future will be Muslim. AMD is going to get bought by rich UAEs. The next architecture will be called Istanbul.

    Why not Byzantium or Constantinople?
  • Tormeh - Saturday, November 15, 2008 - link

    Maybe because Istanbul is an actual place, and not just a historic name?
  • alpha754293 - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    You mentioned in this brief review that the FB-DIMMS remove any power efficiency advantage that the Intels othewise might have had.

    Does the AMD systems also use the FB-DIMMS?

    Also, how are you measuring the power consumption because a lot of the charts/graphs look nearly exactly identical, which would seem odd unless it was using the CPU (i.e. all of the application profiles) were EXACTLY identical.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    AMD does *not* use FB-DIMMs, and very likely never will. The power penalty appears to be something like 7W per FB-DIMM, possibly even a bit more, and the performance advantage... well, it doesn't exist. FB-DIMM was an idea to add more memory on a single channel at the cost of increasing latency. I just don't think it really made enough of a difference to affect the vast majority of server users.
  • Johnniewalker - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Now that would be cool!
  • acejj26 - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Memory frequency is now 800 MHz. Bandwidth is a function of the frequency, but they are not the same.

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