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New CPUs are faster and need less power

AMD is holding its own in the server CPU market against Intel even though Intel is dominating the desktop and laptop markets. Today AMD has announced five new chips for the server market with six-cores.

The new offerings include a pair of low power HE models built on the 45nm process. The CPUs are intended to be used in servers with four, six, or eight processors. AMD's new 2423 HE six-core Opteron runs at 2GHz, the six-core Opteron 2425 HE runs at 2.1 GHz, and there is also a six-core Opteron 8425 HE that also runs at 2.1GHz reports ComputerWorld. The HE processors range in price from $455 to $1,514 each in 1,000 unit quantities.

The low power six-core chips consume 55 watts of power compared to the typical Opteron, which needs 75 watts or 105 watts to operate. The 45nm process allows for lower power consumption so enterprise users can pack more servers into a data center without greatly increasing the power consumption and reducing the space needed.

AMD also added a pair of new non-HE six-core processors to its line with the Opteron SE 8439 at 2.8GHz and the SE 2439 at 2.8GHz. The higher performance six-core non-HE parts both draw 105 watts of power and retail for $2,649 and $1,019 respectively. HP is now offering ProLiant servers that use the new AMD processors. Other computer makers are expected to start shipping servers using the new Opterons soon. HP claims that servers using the new Opteron processors offer 45% greater performance than previous server models.

AMD's Patrick Patla said, "These new lower-power Six-Core AMD Opteron processors feature the highest performance per watt that we have brought to market, and help drive down power consumption while addressing the shifting cloud and Web landscape of today’s data center. And with six cores of compute power and Direct Connect Architecture, these processors deliver no-compromise performance."

AMD launched new desktop processors in June with dual-cores.

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Whatever happened to AMD Torrenza?
By Amiga500 on 7/13/2009 4:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
As above...

It seems to have disappeared all together.

I'm surprised AMD haven't made their own FP accelerator for number crunching available to slip into (say) 1 or more sockets of an 2/4/8 socket server/workstation to improve HPC performance.

By Operandi on 7/14/2009 1:01:07 AM , Rating: 2
I've been wondering the same thing.

Perhaps they waiting for compute shadders to be standardized. I assume it they would be using tech based on their GPUs.

By defter on 7/14/2009 4:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
Torrenza, just like 4x4, was mostly hype to take the attention away from Core2.

By ltcommanderdata on 7/13/2009 1:05:25 PM , Rating: 3

Conveniently, Intel's server refresh plans have been leaked including a new W5590 probably at 3.33GHz at the high-end to cause a price cascade, and a new L5530 probably a 2.4GHz to compete with AMD's new HE parts.

Maybe I'm stupid...
By bkslopper on 7/14/2009 12:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
...but didn't AMD release their 6-core parts awhile back? How is this news?

two steps in the wrong direction
By invidious on 7/13/09, Rating: -1
By inighthawki on 7/13/2009 1:06:20 PM , Rating: 4
You may not be able to see improvements in things like games which typically utilize one or two threads, but the more cores you have, the better system performance will be when you're talking about running dozens of threads all at once. I agree some software companies should really make better use of multi-threading in their apps to see the benefit in performance, but until then, the system itself will be a decent improvement.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By Yawgm0th on 7/13/2009 1:14:50 PM , Rating: 5
These are Opterons. They are for servers. Six-processor x86 servers have existed longer than dual-core or hyperthreading processors. Greater-than-six-processor computer systems have existed long than x86 processors. So have applications capable of using them.

While I agree to some extent that there aren't enough multi-threaded applications designed for desktop systems, even there I can name over a dozen applications of the top of my head that can utilize four cores.

But it doesn't matter, since this is for servers. Whether it's through actual multi-threaded application performance or running multiple applications or instances (such as, say, virtual servers), there are tons of uses for six- and eight-core processors. This is a major boon in the server market, and there is no shortage of software.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By StevoLincolnite on 7/13/2009 4:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
I remember back in the Athlon 64 days, Opterons were actually great processors for desktop use.
Generally they have been "Screened" with higher quality standards, they ended up being some of the best over-clockable processors, unfortunately those days are long past...

By 67STANG on 7/13/2009 4:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
That brings back memories. Years ago I had 2 Opteron's on a SuperMicro board. Funny how my Q6600 system that I put together for $800 smokes that thing.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By HrilL on 7/13/2009 1:15:36 PM , Rating: 4
In the HPC market where these are aimed at. Multiple threaded applications are very common and a lot of it is custom software.

These are perfect for Virtual Machine servers where you can give each virtual server 2 cores to use. I can take 1 server and now consolidate 3 old single core dual CPU servers on to 1 CPU and in a 4 socket server I'll be able to go from 12 power hungry servers to just 1. Or even 6 dual core dual CPU servers. That is a lot of power saving!!

These are not aimed at desktop applications that don't support more than 2-4 cores. Your comment is completely off base. Maybe read the article before commenting next time.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By Varun on 7/13/2009 9:38:15 PM , Rating: 1
I would say these are aimed squarely at virtualization. 6 cores seems like an odd number when in the past, things such as this and memory increase at 2 to the power of n. However, VMware Infrastructure 3 specifically allows up to 6 cores per CPU license. The latest version (vSphere)carries that restriction and adds a couple versions which allow 12 cores per CPU license.

Still, Intel seems to have the upper hand right now with virtualization. Hopefully AMD can come up with something. Not that they are a slouch in the server world of course.

This odd core count to me just screams VMware.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By nismotigerwvu on 7/13/2009 1:16:56 PM , Rating: 1
While on the desktop side I completely agree with you, the case isn't quite the same in the server market.
Developers in this segment have been writing parallel code for over a decade (I remember setting up some multisocket pentium pro machines for servers back in the day at my high school).
This is mostly because of the inherently parallel nature of the workload.
I don't think we will see anything like these on the desktop anytime soon.
Hopefully we will be getting heterogeneous cores if we go much higher than 4 (i.e fusion).

By Silver2k7 on 7/14/2009 6:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't think we will see anything like these on the desktop anytime soon."

Just like we didn't see the 32-bit from the Pentium Pro going to the desktop. There will probably be 6, 8, 12 core on the desktop too in a few years time.

RE: two steps in the wrong direction
By augiem on 7/13/2009 3:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of people who only use MS Office, but those people are never on the cutting edge of technology. (Netbooks anyone?) There are millions of users, casual and professional alike, that use multi-threaded apps every day. I would be happy to take a 6-core processor to Maya. The more the merrier! And don't forget all the hundreds of thousands of servers out there making this whole "innernet thingy" possible. (As well as online gaming.)

No, every piece of software does not make use of multi-core technology. But why should computer design ONLY cater to the least-common-denominator / biggest possible market? That kind of thinking is what gave us Walmart, disposable everything, and the same formula movies pumped out year after year from hollywood.

By StevoLincolnite on 7/13/2009 4:09:21 PM , Rating: 4
I actually used a Dual Socketed 486 many many many many years ago... And I thought that was the pinnacle of computing performance... Oh how I was wrong!

However computing resource requirements for the average joe have increased over the years, and the average joe is doing allot more on there computers as well.
for instance from Burning DVD's/CD's, to web browsing, to watching Hi-Definition Movies, to video editing for a youtube clip, to casual gaming like Bejeweled/Zuma etc'.

Plus all the while our Software has gotten heavier on the Hardware requirements as well, plus the average joe generally loves to have every program loaded into memory via the system tray without knowing about it and wonder why there computer is performing poorly with high-constant-cpu-usage, memory usage etc'. (Seen that all to many times...)

The point is, as Computer hardware gets more advanced, the software will take advantage of it, and the average joe learns more, and will in turn do more on there computers. Hence the reason for a continued upgrading cycle for the average joe, otherwise most of them would all be stuck on Pentium 3's just for basic web-surfing.

Bank on 6 cores
By Regs on 7/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bank on 6 cores
By RjBass on 7/13/2009 1:07:42 PM , Rating: 5
The processors in this article are for servers. Not desktops.

RE: Bank on 6 cores
By Regs on 7/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bank on 6 cores
By StevoLincolnite on 7/13/2009 3:58:40 PM , Rating: 3
Currently? A 6 Core processor would be worthless on the desktop unless you were running multiple demanding applications at once, or Virtual machines.

However this is a server CPU, so it targets a far different market segment, the bright-side is that hopefully soon we might get some 6-core desktop parts.

Remember, not to long ago during the advent of Dual Core processors we were saying the exact same thing, that Dual Cores are utterly worthless, now most software available takes advantage of a Dual Core processor.

All in all, we -might- not need it yet, but once the penetration of 6+ cores is more active on the desktop, software developers will take advantage of the extra computing resources.

Also AMD does have a "Gamer/Enthusiast" Processor, they used to be called the Athlon FX, then that turned into the Athlon Black edition, and now the Phenom Black Edition. They feature unlocked Multipliers, larger caches and higher clock speeds.

Fusion is simply where AMD has the GPU as part of the CPU, be it on the same packaging or on-die, I don't know.
Intel is already on this path already, so it should only be a matter of time till AMD does something similar.

RE: Bank on 6 cores
By ebakke on 7/13/2009 1:37:19 PM , Rating: 5
Read the god damn article. Seriously.

RE: Bank on 6 cores
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/13/2009 7:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously he shouldn't have even needed to read the whole article.

The title clearly says OPTERON, OPTERON is and has always been a server part, and then you start reading clowns like the one you quoted talking about silly synthetic desktop benchmarks or games... WTF?

Seems the stupid factory is perfecting itself every single split second, making harder-to-educate idiots with each new generation of stupid-o-bots.

They should be sentenced to death for being so stupid. Those things with legs are making the human race look crappier on average every single day.

RE: Bank on 6 cores
By chagrinnin on 7/13/2009 9:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
***I wrote this earlier today and added to it as the day wore on. Thought maybe I was being too harsh and then I read your comment....turns out I was goin' easy on the guy. :P***

On a real world scale from one to ten the six core scored an six and the four core scored and four, an comparison. Now th'aint official cuz there wernt no specs given but I read it,...somewherz. Hah! Here it is: >Link dis!(in blue)< >end link/(in blue)< (I hope that link worked,...I'm new at this codin' stuff and I can't get the underline to turn blue. I'm home-schoolio'n so if sumbodies could hook me up,... I'd preciat'cha.)

And wait until they come out with the dual "boxcar" mudderboards,(I made "Boxcar" up but AMD can use that if they want). And yo dood,..I was like just thinking the same think,'d be like having 12 Corollas and all of 'em gettin' 34 mpg! AT THE SAME TIME! Porches are nice but th'aint dat nice. Maybe like 4 lexuses but only 3 porches. Honestly, it aint worth it in my IMHO. Like my great, great granpa used to say: "Great mind sthink alike." :D

I'm a diehard desktopper too and I been route66in' for AMD yo. And they do be limit'n the raw MHz's. But,...WHY!?! WTF!?! and what's up wit all dat up in here!? For the love of pete's sake, I wish they could put in some mo' rawwer and faster L2 cashe latencies and maybe some L3 or L4 cashe if they can come up wit da "cashe"(<---I made that up too). I could care less about what it cost AMD. Think of the gamers jus' dis once! C'mon AMD,...hook us up now, yo. I know you be readin' this here science digest. It's the shiznits.

I can't hardly wait for the reviews. I hope they'll be backards compra,..capab,...whatever, yall know what I mean, I hope they be work'n wit my AM2 muddyboard. These bad boyz are gonna rock some kick a$$ bencheez on crysis too. 60 FPS per second fo sho dood. That'd be like 10 FPS per second per core,..Smokin! Thez bad boyz are gonna blo intel outel! I'm gonna need upgrades on my rigz coolio blowholes yo! Bank on dat!

Ok! Jus' my dos pesos,...I gotta get back to bustin' some leerics,...chill peeps! "B-Rad G" out! Pees yo!

</over the top sarcasm>


RE: Bank on 6 cores
By georges1977 on 7/13/2009 11:44:08 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Bank on 6 cores
By ninus3d on 7/15/2009 9:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
Reading that lowered my IQ by at the very least 8 or 9 points.

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