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This Opteron 2352 was manufactured in the 7th week of 2008, as denoted by the date right below the product number.  (Source: DailyTech)

B2 stepping Opterons, like the "pre-production" model that found its way to IsoHunt, carry the "GD" identifier in the SKU  (Source: IsoHunt)
AMD puts its processor lineup back on track

Hark!  The long awaited B3 stepping of AMD's Opteron and Phenom finally made its way to system integrators this week.

AMD made it virtually impossible to obtain any K10-based Opteron processors after the TLB bug caught the world's attention last December.  Desktop Phenom processors continued to ship, though the BIOS workaround for the TLB race condition severely hampered performance on some benchmarks.

The vendor who obtained the B3 sample photographed (right) couldn't be more ecstatic.  "There's been no Opterons since November.  We've even been shipping Socket F Opterons to fill AMD orders.   This is a big deal," he tells DailyTech.

"Pre-production" Opterons sent to Torrent search engine IsoHunt last February were later revealed as gray-market B2 stepped processors, which AMD tracked to October 2007 samples.

In addition to fixing the TLB race condition, AMD will finally increase the core frequency of the Opteron series on the B3 stepping.  After the initial OEM orders are filled, channel vendors like Newegg and TigerDirect will carry the new Opterons in frequencies ranging from 1.8 GHz to 2.4 GHz.  Vendor estimates put this e-tailer ship date in early April.

AMD roadmaps also indicate the Phenom and Opteron lines will reach 2.6 GHz before this Fall on the new B3 stepping.  In 2009 both lines will transition from the 65nm to the 45nm process node, codenamed Shanghai, with additional SKUs at higher clock frequencies. 

B3 Opterons can be easily identified by the "GH" as opposed to "GD" at the end of the product number. With the exception of Phenom and Opteron SE processors, AMD emphasizes to DailyTech that no vendor should be selling or distributing "GD," and customers who obtain these older B2 steppings should contact their local AMD distributor. 

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Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By lamborghini on 3/12/2008 1:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
Will AMD be able to come-back now? This remains to be seen

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By prenox on 3/12/2008 1:45:39 PM , Rating: 5
I hope so. Intel needs the competition to help keep the CPU prices we enjoy today low. I hope that AMD also comes through on the graphics front to give Nvidia competition.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Lonearchon on 3/12/2008 2:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
AMD will stay around. Intel need AMD so they do not become a monopoly. AMD is in a better position then they once were. Before the 1st gen athlon AMD was only consider a clone company for use in bargain bin PCs. Now they have products in mainstream lines and the major OEMs are using their products.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By omnicronx on 3/12/2008 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 4
Before the 1st gen athlon AMD was only consider a clone company for use in bargain bin PCs.
Not considered ;) they were! IBM forced Intel to have a secondary provider of chips in the early 80's, that turned out to be AMD. They sold chips all the way until 486 i think ;). The K5/k6 was actually the first AMD chip not the Athlon. AMD and intel have a longer history than most would think, they were both there from the beginning of the x86 proccessor ;)

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By deeznuts on 3/12/2008 3:43:48 PM , Rating: 5
It is not illegal in and of itself to be a monopoly.

If you used anti-competitive tactics to get there, or if you use your dominant status unfairly, then you will be in trouble.

But to be so successful that you become one, well that's just good competition.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By josmala on 3/13/2008 5:25:03 AM , Rating: 2
But if Intel would be declared a monopoly it would hamper its abilities to grow to other markets.
For instance, they just couldn't start selling x86 processors to smart phones, since they are leveraging their monopoly on PC processors to get to other markets. As long as Intel is not a monopoly they CAN do that. Now if they are leveraging their fabs which are paid by X86 monopoly to get other chip markets...
Its illegal to use resources created by monopoly to take over other markets. And its dominant position as manufacturer of PC cpu:s is what gives it ability to spread to other markets.

Thing is if Intel wants to grow it needs to stay out of monopoly status, and it can even cost it couple of billion dollars per year and be still well worth it. The best for them would be about 80% marketshare.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Goty on 3/12/2008 1:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible, but it's not going to happen before 2009 at the very least. AMD's 65nm process just won't allow them to scale the clockspeeds of K10 high enough to compete with Intel on the all-out performance front right now.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By AgentPromo on 3/12/2008 1:54:10 PM , Rating: 5
I really think that even if AMD does not take the crown for best performance, it does not necessarily have to. It just needs to be competitive in the rest (maybe 85% to 90%) of the market to keep some pressures on Intel.

I just built a system with a Core2Quad and a 8800GT (512mb) system, 4gb ram etc and it came out just around $800. This is the way I want it to stay. I am not in the market, nor are most people, in the market for processors that cost as much as the system I built.

As long as AMD/ATI can stay reasonably competitive at the most relevent to me price rates (the upper mid range segment) I will stay happy.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Mitch101 on 3/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Goty on 3/12/2008 6:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Aren't there registry keys that can be changed to reduce the amount of specific cache levels that the OS can utilize? If so, I'd like to see what happens to multi-threaded performance on Phenom without some or all of the L3 cache.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Calin on 3/13/2008 5:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
It will probably go to hell.
The level 3 cache adds complexity, heat, transistor count. It needs extra validation time and effort, and in the end costs money and time (each of which AMD is short of).
So, if there won't be an important performance jump from level 3 cache, AMD would not bother to use it.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By VahnTitrio on 3/12/2008 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has to do some in-house cleaning before they start worrying about what Intel is doing. Regardless of the perceived quality of the product Intel has done a pretty good job of meeting roadmaps and expectations. AMD on the other hand has done nothing but disappoint. Things look even worse when you do pull Intel into the picture, as by the time AMD's answer to Core 2 finally gets rolling Intel will already be readying it's successor to Core 2.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By theapparition on 3/12/2008 3:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
as by the time AMD's answer to Core 2 finally gets rolling Intel will already be readying it's successor to Core 2.

Intel already has it's successor and you'll be seeing previews in as little as 6 months. AMD will have to leapfrog to catch-up.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By System48 on 3/12/2008 4:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
We've already seen the first preview at the fall IDF. I'm hoping that they'll have demo systems at the spring IDF that people can actually use. The first two chips will be Bloomfield (desktop) and Gainestown (server). They're slated for Q4 '08 probably a roll out similar to what we saw with the 45nm CPU's, server first then a very high-end ($1,000+) desktop part just in time for Christmas. Both of these chips will be on the Tylersburg chipset, for the server a dual socket triple channel DDR3 mobo and essentially the same thing for an updated skulltrail platform plus a few more PCI Express 16x slots. It's doesn't seem clear if there will be a new single socket platform for Bloomfield at least at the time of launch as the Tylersburg chipset is definitely geared towards a dual socket setup. What remains to be seen is if these first chips will have a life after the Tylersburg chipset and its socket LGA1366, the mainstream parts will use LGA1160 and the 4S server will use LGA1567. The rest of the Nehalem line-up isn't due out until Q1 '09 for mainstream desktops, Q2 '09 for laptops and lastly Q4 '09 for 4S servers.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By eye smite on 3/12/2008 8:08:10 PM , Rating: 5
I'm sorry, how did AMD disappoint? The 5400+ brisbane core athlon X2 I bought in January to replace an older 4200+ has not disappointed me in the least. It's quite possible you suffer from perception issues on the subject of disappointment.

RE: Finally, a new hope for AMD?
By Some1ne on 3/12/08, Rating: -1
By crystal clear on 3/13/2008 3:11:58 AM , Rating: 1
No they are far behind to become a major force in reckoning.

They are a generation & half behind Intel's 45nms dual & Quads.

By the time they(AMD) have 45nm shipping (3Q 08 at the earliest & not earlier as claimed by AMD) to OEMs,Intel will have 4 fabs at full production levels (3Q 08) flooding the markets with greater profit margins & lower priced CPUs.

If this is not enough Nehalem will come in around 2H 08 slated initially on 45 nm before switching over to 32nm in around 2009.

All this is just too much for AMD to catch up given its critical financial conditions.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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