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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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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.


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