AMD's New Piledriver Opterons Claim to Match Intel's Performance at Half the Price
November 5, 2012 4:32 PM
comment(s) - last by
Servers are where thread-friendly new architecture shines the brightest
Today, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (
the Opteron 6300 Series, code-named
. Equipped with a
core, the new chips serve as an enhanced replacement to the
-equipped Opteron 6200 Series
(which was code-named
As we mentioned in our piece on the
, the new core is impressive, featuring a number of performance enhancements. However, consumer workloads tend to be lightly threaded, so the consumer workloads tend to fall short on the price-v-performance scale.
In the server market it's a very different tail. Workloads here tend to be heavily threaded in many cases, such as virtualized infrastructures, web hosting, mobile device data serving, etc.
AMD's numbers may be a bit biased, but it's claiming to essentially match rival Intel Corp.'s (
) performance in HPC (high-performance computing) applications, such as chemical simulations, with a chip that's only half the cost.
Intel will likely respond with some aggressive price cuts to stay competitive, but for now it's faced with the puzzle of how to compete with a foe that offers twice as many cores at half the cost.
Pricing (click to enlarge)
Unlike the consumer market, Intel and AMD are largely competing on the same node -- 32 nm -- for server chips. This is because Intel has yet to announce E5 series chips
, having only announced E3 series dual- and quad-core offerings.
We spoke with Michael Detwiler, AMD’s Server Product Marketing Manager, who says that AMD's focus it to be "real targeted, instead of trying to be everything to everybody."
He argues that AMD's new Opterons provide "more computations per dollar" than Intel's mixed 32 nm and 22 nm Xeon line.
Piledriver bakes in a number of enhancements (click to enlarge)
The chips feature a number of subtle improvements, including better branch prediction, new instruction set support, and a more efficient cache. In other words, everything is looking good, although third-party benchmarks weren't available at launch.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Not that hard
11/5/2012 5:49:40 PM
Exactly. It's not rocket science. If you are looking for better performance per dollar, there are better offerings from Intel than the 2690. If you are looking for better performance in a single socket, there are better offerings from Intel.
Twice the cores and similar performance is somehow a bragging right for AMD? It performs about the same in perfect multithreaded applications, and half the performance in single threaded or lopsided balanced applications. Price, sure, but still a very lackluster design without much of a future from AMD.
RE: Not that hard
11/5/2012 6:55:09 PM
There are certainly tasks that need high single-threaded performance, too. Even in every-day applications.
Take the recently released game Natural-Selection 2. It's an indy title, so the game isn't the most optimized, which isn't helped by the fact the game (from a compute perspective) is monstrously complex; it drives entity counts that would make other games run away in fear.
The game's dedicated server is only mildly multithreaded; the core work is done in a single thread. Current high-end Xeon processors can't do much more than 16-18 players on a server. As a result, server hosts have resorted to taking consumer processors and overclocking them (4.4 GHz is a favourite target) to get better single-threaded performance, enabling 20-24 player servers.
This is an every-day kind of problem, albeit on a small scale of ~140k players needing game servers to play on.
In this sort of scenario, where single threaded performance is king, and a high-end Xeon can just barely keep up, what use is an Opteron that offers half the single-threaded performance?
You will never see Natural-Selection 2 dedicated servers running on AMD hardware unless either AMD or the game developers make massive improvements.
“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
AMD's Bumps FX Series With New Piledriver Cores, Close Gap With Intel
October 23, 2012, 6:34 AM
Fourteen New Intel Ivy Bridge Chips Announced
May 31, 2012, 11:52 AM
AMD Launches 16 Core Interlagos Opteron Servers, Targets HPC, Cloud Computing
November 14, 2011, 10:00 AM
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Former NSA Lawyer: If Google, Apple Encrypt User Data, They’ll Wither on the Vine Like Blackberry
November 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Most Popular Articles
Samsung Gear S2 Borrows Circular Icons From Apple Watch
August 21, 2015, 2:48 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Snapchat Made $3-5 Million Last Year, But That's Not as Bad as it Sounds
August 19, 2015, 12:25 PM
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information