AMD 12-Core Opteron Takes Intel By Storm

Posted on July 14, 2010

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In as not too distant past, dual core was all the rage. It was the main selling point of new computers, and effectively made single-core processors obsolete. Then, after a few years the new quad cores came out and took the computing world by storm. With twice the processing power of dual cores, they retailed for thousands, and quad core processors like AMD’s Opteron became the new standard for servers and supercomputers. Then, just last year AMD shocked the world again with it’s new Opteron 6 core processor. At 2.60 GHz, it’s a performance powerhouse with the price to boot; a top of the line 6 core Opteron retails for around $900.

But that’s old news now.

Just this March, AMD went all out on it’s new Opteron processor, codenamed “Mangy-Cours”. Boasting a tremendous 12 cores, it screams with power, doubling the processor or the $900 6 core Opteron.

The Opteron 6000 series, which includes both 8 and 12 core models of the Opteron, is targeted mainly towards server environments, as home use just wouldn’t be practical. In an AMD press release regarding the new processors, Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager for AMD’s Server and Embedded Divisions, announced “The AMD Opteron 6000 Series platform signals a new era of server value, significantly disrupts today’s server economics and provides the performance-per-watt, value and consistency customers demand for their real-world data center workloads.”

The Mangy-Cours processors use AMD’s new G34 socket, which can utilize up to four channels of DDR3 memory; nearly tripling the bandwidth of legacy Socket F boards, and squashes Intel’s triple channel architecture.

Additionally, AMD has signed a deal with the number two computer manufacturer in the world–Acer–to use Mangy-Cours processors in their upcoming server lineups, a crushing blow to Intel. At the Acer partnership press release, Patla says “The new AMD Opteron 6000 Series platform, in combination with Acer Group’s innovative server design, can give small, medium and enterprise businesses flexibility in an ever-changing IT environment.”

“The AMD Opteron 6100 Series processor is the only server processor with up to 12 cores and four channels of DDR3 memory, providing the muscle to tackle larger, increasingly complex and multithreaded applications, while scaling memory and maintaining power efficiency and overall value for customers.” said Patla, summing up the new lineup and partnership with Acer.

Perhaps the biggest benefit, though, is the price. Intel’s Xeon six-core processors (Opteron’s leading competition) cost three times as much as AMD’s new chips, and only offering half the cores. Even if AMD matched Intel core-for-core, they’d still come at only a third of the cost.

Gianluca Degliesposti, vice president of Global Server Business Development for Acer shared in the AMD press release “By taking advantage of the unique features of the new AMD Opteron 6000 Series platform, Acer Group SMB channel and HPC partners are well positioned to deliver extreme value with high performance, energy efficient servers to customers worldwide.”

Intel Xeon processors cost around $3000, AMD Opteron 6000 12 core setups are estimated to start at $1,200.

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