Monday, September 10th 2007

AMD Introduces Quad-Core Barcelona

AMD today introduced the Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor, the world’s most advanced x86 processor ever designed and manufactured and the first native x86 quad-core microprocessor. Designed from inception for the most demanding datacenters, Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based servers from global OEMs and system builders can deliver breakthrough capabilities to customers in a time of dramatically escalating performance-per-watt emphasis.

Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors with AMD’s revolutionary Direct Connect Architecture introduce innovations that go beyond four x86 processing cores on a single die of silicon. Critical considerations for today’s most challenging business requirements inspired Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor innovations: energy efficiency with a 50 percent increase in integer and floating-point performance, enhanced virtualization performance, and investment protection via a customer-centric approach enabling non-disruptive transitions from dual- to quad-core within the same power and thermal envelopes to help keep infrastructure costs down.

“Today marks one of the great milestones in microprocessor achievement as AMD again raises expectations for industry-standard computing,” said Hector Ruiz, chairman and chief executive officer, AMD. “We’ve worked closely with our customers and partners to design a new generation of processing solutions embodied by today’s Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor – a four-way winner in performance, energy efficiency, virtualization and investment protection. Early customer response has been extremely positive.”

Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based systems from global OEM and system-builder partners begin shipping this month and are expected to increase in number through the remainder of the year. AMD Phenom processor solutions, which will leverage many of the same benefits of this innovative, next-generation architecture, are expected to be available for the desktop market in December. Due in part to the industry’s most stable x86 server platform, more than 50 socket compatible Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-ready system choices are on the market today from tier one OEMs, all of whom are publicly supporting today’s introduction.

“Today more customers choose ProLiant for their AMD processor-based server blades than any other vendor by a factor of more than 2 to 1. HP offers customers a broad portfolio built on innovative designs to address customer needs in the areas of power, virtualization and cost,” said Paul Miller, vice president, marketing, enterprise storage and servers, HP. “With today’s launch of Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, we can help customers bring new levels of efficiency to their infrastructure as we broaden our AMD Opteron processor-based family of servers.”

“Sun is thrilled about the introduction of Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. Incorporating Sun’s innovative design principles that enable stunning scalability and industry-leading performance-per-watt, our upcoming Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based servers and workstations will only accelerate the momentum Sun is experiencing in its x64 business,” said John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun Microsystems’ Systems Group. “With so much pent-up demand for the scalability of native quad-core processing, Sun believes there will be rapid, widespread adoption of Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based systems. We applaud AMD for yet another technological breakthrough, and are excited to continue to grow our alliance.”

“Dell and AMD share a commitment to delivering industry-leading performance, performance-per-watt, and the most energy-efficient product designs to help our customers focus on driving their business forward,” said Brad Anderson, senior vice president, Dell Product Group. “Dell’s ability to seamlessly deliver the benefits of AMD’s Dual Dynamic Power Management technology means our customers can get more today and for future growth in the AMD processor-powered Dell PowerEdge 2970 and Energy Smart 2970.”

“IBM was the first global OEM to support AMD Opteron processors in 2003. Today our relationship is delivering powerful and energy-efficient business performance computing solutions” said James Gargan, vice president, Brand Management System x & BladeCenter, IBM. “Our x86 systems feature IBM’s X-Architecture innovation, such as Xcelerated Memory Technology, to help optimize Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor capabilities for peak system performance. We look forward to bringing new products to market with AMD later this year to help strengthen IBM’s position as the world’s top server vendor.”

Systems based on Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are also being announced today by a host of other manufacturers, including Appro, Egenera, Gateway, Rackable Systems, Supermicro and Verari.

Additionally, AMD is providing the channel with a tremendous opportunity to be able to offer their customers Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based solutions very soon after launch. AMD Validated Server Program platforms are available today through distribution, empowering channel partners with the opportunity to be early to market with solutions.

AMD introduces Average CPU Power (ACP)
AMD also today introduced the Average CPU Power (ACP) metric, which represents processor power usage, including cores, integrated memory controller, and HyperTransport technology links, while running a suite of typical and relevant commercially useful high utilization workloads to be more indicative of the power consumption that end-users can expect. ACP is a useful metric for data center operators when estimating power budgets to size their datacenters. AMD will continue to provide thermal design power (TDP) specifications to platform designers in AMD power and thermal datasheets.

AMD is introducing Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors today at the 55- and 75-watt ACP. For system designers, AMD will continue to state its TDP specifications.

New Standard in Energy Efficiency
As datacenters in the U.S. face the potential of doubling their energy consumption by 20113, new Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors introduce the world’s most energy-efficient x86 architecture, bolstered by a variety of new power-saving technologies, including:
  • AMD CoolCore Technology, for reducing energy consumption by turning off unused parts of the processor;
  • Independent Dynamic Core Technology, an enhancement to AMD PowerNow! technology, allowing each core to vary its clock frequency depending on the specific performance requirement of the applications it is supporting; and
  • Dual Dynamic Power Management (DDPM), which provides an independent power supply to the cores and to the memory controller, allowing the cores and memory controllers to operate on different voltages, determined by usage. DDPM is available in most Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor-based platforms being introduced today.
“Microsoft and AMD are working together to drive innovation, performance and energy efficiency across the datacenters and development environments,” said Bill Laing, general manager of Windows Server Division at Microsoft Corp. “With 64-bit multi-core technology, Direct Connect Architecture and built-in virtualization, AMD Opteron processors continue to provide Microsoft Windows customers with an innovative platform. Looking ahead, we believe Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 running with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors will provide a compelling development and deployment platform to drive customers’ dynamic IT environments.”
Optimal Virtualization Performance
Datacenters depend on virtualization software as an essential tool to consolidate server workloads, operate more securely, and enable disaster recovery. Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture excel in virtualized environments because of the integrated memory controller for reduced memory latency, and Rapid Virtualization Indexing, a new AMD innovation in AMD Virtualization technology designed to reduce the overhead associated with software virtualization. Rapid Virtualization Indexing takes functionality that was previously performed in software and greatly accelerates it by performing those functions within the CPU to help enable near-real time application performance.

Investment Protection
Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors maintain compatibility with the socket and thermal envelopes of Second-Generation AMD Opteron processors to enable a seamless customer upgrade path. AMD’s common core strategy empowers customers to scale with one AMD architecture to reduce platform management complexity and increase datacenter uptime and productivity.

Outstanding Performance
Continuing the legacy of the AMD Opteron processor family, Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors introduce several new ground-breaking technologies enabling impressive results across a suite of benchmarks. Within comparable thermal bands, Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors outperform the competition on several industry-standard benchmarks including: SPECfp_rate2006, SPECint_2006, SPECompM2001Base, STREAM, Fluent and LS-DYNA. For more details on the performance of Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, please visit http://www.amd.com/opteronperformance.

Visit AMD on the Web
For more information on the Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor including FAQs, development tools, online press kits and other general information, please visit http://multicore.amd.com. Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor pricing can be found at http://www.amd.com/pricing.Source: AMD
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26 Comments on AMD Introduces Quad-Core Barcelona

#1
tigger
I'm the only one
the world’s most advanced x86 processor ever designed and manufactured,and this is true?

maybe we might get some real benchies now.hopefully
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#2
HellasVagabond
Tiger did you expect them to launch their top product by saying something other than the Most Advanced or the Best ? :)

( I aint talking about Just AMD , every company does the same :P )
Posted on Reply
#3
tigger
I'm the only one
i know,i know :P but its a bit of a big statement to make.lets hope it lives up to the hype eh?

i just wanna see some real benchies.
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#4
HellasVagabond
Well the fact that they had the press sign an 5 year NDA, the fact that their top execs quit and the fact that all leaked benches aint good makes me believe that we aint standing infront of a leap in CPU performance. Wish i am wrong however since this will benefit us all.
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#5
Ben Clarke
Hmm... I can't find ant for sale yet... awww :(
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#6
XooM
hit up anandtech for some benches and stuff that they released at midnight :)
rough estimation for phenom: +15%/core over current K8 architecture; scales well.
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#7
mdm-adph
Are they even late with the press conference? The link that was posted a few days ago ain't work. :confused:
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#9
laszlo
10-15% better than k8....:wtf: so if phenom is better with 25% amd is f... big hopes for nothing !

i'm dissapointed :(
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#10
KBD
not neccesarily so, 15% is the average gain over K8, with some things showing a greater improvement and that's a good improvement by the way. Don't forget that Intel's new 45nm CPUs only show a 5% improvement over C2D. I didn't think that Barcelona would beat that 3 GHz new Xeon but at least now they can compete with intel on a more level playing field. Like the guys at anandtech said it will all come down to pricing.
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#11
laszlo
by: KBD
not neccesarily so, 15% is the average gain over K8, with some things showing a greater improvement and that's a good improvement by the way. Don't forget that Intel's new 45nm CPUs only show a 5% improvement over C2D. I didn't think that Barcelona would beat that 3 GHz new Xeon but at least now they can compete with intel on a more level playing field. Like the guys at anandtech said it will all come down to pricing.
agree with pricing but further down anandtech guys got the point :

"We saw how competitive AMD became after the first round of price cuts this year, but after the second set Intel went back to dominating. The trouble for AMD this time around is that Phenom is a much larger chip than the outgoing Athlon 64 X2, whereas Intel's Penryn family will actually be smaller than Conroe. AMD is already losing a considerable amount of money each quarter, so fabbing a larger chip at the same price as current CPUs will only make the situation worse. However, Intel can afford to continue to keep its processors as aggressively priced, especially moving to 45nm."
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#12
pbmaster
I'm waiting for Phenom...that's where it's at!
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#13
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
by: KBD
not neccesarily so, 15% is the average gain over K8, with some things showing a greater improvement and that's a good improvement by the way. Don't forget that Intel's new 45nm CPUs only show a 5% improvement over C2D. I didn't think that Barcelona would beat that 3 GHz new Xeon but at least now they can compete with intel on a more level playing field. Like the guys at anandtech said it will all come down to pricing.
You're forgetting that 45nm 1600mhz FSB parts are coming in Q4, Penryn already showed some impressive numbers in several specific benchmarks (dvx encoding for example), the new Xeons basically are Penryns, the new platform might bring even more improvement.
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#14
KBD
by: laszlo
agree with pricing but further down anandtech guys got the point :

"We saw how competitive AMD became after the first round of price cuts this year, but after the second set Intel went back to dominating. The trouble for AMD this time around is that Phenom is a much larger chip than the outgoing Athlon 64 X2, whereas Intel's Penryn family will actually be smaller than Conroe. AMD is already losing a considerable amount of money each quarter, so fabbing a larger chip at the same price as current CPUs will only make the situation worse. However, Intel can afford to continue to keep its processors as aggressively priced, especially moving to 45nm."
Yes, thats true as well, intel does have the tech edge and a lot more cash for a price war though i'm hoping AMD will be able to pull it off somehow. Releasing higher clocked Phenoms will probably help em narrow the gap with intel, at least there is a chance that they can do it in the coming months.
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#15
Jizzler
Phenoms could be better. The simulated scores were derived from two DC Opterons vs. a QC Opteron when in reality people are coming from DC and going to QC. Also, newer chipsets will be out along with the Phenom. Now those things may not amount to a hill of beans (especially with the single-threaded tests) or they may.

Now if I had Opteron servers I think I'd be upgrading pretty soon. Fairly cheap and a drop-in 4-core to 8-core upgrade (or 16 and 32 cores for the 4P and 8P servers). Same for any Opteron workstations - though I might wait for the 2.5's to be released.
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#16
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
what Im about to say may seem off topic but its all relevant to the last few comments of DC Vs QC....

Ok most people by now would have had DC Processors by now. & since DC has been around for a while & there are only a few key programs that benefit from DC, the usual such as Video/Music Encoding, 3D Rendering Programs & of course.....one of the most important things - Games.


but the fact is that even tho Industry has benefited from this 'boost' the dark side of the moon is there still aint that many games or apps written for DC - let alone having programs that are ready for QC. Im not doubting its performance - I am doubting the industries lazyness & chances are we will be on 'Quadruple Core' before Quad Core gets fully accepted as a standard by programmers.

the same instance was when Intel & AMD released 64bit processors - when that came out Microsoft XP 64bit was still just notes on a peice of paper bill gates had just used to wipe his nose with.

So unless you do a lot of video editing/encoding or 3d rendering then chances are that if your patient enough you can wait until prices drop even further after its release.

for most of us here there is really no reason to upgrade yet unless we have money to throw away or we are in dire need of a new system.

So goes the term "If it ain't broke, Don't fix it"
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#17
keakar
everything, and i mean everything will use and need quad core cpus because........

they can make a butt load of money making everything have to have it so we have to buy it.

look, you are the boss, now if you change the way the applications for your products work then everyone who now owns your product has to buy your new product to use the latest applications sending profits through the roof. or.... you can settle for sales to be stagnent and steady by not changing the way new applications are used.

2 years ago we were arguing that dual cores are unnecessary and we will never use that much cpu, now here we are saying the same about quad cores.

they have 8 core processors in the works as we speak, do you think they wont "make" a market for them?
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#18
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: keakar
everything, and i mean everything will use and need quad core cpus because........

they can make a butt load of money making everything have to have it so we have to buy it.

look, you are the boss, now if you change the way the applications for your products work then everyone who now owns your product has to buy your new product to use the latest applications sending profits through the roof. or.... you can settle for sales to be stagnent and steady by not changing the way new applications are used.

2 years ago we were arguing that dual cores are unnecessary and we will never use that much cpu, now here we are saying the same about quad cores.

they have 8 core processors in the works as we speak, do you think they wont "make" a market for them?
Before i even answer that statement I think you better calm down, Im not here for a mudsligging at the O.K Coral im putting my opinion forward & you have overshot the runway so let me explain.....



1. Im not saying that EVERYONE should go buy new software just beause they upgraded from Single Core to Dual Core - some companies do release patches to add some functionality if the user indeed has a Dual Core system - or are you telling me that that isnt good enough?

Sometimes the exisiting software engine maybe a little dated to even attempt a patch update hence the release of a new product & the product should have backwards & forwards compatability by enabling or dissabling certain features when running a Dual Core Or Single Core system. for example - the newest versions of Winrar have Dual Core support meaning that theres an option you can click to 'boost' it abit but you can turn it on/off if you dont run a Dual Core system. - If I was the boss the most important thing would be PROGRAM FUNCTIONALITY

2. they ALREADY have 8 core processors - some MAC Pro's & possibly quite a few servers are running already them such as Sun Micro Systems or Cisco, but i wouldnt rule it out.

http://www.apple.com/macpro/intel.html

Intel Xeon series codename: Clovertown

obviously 8core systems will mainly be bought by those in industry - 3d animators,audio/video engineers, Military, Coporate companies like banks & goverment organisations, as well as NASA will buy 8 core processors - Im not saying there wont be are market for them - Im saying that support for it unless its a KEY program will take a long time to arrive as programmers will have to write out a thread for each core. unless you're made of money or insane - an everyday person would not buy an 8 core processor as soon as its released.


So please stop putting words in my mouth


Please keep in mind I am not arguing anything Im just voicing my own opinion
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#19
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
by: FreedomEclipse


2. they ALREADY have 8 core processors - some MAC Pro's & possibly quite a few servers are running already them such as Sun Micro Systems or Cisco, but i wouldnt rule it out.

http://www.apple.com/macpro/intel.html

Intel Xeon series codename: Clovertown
Clovertown is quad core, dual socket though. However if we start counting multiple sockets octo core has been out for many, many years. ie Xeon MP's. Not even counting non-x86 architectures.
Posted on Reply
#20
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: DanTheBanjoman
Clovertown is quad core, dual socket though. However if we start counting multiple sockets octo core has been out for many, many years. ie Xeon MP's. Not even counting non-x86 architectures.
Doh! I knew that!!!!!!!!!! anyway f**k knows what codename it is. the most important thing being that its already out & available on the market
Posted on Reply
#21
keakar
by: FreedomEclipse
Before i even answer that statement I think you better calm down, Im not here for a mudsligging at the O.K Coral im putting my opinion forward & you have overshot the runway so let me explain.....


So please stop putting words in my mouth


Please keep in mind I am not arguing anything Im just voicing my own opinion
well to start with i wasnt even refering to your post at all so dont be so defensive and paranoid thinking i am "mudslinging" you.


i expressed my opinion on weather 4 cores are even needed and gave my reason why they will make us need it.

do you deny me my right to simply express my opinion that was not even directed at you?

we are all making valid points here but at the end of the day they made this product for us to use so they will also find a way to make us need it.
Posted on Reply
#22
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: keakar
well to start with i wasnt even refering to your post at all so dont be so defensive and paranoid thinking i am "mudslinging" you.


i expressed my opinion on weather 4 cores are even needed and gave my reason why they will make us need it.

do you deny me my right to simply express my opinion that was not even directed at you?

we are all making valid points here but at the end of the day they made this product for us to use so they will also find a way to make us need it.
My bad, I thought your post was directed at me since I was the one talking about the whole DC Vs. Qc thing
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#23
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Nice numbers and Anandtech seems to be a bounty of knowledge.
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#24
keakar
by: FreedomEclipse
My bad, I thought your post was directed at me since I was the one talking about the whole DC Vs. Qc thing
its cool, i read nothing into it because i could see how it could be missunderstood but words are just typed so dont attatch intent to them. granted some jerks go around flaming people with rude comments and get out of line but dont let them get you paranoid.
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#25
Mussels
Moderprator
i like my quad core.

That said, i'm a crazy gamer, and i quite often run multiple games at once (i'll go to lans and forget to quit games, and just alt tab into a new one...)
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