SAN JOSE, Calif. Advanced Micro Devices has officially rolled out its latest Magny Cours sever processors a day before archrival Intel Corp. is expected to announce its competing Nehalem-EX CPUs. Hewlett-Packard and SGI were among companies announcing plans to use the AMD chips in servers.
The new 45nm chip family, officially named the AMD Opteron 6000, sports 12 cores and 12 Mbytes shared L3 cache. It is based on two six-core dice in a single package. With this generation AMD is transitioning to DDR3 memory with four memory controllers per socket, supporting a total of 12 DIMMs per chip.
The processors run at data rates ranging from 1.7 to 2.3 GHz and come in versions drawing 65, 80 or 105W power. AMD announced pricing ranging from $266 to $1,386 for versions capable of running in two- to four-socket systems.
A related eight-core version called the Opteron 4000 is priced from $99 to $455 for single- and dual-processor systems. The chips all typically measure about 346mm2 and include up to 1.8 billion transistors.
AMD said its 12-core Opteron 6174 running at 2.2 GHz slightly exceeds in integer performance Intel's Xeon 5680, a 32nm six-core chip running at 3.3 GHz. The eight-core AMD Opteron 6136 at 2.4 GHz tops in integer performance Intel's four-core Xeon 5570 at 2.9 GHz, it claimed.
HP announced three dual-processor servers available in April based on the new AMD chips. It is expected to roll out four-socket systems using the CPUs in the future.
The new HP systems sport 27 times the performance per Watt and a 96 percent reduction in power compared to the single-core Intel servers widely used by most business today, said Dave Peterson, a group marketing manager for x86-based servers at HP.
For its part, SGI said it will make the new AMD parts available on a number of its systems, including at least three platforms that previously were based only on Intel chips. They include the Ice Cube modular data center that packs 41,760 cores in a freight container.
SGI will also roll out future versions of its Octane III and Altix Ice systems using the Opteron 6000. The company has also ported its cluster management and optimization software to the AMD chips.
Neither HP nor SGI would say whether they the new chips would change the percent of AMD and Intel processors they now use. Analysts said Intel's Nehalem-EX will be targeted toward higher end systems than AMD's Magny Cours, but both chips will be competitive.