AMD unveils Abu Dhabi chips for speedier servers

AMD (NYSE:AMD) announces new Intel-architecture server CPUs. Codenamed Abu Dhabi, the Opteron 6300-series use the new Piledriver core and are faster, cooler, use less power, yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Agam Shah lays out the news for us:

Advanced Micro Devices has announced its fastest 16-core Opteron 6300 server chips. ... [They're] up to 40% faster...than the one-year-old Opteron 6200 chips code-named Interlagos. ... The chips are designed for servers running public and private clouds, and for enterprise applications.


HP, Dell, Cray, Silicon Graphics and others will use the processors in servers. ... AMD hopes the chips will provide a spark for its slumping server business. ... The new Opteron chips have Piledriver cores, which AMD has been putting in Trinity laptop and desktop chips. ... [It] mixes CPU, integer and floating point units to execute more operations per clock cycle while using less power.


[AMD] also announced two Opteron 6300 8-core chips priced starting at $293, and a quad-core chip starting at $501.  MORE

Lawrence Latif looks back:

AMD launched its Bulldozer Opteron chips a year ago amid much fanfare. ... AMD has followed up its Bulldozer Opteron processors with its 6300 series Piledriver Opteron chips.


AMD might have got a head start on Intel by launching...four months before Intel's Sandy Bridge Xeon parts, but in reality Intel's chips trounced AMD. ... AMD is claiming a 40 percent power efficiency improvement.  MORE

Timothy Prickett Morgan says things are pretty boring right now: make things interesting, AMD is now goosing the performance of its top-end parts. ... If you ignore those faster Opteron 6200s that came out in June...all of the Opteron 6300 parts in the various...options are indeed 200MHz faster. ... [So] you might think [they] may not be worth the dough. ... But the chips have other features...that help boost performance on top of those extra clocks.


To start with, the Piledriver cores include four new instructions. ...a floating point fused multiply add instruction that is used for vector and matrix math and polynomial calculations. ...a Bit Manipulation Instruction. ... Trailing Bit Manipulation. ...[and] an instruction that converts 32-bit single-precision floating point values to half-precision 16-bit formats. ...there are a slew of other nips, tucks, and tweaks. should get performance improvements as high as 24 per cent (as gauged by the SPECjbb2005 Java benchmark).  MORE

But Charlie Demerjian ain't so easily impressed:

What do you get if you replace the Bulldozer cores...with Piledriver cores? ...a yawner. ... It brings nothing new to the table but incremental increases in energy efficiency and absolute performance. ... AMD is woefully behind Intel. ... The dual die 16-core...single die 8-core...don’t have PCIe3, don’t have USB3 natively. ...a stunning omission.


Will it win any new customers? Not a chance. ... 16 AMD cores are half as fast as 8 Intel is absurd. ... AMD needs two 115W CPUs for every Intel 135W CPU, not to mention the overhead. ... Power costs are a significant portion of TCO. ... This essentially precludes AMD from any serious installations.  MORE

And realbabilu has another reason why not:

if you are running "per core license" like Oracle, then you will prefer less core, with higher performance per core.  MORE

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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