Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc is to announce that it has ramped up the performance on its dual-core Opteron processors by another notch, just in time to rub it in ahead of Intel Corp’s semi-annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.
According to Brent Kirby, product manager for the server and workstations group at AMD, the new chips run at 2.6 GHz, up from 2.4 GHz. The Opteron 285 processors, which are used in two-socket machines, cost $1,051 in 1,000-unit quantities, while the Opteron 885, used in four-socket and larger machines (if you can find them on the market) cost $2,149 for 1,000-unit trays.
Both of these chips are available immediately in the standard 95-watt thermal envelope of the Rev E generation of Opteron processors.
AMD will eventually offer a so-called High Efficiency, or HE, variant that runs at a lower voltage and dissipates only 55 watts, and according to Kirby, tier one server partners will also be able to get their hands on a 68-watt part for their machines in the future. Depending on the application, that extra 200 MHz will boost performance by 4% to 15%, says Kirby.
The Opteron 185 dual-core chip running at 2.6 GHz won’t be available for 30 days, and AMD has removed this chip from its price list, so I can’t tell you what it will cost. Kirby says that the Opteron 100 Series processors are mostly sold through channel partners, and AMD is no longer providing a suggested list price.
You’ll have to check out distributors when it is available to get a price. This seems like a pretty annoying and pointless practice, but AMD is undoubtedly doing it to appease its channel partners. On such a low-cost chip as the Opteron 185, every dollar counts toward profits.
As far as IDF goes, AMD will be in town demonstrating its next-generation Rev F Opterons, which are due in the middle of this year to coincide with Intel’s own next iteration of dual-core Xeon processors.