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AMD Hardware

45nm Opteron Performance, Power Efficiency Tested 129

An anonymous reader writes "Now that Intel has unleashed its next-generation Core i7 processors, all eyes are turned to AMD and its incoming wave of 45nm CPUs. To get a feel for AMD's future competitiveness, The Tech Report has taken a pair of 2.7GHz 45nm Opterons (with 75W power envelopes) and put them through the paces against Intel Xeons and older, 65nm Opterons in an extensive suite of performance and power efficiency tests — from Cinema 4D and SPECjbb to computational fluid dynamics and a custom XML handling benchmark. The verdict: AMD's new 45nm quad-core design is a notable improvement over the 65nm iteration, and it proves to be a remarkably power-efficient competitor to Intel's Xeons. However, 45nm AMD chips likely don't have what it takes to best Intel's Core i7 and future Nehalem-based Xeons."
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45nm Opteron Performance, Power Efficiency Tested

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  • Re:AMD had it going (Score:5, Interesting)

    by speed of lightx2 ( 1375759 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:22AM (#25957041)

    ...but have since really lost momentum and competitiveness

    Seven out of the top ten supercomputers in the latest top500 list have AMD in them, including the top two, so I don't really see the whole "AMD losing momentum and competitiveness.

  • Re:AMD had it going (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordMyren ( 15499 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:09AM (#25957249) Homepage

    Yes Intel laptop sales are better.

    And I find it hilarious: Intel consistently makes better mobile CPUs definitely but everything else they do in mobile space reeks to high heaven. To this day its nearly impossible to buy a Atom netbook without a Intel GMA based chipset: thats a 2 watt cpu and a 12-25 watt chipset. If you buy a normal laptop, its probably a 45w or 35w chip, even though the Pxx00 series is 25w and almost the same price, and again it comes with an absolutely worthless video card that sucks down >10 watts.

    AMD certainly doesnt have as nice a processor offering. Their power is close (31w) but the performance just isnt as good. But in my mind they more than make up for it by always having power-thrifty chipsets boasting really good graphics capabilities. Amd's gone even further by offering PowerXpress and CrossfireX, allowing users to switch between integrated and discrete video cards or to use both at once (respectively). I'll take the un-noticable cpu speed hit for a huge power savings and good integrated video boon.

    The biggest thing keeping AMD down in the mobile world is the systems. OEM's tend to slap together something in a cheap case missing half the plugs you'd expect when they put together Athlon systems.

  • more the reverse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:03AM (#25957493)

    AMD didn't really destroy Itanium and then rest on their laurels. Although you have to give them some credit for coming up with reasonably good chips that the market wanted, it was more that Itanium was the reason AMD was competitive with Intel in the x86 space for a few years in the first place.

    Intel has orders of magnitude more R&D budget and especially capital for fab construction than AMD does. So AMD is perpetually at least a half-generation behind Intel on the tech curve: they keep coming up with chips that could beat Intel... if they had come out a year ago. Now when Intel effectively skips a generation, as they did when they sunk all their resources into Itanium and mostly ignored x86 for a year or two, this is enough to give AMD the lead. But once Intel shifted fully back into x86, they crushed AMD again.

  • by this great guy ( 922511 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:25AM (#25957625)
    You are so true about virtualization. Just 2 or 3 weeks ago I was benchmarking Linux and Windows VMs compiling Java code under Qemu/KVM-75 on an 2-socket 8-core 2.0GHz Opteron 2350 (non-Shanghai) system, and on a 1-socket 4-core 2.4GHz Core 2 Q6600 system. The VMs were configured with 1, 2, or 4 virtual processors and not more, to not give an unfair advantage to the AMD system which had twice the number of cores. Despite the lower CPU frequency as well as lower memory throughput and latency (registered DDR2-667 vs. unbuffered DDR2-800 for Intel), the AMD system was kicking the ass of the Intel system in every case by as much as 10-30%. Most likely this was because of the integrated memory controller and support of nested paging (aka "Rapid Virtualization Index"). Now Intel has cloned these 2 features in their Nehalem microarchitecture. I am very impatient to see how they perform.
  • by howlingmadhowie ( 943150 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:42AM (#25957705)
    call me a conspiracy theorist, but i'd like to see the benchmarks on *bsd and gnu/linux systems as well. i've often wondered if microsoft has a deal with intel to slow amd processors.
  • Re:It's a shame, too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @08:51AM (#25958085) Homepage Journal

    Also, they have used several openly pro-Intel applications: Cinebench and M$ .Net.

    Cinebench never hid the fact that they optimize for Intel and if you want to have best performance you need to buy Intel CPUs.

    M$ .Net XML benchmark - M$ C/C++ compiler and libraries in many parts use Intel's hand written asm code. And it always produced code optimized for Intel architectures.

  • Re:it's a shame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Enter the Shoggoth ( 1362079 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @10:19AM (#25958879)

    I love bagging the itanic as much as the next guy, but to be fair it does perform well under certain loads; give it an online transaction processing load and it will shine, which by an amazing coincidence is where HP's target market for the platform is.

  • Re:AMD had it going (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @10:55AM (#25959375) Homepage Journal

    You also only kind of hinted at the ease of migration. All that the OEMs need to do to introduce the Shanghai is to put it in the socket. with the I7 family it they will need to move to a new motherboard as well. For manufactures this will be a big win since for may buyers it will be seen as a nice safe evolutionary change. The one thing that worries the server market is big changes. It is all about stability.

  • by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @12:25PM (#25960845) Homepage Journal

    For the people who like pictures, feel free to check out pictures of one of our socket F server boards [] before it got closed up and installed.

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