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.