AMD ups Opteron 6100 speeds

Mid-life not-a-crisis among the cores

AMD logoAMD PUT OUT a speed bump for the Magny-Cours CPUs today, five new chips in all. They aren’t anything huge, just a slight speed increase for the top end Opteron 6100 line.

Short story, each chip in the line got about 100MHz more speed without an attendant TDP…. err…. ACP increase. The new line up looks like this.


Newer, faster, but no more cores

You can now get a 12-core Opteron at 2.5GHz and an 8-core at 2.6, or 2.3 GHz for the 80W 12-core. Whatever way you look at it, the “almost valid for servers” metric of cores * MHz, or cores * MHz / Watts, things look pretty good for AMD. If you need single threaded performance, the situation hasn’t changed much.

The benchmarks that were released show a commensurate increase in performance over the older parts, but not all of the numbers are out yet. Due to disclosure rules for a number of high end benchmarks, AMD has to wait for a few OEMs to release the numbers so the list is a bit incomplete now. Expect that to change in the near term with similar end results to the ones released today.

OEMs are stepping in to the ring with the new 6100s as well. AMD highlighted two boxes in particular, the Dell PowerEdge C6145, and the IBM X3755 M3. The Dell is notable for having two 4S blades in a single box, meaning a density of 96 cores per 2U. That is pretty astounding for that number on its own, but breaking 2000 cores per rack is amazing with off the shelf servers. It doesn’t appear to be on the Dell web site yet, but the line can be found here.

The IBM is a 2U 4S machine, and here AMD is touting price/performance. The X3755 M3 is a 48-core machine aimed at the middle of the transaction processing market, think ERP, not HPC. AMD is more than happy to point out that a 32-core AMD system costs less than the 12-core Intel one. Don’t you just love marketing games?

Last up is a look into the future with the upcoming Bulldozer cores. AMD is claiming Q2 production and Q3 widespread availability for Interlagos and Valencia, 16 and 12-core parts respectively. Both will have a next generation turbo feature which should boost all cores by 500MHz simultaneously if there is power and thermal headroom.

Overall, AMD provided a small mid-life kick to the Magny-Cours line of CPUs. Nothing that will yank customers away from Intel, just a solid speed advance. With socket compatibility and identical thermal envelopes for the upcoming Bulldozer parts, anyone buying now has something to look forward to in a few months.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate