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AMD Upgrades

AMD Launches Piledriver-Based 12 and 16-Core Opteron 6300 Family 133

MojoKid writes "AMD's new Piledriver-based Opterons are launching today, completing a product refresh that the company began last spring with its Trinity APUs. The new 12 & 16-core Piledriver parts are debuting as the Opteron 6300 series. AMD predicts performance increases of about 8% in integer and floating-point operations. With this round of CPUs, AMD has split its clock speed Turbo range into 'Max' and 'Max All Cores.' The AMD Opteron 6380, for example, is a 2.5GHz CPU with a Max Turbo speed of 3.4GHz and a 2.8GHz Max All Cores Turbo speed."
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AMD Launches Piledriver-Based 12 and 16-Core Opteron 6300 Family

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  • by gagol ( 583737 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @08:22AM (#41879149)

    Are these even desktop or server chips? It's been so long since I bought AMD, I really couldn't tell you which line Piledriver sits in anymore, or if they've consolidated them. The general gist I've read is that AMD is cheaper than Intel, and in the past has been "more green" due to power consumption, but with Ivy Bridge, your bang for the buck and much, much smaller lithography process has given intel the advantage in both areas.

    Server chips. Opteron was always, and always has been about servers.

    I am not a business owner and do not operate servers myself. For home usage, a low price CPU with adequate power will kick intel "we-cripple-all-but-i7-features" anytime in value for my $. I do not do geek pissing contests.

  • by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Monday November 05, 2012 @08:44AM (#41879267) Homepage

    These Opteron models are the new server line from AMD. The desktop version based on the same architecture (the Trinity alluded to in the summary) closed some of the gap against Intel []. But Intel remains the market leader on single core performance, performance per core, and power utilization. AMD continues to push the number of cores upward more aggressively, but there's not many workloads where that matters enough for their slim advantage to result in a net win. And the lower efficiency means that sometimes even having more cores doesn't aggregate into enough speed to be a useful alternative. That leaves AMD to compete on pricing. And the CPU is a relatively small part of the total budget on larger servers. Load up a Dell 815 [] for example and you'll find the CPU pricing seems small compared to what filling its RAM capacity up costs. And then there's reliable storage, at a while higher price level altogether.

    The rule of thumb I've been using for the last year, based on benchmarking of CPU heavy database work, is that I expect a 32 core AMD server to be about as fast as a 24 core Intel one, while using significantly more power. The 40% performance per watt gain claimed here--from AMD's own hand-picked best case scenario benchmark--is only enough to make the Intel performance and gap decrease in size, not go away. We'll see if these new Opterons benefit from the re-engineering work done recently more than the desktop ones did; so far it doesn't look good.

  • by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:01AM (#41879375) Homepage

    AMD had one period in the limelight. When the first good 64-bit x86 systems were Opterons [] launched in 2003, they had a really competitive product for servers. Intel was busy jerking off with Itanium at that time, was oblivious to power consumption (the Pentium 4 was the desktop processor available), and just generally executing terribly. It was like a textbook classic case where the near monopoly market leader was fat and dumb, and got its ass handed to it by its scrappy competitor.

    It took Intel until 2006 to release its first Core microarchitecture chips and start acting right again. By 2009 they had jumped back ahead of AMD in every market again, with the Nehalem [] server chips. And that was it; Intel has stayed one to two generations ahead of AMD ever since.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:14AM (#41879459)

    Intel calculate their TDP based on full load which isn't necessarily maximum power use.

    AMD calculate their TDP based on maximum power use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:24AM (#41879541)

    Yes, they have a shared 256 bit FPU, but that can be split into two 128 bit parts. So no, multiplying two floating point numbers in two threads is performed immediately and simultaneously, the cores do not wait at all. I measured this on a previous generation Opteron 6234, the performance loss caused by running two threads on two cores of the same module vs two cores in different modules was barely measurable, 3%.

  • Re:shared FPU (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:25AM (#41879549)
    Depends on what you mean by "FPU". The "shared" FPU is really a single shared 256bit SIMD unit that can also double as an FPU. It can do one 256bit AVX, 2 128bit SSE, 4 64bit floats, or 8 32bit floats per cycle. It is fully shared and is also capable of having one core doing a 128bit SSE and the other core doing 2 64bit floats per cycle, or one core doing 4 32bit floats and the other doing 2 64bit floats(assuming no dependencies and the OoO scheduler can manage it).

    The only time this FPU unit is shared is when a 256bit AVX instruction is being executed *or* in the corner case that one core could have done 4 64bit floats out-of-order but is now limited to only 2.
  • by SQL Error ( 16383 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @10:07AM (#41879843)

    Piledriver is the architecture, like Intel's Ivy Bridge is the architecture.

    These are server chips. Best case, these are finally faster than their pre-Bulldozer parts in real, consumer desktop use. They will not beat an 8 core Sandy Bridge Xeon in FP-heavy applications, and power consumption is, at best, on the same level as the Xeons.

    That's true. A 16-core Opteron has the same FP width as an 8-core Xeon, and a higher TDP for a given clock.

    On the other hand, we buy almost all AMD because it lets us build cheap 1U or 2U 4-socket servers with 512GB of RAM each. 4-socket Intel chips (E5-4600 or E7) are much more expensive; mid-range servers work out to 50% more for Intel, and high-end servers about 80% more for equivalent speed.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.