Server Farming

Jan 26 2009   6:31PM GMT

AMD ships more efficient, faster versions of 45nm Opteron CPU

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is now shipping seven new versions of its latest Opteron processor, the 45 nanometer quad-core chip, code-named Shanghai; five are high efficiency (HE) and two are designed for higher performance than the standard version of Shanghai.

The new versions of Shanghai are essentially identical to the original flavor, only the HE is more power efficient and the SE offers better performance than the standard versions.

The 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron HE processor is 55-watts, compared to the standard 75-watts, and speeds range from 2.1 to 2.3 GHz. A server with an HE version can save 20% more than similarly configured systems during idle times, AMD reported.

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The new HE processors are available in eight server systems from HP, Rackable Systems, Dell, Sun Microsystems, and other vendors are expected to start shipping the CPUs by mid-year.

Additionally, two new 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron SE processors (2.8 GHz) are designed for performance-intensive workloads; this compares to the standard Shanghai chip speed of 2.7 GHz. The SE chips aren’t conservative on power though; they come in a 105-watt ACP thermal envelope and are aimed at data centers where performance trumps power efficiency, said John Fruehe, AMD’s director of business development for server and workstations.

“Depending on the application, the SE version offers up to 5% better performance [than the standard version], but it also uses more power,” Fruehe said. “The customers that use these chips are less interested in the power efficiency and more interested in the performance, so we don’t do power testing on these.”

The new SE processors are also immediately available in three new systems from HP and other AMD technology partners.

The AMD Opteron pricing model for HE versions range from $316 to  $1,514, and the two SE models are $1,165 and $2,649.

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