AMD's Shanghai chips appearing at resellers

AMD's Shanghai chips appearing at resellers

The Opteron Quad-Core 'Shanghai' processors have a number of improvements over the previous generation 'Barcelona' chips.

If you're still waiting for AMD's answer to the current offerings from market leader Intel, you might be one step closer to being satisfied today.

According to CNet, the first 45-nanometre server chip to come out of AMD – the quad-core 'Shanghai' Opteron processor – is starting to see availability at selected resellers, despite not officially launching until 13th of November.

The processor ranges – Opteron 837X and 838X – don't come cheap, however: the relatively high-end 8384 model, which features quad 2.7GHz processing cores and takes a surprisingly low power draw of 75 watts, is listed on reseller's sites for a whopping $2,350 (£1,443) per chip.

The good news is that as well as a quartet of cores in a low-power package, your hard-earned money also nabs you 6MB of L2 cache compared to the 2MB available on AMD's previous 'Barcelona' quad-core chips. Improvements in the amount of work the chip does per processing cycle combine with the increased cache to offer a promised 20 percent speed boost over a similarly clocked Barcelona chip. AMD is also enabling the HyperTransport 3.0 interconnect on new Opteron systems, with the first systems certified for the technology due early next year.

While AMD will be hoping that the introduction of the new 45nm chips will help regain ground lost to rival Intel's Xeon range, the company has a way to go: after the debaclé that was the eight-month delay to the previous generation Barcelona chip, expectations are high and it's important that AMD delivers on its promises this time round: the server market has a long memory, after all.

Are you hoping that this could be the sign that AMD are finally starting to be competitive with Intel again, or will you believe it when you see benchmarks for Shanghai-based systems? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
The Infamous Mr D 30th October 2008, 14:08 Quote
Well it all depends how Nehalem does in the marketplace, really. The new Shanghai AMDs might be a quantum leap over Barcelona, but how they square up to Nehalem will be the real challenge.

Personally, I'm hoping AMD do well in this cycle - nothing like solid competition to push things forward :)
HourBeforeDawn 30th October 2008, 18:55 Quote
Well at the rate Nahalem is going and I mean in a negative fashion with its recent issues and so forth, this could be very promising and I too hope that AMD comes out on top, ya ya I know intel fans but honestly it would be a good thing believe me if AMD was to win this round over Intel, it will help in many things even you Intel fans will benny from it. ;)
bowman 30th October 2008, 22:53 Quote
That die shot is a 90nm dual-core, not Barcelona.
AussieFX 31st October 2008, 14:08 Quote
I think you're being confused by the large cache.
That's 6mb of L3 at the bottom, if you look above that you will see the 4 cores.

AMD should get a good kickstart with this as intel seem to be taking a long time coming up with a 4s solution. That should give Shanghai a 12 month lead in.
Gareth Halfacree 31st October 2008, 14:58 Quote
Originally Posted by bowman
That die shot is a 90nm dual-core, not Barcelona.
I know. I couldn't find a die shot of a Shanghai chip.
Ending Credits 31st October 2008, 15:00 Quote
The new Denebs are 45nm at 3.00Ghz goodness. Should be interesting.
Xir 1st November 2008, 20:24 Quote
That`s definetely a (pretty old) dualcore...looked at it for way too long ;-)

Well, let`s hope it compares well to the Xeon-range in Performance-per-Watt.
This is where AMD makes money, not with our gaming processors ;-)
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