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Early Barcelona performance looks good

Early Barcelona performance looks good

AMD's Barcelona processor reportedly outperforms Intel's current processors by significant margins in synthetic benchmarks.

Update 15:10 04/07/07:
Having gathered more information, it turns out that the Barcelona benchmarks are performance estimations for Barcelona at 2.6GHz, not 2.3GHz as originally reported. The results are also based on "internal AMD simulations", so the validity of the results is somewhat questionable.

I've left the original story in place below, and there's also a picture of the slide at the bottom too.

---

Amid speculation of even further delays to AMD's next-generation quad-core processors, the company has been talking about Barcelona's performance with its partners.

The Inquirer has managed to get hold of some of these figures, and although they're synthetic and won't give a true indication of application performance, they might give us an idea of what ballpark AMD is expecting to hit.

Despite the comparison being between competing server parts in the $800 USD price bracket, we think it's potentially very relevant because both the Opteron and Xeon processors are based on practically identical architectures to their desktop siblings.

According to the figures, AMD's quad-core Opteron, which is clocked at 2.3GHz, manages to outperform Intel's similarly priced 2.66GHz Xeon 5355 processor by a significant margin.

In SPECint_rate2006, a measure of integer performance, the unreleased Opteron is 21 percent faster than the Xeon. If that wasn't a big enough margin, the Xeon reportedly slips behind the Opteron by 50 percent in SPECfp_rate2006, a floating point benchmark. The latter is certainly an impressive margin and one that Intel will not be able to make up without a significant clock speed boost when it releases its 45nm Penryn processors.

Of course, we're going to remain sceptical until we've seen how well AMD's next-generation processors perform in real applications, but this does whet our appetite a bit while we're waiting for the launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Will you be waiting for some solid performance numbers before you make the plunge? Tell us in our forums.

30 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
rupbert 4th July 2007, 13:12 Quote
Impressive figures indeed.

If only AMD/ATI could get them out sooner.
bubsterboo 4th July 2007, 13:17 Quote
Cool, I'm excited. I still don't buy anything without seeing reviews. But the Barcelona looks like a winner to me.
Dr. Strangelove 4th July 2007, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Will you be waiting for some solid performance numbers before you make the plunge?
What a silly question, we will naturally all be waiting for the full bit-tech review before we even contemplate getting one of these ;)
MR BUNGLE 4th July 2007, 13:19 Quote
WOW.
Some of those figures are pretty amazing for a 2.3GHz chip....
However, there is no FPU comparison with the current architecture, which has always been very good at certain SPEC benches..
- I believe that even current AMD parts are pretty strong against Core2, so it would be nice to see just how much stronger the new chips are (or not).

Still, nice to see something official about Barcelona performance, rather than Fanboi hype!
Buzzons 4th July 2007, 13:51 Quote
How accurately do synthetic benchmarks show the speed of a cpu though, they could easily be heavily tweaked applications specific for the opteron code...*shrug*
DXR_13KE 4th July 2007, 14:28 Quote
i prefer real world benchmarks....
Tim S 4th July 2007, 15:10 Quote
updated with some more information I've managed to gather. :)
DougEdey 4th July 2007, 15:15 Quote
Tim, that image was from back in February surely someone must have noticed this before today?
Dr. Strangelove 4th July 2007, 15:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Tim, that image was from back in February surely someone must have noticed this before today?

could it be from an internal presentation that has not been leaked before now? I know that sounds strange considering most IT companies seem about as leak-prof as the titanic.

Anyway I would love to see Intel's corresponding slide, on that one they probably beat AMD by 75% ;)
Tim S 4th July 2007, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Tim, that image was from back in February surely someone must have noticed this before today?

It's an internal document that made its way out this week. Also, the results from SPEC (for the Xeons and the Opteron 2222 SE) are from April 2007, so I believe the date at the bottom is wrong. :)
DarkLord7854 4th July 2007, 17:01 Quote
I wonder if they're gonna pull another R600 stunt and just make it all hype and then a big flop >.>
DXR_13KE 4th July 2007, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
I wonder if they're gonna pull another R600 stunt and just make it all hype and then a big flop >.>

quoted for truth
Andy Mc 4th July 2007, 18:54 Quote
I will wait until I see a real benchmark before passing comment, but i really hope AMD get things sorted and take back their performance crown from Intel.
Amon 4th July 2007, 19:43 Quote
If bit-tech is going to review a Phenom FX chip, could I save a few quid and buy it second-hand off of you guys afterwards? I'd have the L1N mainboard and FX-72 by release time and I would certainly be eternally grateful.:D
Aankhen 4th July 2007, 21:32 Quote
I dunno, the original article sounded good, but after the update, it all sounds rather fishy. :|
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
quoted for truth
…that phrase is getting way too much use in situations where it makes no sense.
mclean007 4th July 2007, 21:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aankhen
…that phrase is getting way too much use in situations where it makes no sense.
quoted for truth :D

Actually, that phrase really does annoy me too. It's just the latest in a long line of 1337 k00l f0ru|\/| 5p33kzorz. What's wrong with "I agree"??
identikit 4th July 2007, 21:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rupbert
Impressive figures indeed.

If only AMD/ATI could get them out sooner.

Exactly, with Intel's price cuts coming up people are not going to wait forever (me included).
bubsterboo 4th July 2007, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by identikit
Exactly, with Intel's price cuts coming up people are not going to wait forever (me included).

Yeah, the price of the quad after the price cut is almost too good to turn down.
Mankz 4th July 2007, 21:58 Quote
I think that AMD will bring it out on time, and it will be good. They have soo much at stake here, it has to be good.

Remember when AMD was on top with S939 and A64 over 775 6-series CPU's? Intel looked shameful and then the tides turned with C2D, so prehaps the same will happen again.

Also, Tim, if that document says confidential at the bottom, why are you allowed to print it?
DXR_13KE 4th July 2007, 22:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
quoted for truth :D

Actually, that phrase really does annoy me too. It's just the latest in a long line of 1337 k00l f0ru|\/| 5p33kzorz. What's wrong with "I agree"??

i agree, i will change :D
completemadness 4th July 2007, 23:05 Quote
well if their 2.6 part beats intel's 2.6 part - that's good news in my eyes - assuming the price is similar, its hard to tell until we get it though, and as they are AMD's benchmarks, its hard to judge the validity

So really, we are back where we were, we will know when its released
Tim S 5th July 2007, 00:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz.
Also, Tim, if that document says confidential at the bottom, why are you allowed to print it?
The document was leaked to me, not given to me via an "official" source (i.e. someone inside AMD via an AMD email address).
David_Fitzy 5th July 2007, 00:45 Quote
If you're the type of person who always has the latest and greatest components then you may well end up zig-zag stepping between AMD and Intel for the latest best processor (Ignoring fanboy clinging). Unless Barcelona ends up better than Intel's post die shrink architecture, which I think unlikely. I think it'll take an awful lot for AMD to get going again.
DarkLord7854 5th July 2007, 00:47 Quote
I wonder how the dual core line-up will match though, since Barcelona is the Quad core and more server oriented
MR BUNGLE 5th July 2007, 01:57 Quote
- It's still the same architecture, whether dual or quad core, server or mainstream chips.
However, AMD's much-hyped (by them) advantage from being single die, native quad core will obviously be lost when competing on the dual core front, so yes, it will be very interesting!

- Right, after thinking about this, I'm not nearly as worried about the validity of AMD's 'simulated' 2.6GHz scores as by the implications of them being simulated:
Presuming that they've accurately scaled the Opteron's result to 2.6Ghz means it should be valid.

However, what concerns me is that they needed to do that in the first place!
- Even back in April (or Feb as it may be) they should surely have had some working 2.6GHz parts to run benches on...
As per usual, it seems AMD may have clockspeed issues with their new chips!

Oh dear.
completemadness 5th July 2007, 02:14 Quote
their advantage will also be much greater on servers, where proper use of multiple cores is made
identikit 5th July 2007, 10:59 Quote
Well the dev cycles are out of sync. So it's hard to compare each manufacturers product with the other. Ok Intel has quad core, but AMD will bring out native quads (if they pull their fingers out), however to the average Joe, they couldn't care. Intel are the 'best' atm and will be for some time. The market viewpoint from our sides are complex. But to other people it's simple black and white. Intel faster and cheaper, so that's what they'll buy.
devdevil85 5th July 2007, 17:32 Quote
any good news for AMD is good news to me, even if it's still a little bit shady. Long live the underdog!
f00dl3 9th July 2007, 13:29 Quote
Odd, the previous article stating AMD posted outdated info about the performance was removed.
Tim S 9th July 2007, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by f00dl3
Odd, the previous article stating AMD posted outdated info about the performance was removed.

which one?

This one: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2007/07/06/amd_to_come_clean_on_barcelona_perf/1 ?
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