2GHz Barcelona to compete with 2.33GHz Clovertown

Written by Tim Smalley

July 26, 2007 // 7:53 p.m.

Tags: #amd #barcelona #clock #clovertown #competitive #intel #opteron #performance #power #speed #xeon

During a chat with AMD’s Steve Demski, product manager for Opteron line, we learned that the company’s upcoming Barcelona processors will launch at 2.0GHz and, more interestingly, will compete with Intel’s Xeon 5345 processor, which is clocked at 2.33GHz.

When asked about the clock frequencies Barcelona will launch at, Felipe Payet, worldwide channel market development manager in AMD’s server/workstation product group, told us that “we don’t think that’s necessarily all that low.”

Payet then went onto explain the reasoning behind that statement “[AMD] tends to lag in terms of pure clock frequency, but that doesn’t mean we lag in performance. Given the fact that we use a HyperTransport and direct connect based design, clock frequency is no longer an indication of performance.”

Demski then chimed in to add some more context to Payet’s statements. “Even though 2.0GHz doesn’t sound like a lot, we will put our 2.0GHz part up against their 2.33GHz part and we will be very comfortable with that.

“If you compare our medium power part to their medium power part we think we’ll be compare very favourably. And the same is true with the low power parts. The thing we’re lacking is that we don’t have that SE high performance part, which is coming later this year,”
he said.

How much later this year is unclear at the moment, but it looks like Barcelona’s clock speed deficit might not be all doom and gloom. Obviously AMD isn’t going to compete with Intel’s Xeon 5355 or soon-to-be-released 5365 processors, which are clocked at 2.66GHz and 3.00GHz respectively – that’s going to have to wait a while.

DailyTech recently spoke to partners close to AMD and has what it claims to be AMD’s launch plans for the Opteron processors (up to Q2 2008). According to the report, AMD will launch Barcelona-based Opterons at up to 2.5GHz in both 2P and 4P configurations with TDPs as high as 120W in Q4 2007 and the clockspeed will be increased to 2.6GHz in Q2 2008.

There is unfortunately no news on the desktop front at the moment. However, if AMD was to launch Phenom at 2.0GHz, it’d probably not be enough to keep up with Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6600, and could be a reason why we will not see a simultaneous desktop/server launch. Instead, it looks like we might have to wait until Q4 before AMD launches Phenom… right in time for when Intel starts to roll out its 45nm Yorkfield processors.

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