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AMD's 'Istanbul' six-core Opteron processors
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Old 1st June 2009, 22:46   #1
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Default AMD's 'Istanbul' six-core Opteron processors

The recent advent of Intel's "Nehalem" Xeons had a bit of an apocalyptic feeling to it, when one considered the implications for AMD. Despite strong showings from the past few generations of Xeons and some unfortunate problems for the first quad-core Opterons, Intel never really seemed to open up an insurmountable lead in the two-socket server and workstation spaces. The Opteron's power efficiency was consistently strong, at least, and its outright performance wasn't too far behind the curve. The Nehalem-based Xeons, though, reached dizzying new performance heights with comparatively modest power consumption. One was left to wonder how on earth AMD would respond.

Now we have an answer, and it's an interesting one, to say the least. The newest Opteron, code-named Istanbul, packs not four but six cores on a single die, giving it a considerable boost in performance potential. Not only that, but it's hitting the market early. AMD had originally planned to introduce this product in the October time frame, but the first spin of Istanbul silicon came back solid, so the firm pulled the launch forward into June. Even with the accelerated schedule, of course, Istanbul comes not a moment too soon, now that Nehalem Xeons are out in the wild. We've had a pair of Istanbul chips humming away in our labs for the past week. Let's have a look at whether they can restore the Opteron's competitiveness

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005
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