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As expected, Advanced Micro Devices unveiled its new Opteron processors for 1-way, 2-way and 4/8-way machines today, when the SuperComputing 2003 conference begins in Phoenix, Arizona. The new Opteron models 148, 248 and 848 run at 2.20GHz and will all be available by the end of the year.

In an attempt to boost performance in memory bandwidth demanding applications, AMD also added PC3200 memory support into AMD Opteron processors with model numbers ending in 46 and higher. Currently AMD supplies its Opteron CPUs with model numbers 146, 246 and 846 with support for PC2700, shortly the company will start to supply newer versions of the chips capable to work with PC3200. The firm believes that dual-channel PC3200 memory may provide up to 28% performance benefit over dual-channel PC2700 RAM in some industry benchmarks, such as the Sciencemark 2.0 Stream benchmark, designed to measure 1P workstation performance on advanced scientific calculations.

The new AMD Opteron processors running at 2.20GHz are architecturally the same as chips running at lower speeds and are probably drop-in compatible with existing mainboards for Socket 940 CPUs. Nevertheless, since the new chips are able to work with registered PC3200 memory modules, at least, some mainboards may require a new BIOS version. According to a source close to AMD, a number of mainboards support PC3200 out now.

The just-announced AMD Opteron processor model 148, for single processing workstations and entry-level servers, will be available in December of this year from leading system builders in North America. The microprocessor will be priced at $733 in 1000 unit quantities

The AMD Opteron processor model 248, designed for dual processing servers and workstations, is immediately shipping worldwide. The chip is priced at $913 in 1000 unit quantities.

The new AMD Opteron processor model 848, for enterprise-class servers, will also be available from North American system builders in December. The CPU is to be priced at $3199 in 1000 unit quantities.

Several systems powered by AMD Opteron microprocessors from various companies, such as OctigaBay, are expected to be demonstrated at SuperComputing 2003 conference.

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