Just months after trying to make uni-processor (UP) servers more affordable and employing a more cost-efficient packaging on appropriate AMD Opteron processors, Advanced Micro Devices reportedly ceasing the program and no longer intends to produce the Opteron chips in PGA939 form-factor.
A news-story over The Inquirer web-site claims that AMD plans to stop manufacturing of AMD Opteron processors in Socket 939 flavour for UP servers and workstations. If the unofficial information is correct, then AMD Opteron-based machines with one processor will not have substantial headroom in terms of price reduction.
Earlier all AMD Opteron microprocessors for uni-processor, dual-processor and multi-processor applications used Socket 940 infrastructure and required registered memory modules to be installed. While registered memory modules are more reliable in environments where a lot of modules are installed, they also cost more. Given that uni-processor machines are not equipped with a lot of memory typically, increased costs of registered memory were unjustified for a lot of cases. The new AMD Opteron chips 100-series for uni-processor servers use Socket 939 infrastructure and may use typical unbuffered memory with ECC, which is more affordable compared to registered RAM.
Apparently, there were only a few mainboards with Socket 939 that actually supported appropriate Opteron processors and, in case of dual-core chips, such support was crucial. Nevertheless, a lot of enthusiasts acquired those processors as they were relatively affordable.
The exact reason why AMD may have decided to slash AMD Opteron processors in PGA939 form-factor remains unclear.
AMD did not comment on the news-story.