AMD Dual-Core Processors May Pose Threat to 2-Way Opteron Systems

AMD Opteron 875 Outperformed by Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840

by Anton Shilov
05/04/2005 | 10:01 PM

Advanced Micro Devices has published scores of its dual-core AMD Opteron processors in SPEC CPU benchmarks at SPEC.org web-site. A brief look at the figures indicates that AMD’s dual-core chips is at least as fast as 2-way AMD Opteron based systems, but are sometimes slightly outperformed by Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 840 processor.

 

Within the next few months AMD is expected to have processors for 1-way, 2-way and 4/8-way servers in its lineup. Currently the company only offers AMD Opteron chips for multiprocessor servers that have from 4 CPUs. While such processors can function in 1P or 2P configurations as well, their pricing is unlikely to be competitive in entry-level server market segments. However, as soon as the company has top-to-bottom lineup of dual-core chips, at least some of its clients may pay more attention to 1P dual-core and 2P dual-core configurations instead of 2-way and 4-way systems.

CINT2000 Rates

Processor(s) name

Peak

Base

Processor(s) price

Processor(s) TDP

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (3.20GHz)

33.3

33.1

$999

130W

AMD Opteron x75 (2.20GHz)

34.6

32.8

$581*

95W

AMD Opteron x70 (2.00GHz)

31.9

30.3

-

95W

AMD Opteron 246 (2.00GHz) x2

30.5

28.8

$316 x2

89W x2

AMD Opteron 148 (2.20GHz)

17.1

16.3

$278

89W

*Pricing of similarly configured AMD Athlon 64 X2 (2.20GHz, 2MB cache) microprocessor

AMD Opteron 870 (which is similar to 270 and 170, but can operate in MP servers) scored 30.3/31.9 base/peak CINT2000 rates, by contrast, 2P AMD Opteron 246 system with processors operating at 2.20GHz attained 28.8/30.5 CINT2000 rates. Dual-core AMD Opteron 870 also demonstrated slightly higher CFP2000 rates: 29.1/30.3 base/peak versus 28.1/29.9 base/peak of 2P AMD Opteron 246 machine.

CFP2000 Rates

Processor(s) name

Peak

Base

Processor(s) price

Processor(s) TDP

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (3.20GHz)

30.5

30.5

$999

130W

AMD Opteron x75 (2.20GHz)

30.3

29.1

$581*

95W

AMD Opteron x70 (2.00GHz)

28.3

27.1

-

95W

AMD Opteron 246 (2.00GHz) x2

29.9

28.1

$316 x2

89W x2

AMD Opteron 148 (2.20GHz)

17.6

17.5

$278

89W

*Pricing of similarly configured AMD Athlon 64 X2 (2.20GHz, 2MB cache) microprocessor

In real-word applications the results may be higher on a 2-way system because of higher memory bandwidth per core, still, in applications that fully rely on integer and float performance, dual-core processors look very strong. Furthermore, AMD dual-core chips consume less power compared to a couple of AMD microprocessors.

Dual-core server chips from AMD and Intel are projected to reshuffle the market of multiprocessor servers; for instance, HP already rejected plans to make 8-way servers based on the recently unveiled Intel Xeon processors MP.

Currently AMD-based top performing server according to SPEC CPU2000 is 4-way AMD Opteron 875-based Pogo Linux PerformanceWare 3566 that scores base/peak 106/109 CFP2000 rates and 124/132 base/peak CINT2000 rates. Still, there are faster systems in the list, AMD Zone web-site notes, mentioning 16-way Intel Itanium 2, Intel Xeon MP as well as HP Alpha-based computers. The top performing machine in SPEC.org’s list is SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 powered by Intel Itanium 2 that provides 2437 SPECfp_rate_base2000.