AMD: Customers Are Preferring Chips With Higher Core Count

AMD's Twelve-Core Processors More Popular than Eight-Core Chips

by Anton Shilov
09/20/2010 | 10:40 PM

Advanced Micro Devices said that its twelve-core microprocessors for servers are more popular than eight-core Opteron chips  among server customers. The fact proves that customers prefer to have larger amount of cores amid lower amount of servers since this generally provides higher performance per watt ratio.


"In looking through sales data for the first half of 2010, 12-core processors clearly outsold their 8-core counterparts – by a wide margin. I was expecting that there would be a slight bias towards the 12-core, but I figured there were plenty of applications where the extra clock speed of an 8-core might be popular. Apparently I was wrong, customers are voting with their budgets, and cores matter," said John Fruehe, director of product marketing for server/workstation products at AMD.

Many customers reportedly have want to run one virtualization machine per core, so with twelve-core processors, their consolidation can get very dense. With 24 cores in a 2P server, there are plenty of resources to allow all of the VMs to have plenty of access to compute power whenever they need it. In addition, having a dozen cores in a socket helps ensure that all of queries come back rapidly. Finally, high-performance computing environments benefit greatly from enhanced amount of cores.

AMD Opteron “Magny-Cours” processors with eight or twelve cores are the first chips designed  for the AMD G34 “Maranello” platform for Opteron processors 6000-series with quad-channel DDR3 memory interface, 2 or 4 CPU sockets, up to 12 memory modules per socket and some server and enterprise-specific functionality. Magny-Cours microprocessors feature two six-core or quad-core dies on one piece of substrate. The AMD G34 server platform will be compatible with next-generation server chips based on Bulldozer micro-architecture.

"When it comes to core counts, our customers are sending a pretty clear signal to us: Cores Matter.  That message is very good to hear because next year will see 16 total cores in our Bulldozer-based products," said Mr. Fruehe.