Barcelona synthetic benchmark results bode well
Despite delays plaguing AMD's Barcelona processors, early performance numbers for the chips seem somewhat encouraging. The Inq has managed to nab SPECint_rate2006 integer and SPECfp_rate2006 floating point scores for a Barcelona-based Opteron 2356 clocked at 2.3GHz, and the AMD chip outperforms a 2.66GHz Xeon 5355 by a good margin. The Opteron is 21% faster than the Xeon in the integer test, and in SPECfp_rate2006, Intel's offering reportedly slips 50% behind AMD's new processor. As The Inq points out, that's not a performance deficit Intel may be able to readily solve with its 45nm Penryn chips—unless, that is, Intel manages to out-clock AMD significantly enough to make up the difference.
Aside from quad-core versus quad-core, The Inq also has a handful of numbers that compare Barcelona with existing dual-core Opterons. The Barcelona's lead is massive, but that's not exactly unexpected considering the new chip has an extra two cores and a much improved architecture. It is worth pointing out that 2.3GHz Barcelonas aren't due out until at least the fourth quarter of this year, though.