45nm 'Shanghai' Opterons take a bow

— 10:59 AM on November 13, 2008

AMD has announced immediate and "widespread availability" of its 45nm Opteron processors, the follow-up to its 65nm "Barcelona" native quad-core processors for servers and workstations.  In addition to the power and clock frequency benefits of the 45nm manufacturing process, the new Opterons have a number of tweaks and improvements over the prior generation, most notably including a larger, 6MB L3 cache.  AMD says Shanghai chips have been optimized for server virtualization, as well, with a "world-switch" time roughly 25% faster than the last generation—sufficiently quick that the company is claiming performance leadership for virtualization workloads. The new Opterons remain compatible with AMD's Socket F infrastructure. 

The biggest news here may be the combination of a clock-for-clock performance boost, higher clock frequencies, and lower prices for Shanghai-based parts, a combo AMD believes will make it very much competitive with Intel in the meaty part of the market, with mainstream server thermal envelopes.  The revised Opteron lineup looks like so:

Model Clock speed North bridge
ACP Price
Opteron 2384 2.7 GHz 2.2 GHz 75 W $989
Opteron 2382 2.6 GHz 2.2 GHz 75 W $873
Opteron 2380 2.5 GHz 2.0 GHz 75 W $698
Opteron 2378 2.4 GHz 2.0 GHz 75 W $523
Opteron 2376 2.3 GHz 2.0 GHz 75 W $377
Opteron 8384 2.7 GHz 2.2 GHz 75 W $2,149
Opteron 8382 2.6 GHz 2.2 GHz 75 W $1,865
Opteron 8380 2.5 GHz 2.0 GHz 75 W $1,514
Opteron 8378 2.4 GHz 2.0 GHz 75 W $1,165

You may be wondering why we're writing about this news without reporting performance results.  The answer is that we're not quite finished with our testing yet, which has been in the works for over a week now.  Our review is close, though, and will show some nice performance gains for the new Opterons.  Will it be enough to compete directly with Intel's current 45nm Xeons? Check back soon for some answers.

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