AMD intros Opterons 252, 852

— 11:28 AM on February 14, 2005

AMD just made it official: Opteron models 252 and 852 are coming. These processors will be the first Opterons with official support for a 1GHz HyperTransport speed, a feature that might mean more to the Opteron than to its desktop counterpart, the Athlon 64, which has had 1GHz HT for some time now. HyperTransport links connect Opterons to other processors in the system, and faster links should help open the bottleneck when one CPU is accessing data in memory hanging off of another CPU's memory controller.

These new Opterons are based on a new version of the K8 core with support for SSE3 instructions, as well—a feature that hasn't yet made it to the Athlon 64. Opteron-based systems will also be gaining support for AMD's PowerNow! clock and voltage throttling technology (called Cool'n'Quiet in the Athlon 64).

AMD also announced the new AMD-8132 PCI-X tunnel, an I/O chip for servers and workstations. The 8132 "brings high-performance PCI-X 2.0 connectivity to AMD Opteron processor-based systems with increased throughput, improved RAS capabilities, robust data management and enhanced HyperTransport technology connectivity" says the press release. I assume the 8132 will support 1GHz HyperTransport speeds, like the new Opterons.

There's no word yet on when the new features will migrate back down the rest of the Opteron line. The first wave of the new CPUs is due to AMD's partners within 30 days, with volume availability by the end of the quarter. AMD says the single-processor Opteron 152 should be available on April 30th, as well.

To go along with AMD's announcement, HP has taken the wraps off of a round of blades, servers, and workstations. Most notable, perhaps, is the new nForce Professional-based xw9300 workstation with SLI graphics. Dual CPUs and dual GPUs in one box. Pant, pant.

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