Barcelona trumps fastest quad-core Xeons, says AMD

Not content with claiming to have broken the teraFLOPS performance barrier with its next-generation R600 graphics processor, AMD has done some additional boasting on the microprocessor front. As EE Times reports, the company has asserted that Barcelona will offer 42% higher floating-point performance than Intel’s current fastest quad-core offering, the 2.66GHz Xeon X5355. AMD is a little quieter when discussing integer performance, but Mario Rivas, general manager of the company’s microprocessor group, nevertheless claims that Barcelona will offer a “double-digit leap in integer performance” over the quad-core Xeon. AMD chief of sales and marketing Henri Richard also says Barcelona will have a “significant integer performance lead” over Intel’s quad-core processors.

In related news, Anand Lal Shimpi over at Anandtech has put together an article that examines Barcelona’s key architectural enhancements and compares them to the improvements Intel and AMD have made to their chips over the past few years. The article looks at Barcelona’s 128-bit SSE execution width, improved branch prediction unit, Sideband Stack Optimizer, out-of-order load improvements, speedier memory controller, new prefetcher, L3 cache, virtualization tweaks, and other enhancements. Anand says Barcelona will initially launch at speeds of 2.1-2.3GHz, but that it will climb to the 2.7-2.9GHz range on the desktop by the end of the year.

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