New, faster Opterons are now widely available

AMD has announced the "widespread availability" of two new, top-of-the-line Opteron processors. The Opteron 8222 SE and Opteron 2222 SE are both dual-core offerings that are clocked at 3.0GHz with 1MB of cache per core. They're both built on AMD's 90nm process, and they both have a power rating of 119.2W. For reference, the Athlon 64 X2 6000+—AMD's desktop 3GHz chip—is rated for a slightly higher 125W. That's probably because the X2 6000+'s stock voltage range is 1.35-1.40V, while the two Opterons run on between 1.325 and 1.375V.

According to AMD, the Opteron 8222 SE and 2222 SE chips are already available "in several platform configurations today from tier one OEMs." Those OEMs, or system vendors, include the usual suspects: AMD server partners HP, IBM, Sun, and Dell. Official pricing for the Opteron 8222 SE is $2,149 per chip; the Opteron 2222 SE costs $873. The former can work in systems with as many as eight other chips, while the 2222 SE is limited to dual-processor configurations.

As an aside, AMD mentions in its announcement that it has updated performance projections for its upcoming "Barcelona" quad-core processors. The projections are based on the SPECcpu2006 benchmark, and they supposedly predict that AMD will have "up to a 50 percent advantage in floating point performance and 20 percent in integer performance over the competition's highest-performing quad-core processor at the same frequency."

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