In June, AMD officially unveiled its six-core Istanbul Opterons with standard 75W ACP power envelopes. In July, the lineup gained 105W and 55W variants. Today, Istanbul is back with a vengeance—AMD has topped off the series with a new model boasting a cool 40W ACP rating.
The new Opteron 2419 EE has the same Istanbul silicon as the rest of the 2400 series, but it runs at a markedly slower 1.8GHz. The processor still has the same amount of cache, the same HyperTransport speed, and the same virtualization features, though, so selecting it really comes down to power and thermal constraints. AMD expects the new kid to please customers who need high compute densities, like for server farms that handle cloud-computing and "web 2.0" applications.
AMD is pricing the Opteron 2419 EE at $989, but ordering servers with this CPU might be a bit trickier than normal. The chipmaker tells us first-tier server makers like Dell and HP probably won't offer the 2419 as an option on their websites, so you'll have to either make a big custom order or move down to smaller system builders.
This chip should end up competing with Intel's 60W, Nehalem-based quad-core Xeons. The Xeon 5000-series launch lineup included two such processors, the 2.13GHz L5506 and the 2.26GHz L5520, and Intel added a 2.4GHz Xeon L5530 priced at $744 earlier this month. (Intel charges $530 for the L5520 and $423 for the L5506, but the latter doesn't support the same memory and QuickPath speeds as the others, and it has less cache, no Hyper-Threading, and no Turbo Boost.)
As always, we should include a caveat about AMD's ACP ratings: they're not measured the same way as Intel's TDP ratings, even though AMD claims the two are comparable. For the record, Opterons with 40W ACP ratings actually have 60W TDPs, although AMD and Intel also measure TDP numbers differently. If at all confused, we suggest you check out our own power consumption tests.