The Opteron 240 will run at 1.4GHz and cost around $340 in volume quantities, said sources, while the Opteron 242 and 244 will run at, respectively, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz and cost around $800 and $900. Prices could change, sources cautioned, and, historically, wide discrepancies have existed between AMD's posted price and the actual prices that the chips sell for.Curiously, it doesn't look like AMD will have a 2.0GHz Opteron at launch, which is a little disappointing. Of course, with AMD's new processor model number scheme, few may notice.
At first glance, Opteron prices look pretty reasonable. After all, the processors will support up to 1MB of L2 cache, which is double what's available with Intel's run-of-the-mill Xeons. However, those Xeons are available at speeds as high as 3.06GHz. Intel also has a line of Xeon MP processors that feature up to 2MB of L3 cache, but those processors are quite pricey and are only available at speeds up to 2GHz.
The Opteron's closest competitor may be the rumored Xeon DP, which is discussed in this story over at Xbit Labs. Apparently, the Xeon DP will have 512K of L2 and 1MB of L3 cache, be clocked at 3.06GHz on a 533MHz front side bus, and carry a $700 price tag. This Xeon DP won't be a 64-bit processor, but it could be an Opteron killer. Hopefully, next week's official Opteron launch will shed some light on the processor's real world performance and give us all a better idea of how the chip stacks up against its current and potential future competition.