AMD intros Opteron 146, 846 processors

AMD today is introducing a pair of new variants of its Opteron lineup, both running at 2.0GHz. The Opteron 846 is the exotic one of the two, aimed at 4-way and 8-way multiprocessor systems that cost more than a Winnebago. The 846 chips should find their ways in to database servers and supercomputing clusters, as many Opterons seem to be doing these days. The Opteron 146, on the other hand, is much more accessible, intended for use in single-processor workstations. These new chips complement the Opteron 246, which has already been out in the wild for a few weeks now, taking on Intel's Xeon in the dual-processor workstation market.

The Opteron 146, interestingly enough, is positioned directly against the Pentium 4 in the lower end of the workstation space. I believe that's AMD's first Hammer-based competition for the Pentium 4. Even more interestingly, I have an Opteron 146 here on the bench, running tests as I type this. Photographic proof, you ask?

AMD's Opteron 146 processor
We will have a full review before too long, but I can already say with confidence that the Opteron 146's performance matches up very well versus the Pentium 4 3.2GHz—and this is with 32-bit applications on a 32-bit OS. The Opteron's 64-bit computing capabilities will, of course, matter a great deal in the workstation market, where digital content creation and computer-aided design apps stand to benefit from system memory sizes over 4GB. Watch for more from us on the workstation front soon.
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