AMD Now Shipping 8, 12-core Processors To Early Customers, OEMs

In a blog post yesterday, AMD's director of product marketing John Fruehe announced that the company is now shipping its eight and 12-core "Magny-Cours" processors to OEMs and select manufacturers. Magny-Cours, you may recall, is AMD's next-generation server CPU and consists of two Istanbul cores side-by-side on the same package. Since AMD has no native octal-core design, it's implied that the eight-core version of Magny-Cours consists of two Istanbul processors with two cores on each disabled.

If Magny-Cours is more-or-less an Istanbulx2, however, the upcoming Maranello platform is something altogether different. Maranello, which uses an LGA-style pinout, supports 16-48 cores, and provides each physical socket with four channels of DDR3 and up to four DIMMs per socket. Magny-Cours is aimed at retaking the upper end of the server market, where it should pack enough CPU horsepower and memory bandwidth to challenge Intel's six-core Westmere Xeons. Whether or not it can hold its own against the octal-core Nehalem-EX is another matter, though AMD will undoubtedly have room to compete on price, particularly if it proves a capable challenger to Westmere.

In his post, Fruehe claims that this information is actually coming out a bit earlier than AMD intended due to a reseller claiming to be selling the next-generation chips before they're actually available. Later this year, AMD will follow its new high-end server parts with the midrange Lisbon platform. Lisbon will use a different socket than Magny-Cours (a first for AMD, which has not differentiated its server products by socket type (with the exception of some Socket 939 1xx Opterons) since it launched K8 in 2003. Both the Maranello and San Marino platforms will be compatible with AMD's Bulldozer processor, which is scheduled to debut in 2011.
Via:  AMD Blog
3vi1 4 years ago

>> consists of two Istanbul cores side-by-side on the same package

At 3x the price due to yield loss, or can they salvage the others to be sold as single-core?

I'm actually more interested to find out what's larger: The 48-core Maranello, or my cell phone.

Komando_93 4 years ago

Are you guys generally leading towards AMD or Intel based CPU's? Which offers the best value?

rapid1 4 years ago

It really depends on what your looking for and willing to spend Komando at least for me. The I7 1366 socket runs more expensive than the A3 right now, but it also performs better and has triple channel memory rather than the A3 which is dual channel. The 1156 I7 and I5 is dual channel and performs above the A3 but to a lesser degree. It is close to the same price and maybe a little more than the Athlon comparable on board and required memory.

So if I could spend whatever I wanted I would have a 1366 socket or a Phenom 2 (A3 chip socket) to choose from. The 1156 will not move up to the 6 or 8 core Intel chips when they get here. While both the A3 socket board, and 1366 will move up to (Bull Dozer AMD) (Nehalem 6-8 core Intel), the next level chips. Also USB3 and Sata3 sockets and devices are still coming on the market (though the adapters seem to be able to work on any board with spare PCI-X slots, and under $100), so I would say that not a main concern.

On a personal level I like AMD, but Intel does outperform them if your willing to pay the price. I could readily afford an AMD system which would at least be comparable. I would have to save for a little bit to do Intel 1366 (the boards and memory are both 100-150 above the AMD priceline). Everything is also really moving at breakneck speed right now as well. This AMD announcement was not even predicted until quarter 3 of this year at the best.

However; if you've been in the hardware market for any time, you also know if you make it 3-6 months without being outclassed on any system you buy nowadays, your doing well. I personally don't care about this and generally upgrade every 3 years or so no rush, when I feel the market is at a decent place, price and performance wise.

Either way with anything you get I would only use either the 1366 or A3 motherboard, and what goes along with it. This extends you a ways with upgrade options for now.

rapid1 4 years ago

For the extended multi-core processor issue though really, I don't think the current software or hardware takes full advantage of a quad core yet. So a 6-8-12 core chip to me is necessary only really for very specific things. Digital imaging, Science, Accounting, Architectural design and of course servers or large media processing Units. Other than that the highest performing thing would be media transfer and gaming for a general user, and quad cores are in general above the needs even for that right now. Unless of course you do any of the other application types I mentioned oh and maybe Music production.

Joel H 4 years ago

Tech Report recently did a massive, comprehensive roundup and examination of Core i3 vs. Athlon II:

Also, Socket is AM3, not A3. Whether or not AMD outperforms Intel is going to depend strongly on which products you're examining and how you rank price vs. price/performance vs. power consumption.

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