AMD Announces New Server Hardware As Part Of Open Compute 3.0 Initiative

Today, AMD is launching a pair of power-optimized server parts based on what it calls the "Warsaw" refresh. These chips are still Piledriver-based, but AMD claims that the new core offers an optimal performance per watt solution for virtualization without breaking the corporate bank account. "With the continued move to virtualized environments for more efficient server utilization, more and more workloads are limited by memory capacity and I/O bandwidth," said Suresh Gopalkrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit, AMD. "The Opteron 6338P and 6370P processors are server CPU's optimized to deliver improved performance-per-watt for virtualized private cloud deployments with less power and at lower cost points."

Warsaw At The Plate:

The two new chips are the 6338P and the 6370P. The 6338P is a 12-core processor with a 2.3GHz clock speed, a 2.5-2.8GHz Turbo Clock (depending on CPU workload), and a 99W TDP. It'll sell for $377 according to AMD. The 6370P is a 16-core, 2.0GHz chip with Turbo Modes at 2.2GHz and 2.5GHz. Again, the CPU holds a 99W TDP, which isn't easy when you've got this many cores on the Piledriver architecture. The 6370P's price tag? $598.

Intel's cheapest six-core chip with Hyper-Threading is a $409 Sandy Bridge E5-2620, with a 2.5GHz Turbo Boost. Given the substantial difference in single-threaded performance between the Intel and Piledriver processors, which core comes out on top in benchmarks will tend to vary. We'd expect the SNB-based core to trounce the Piledriver chip in any single-threaded application, but the 6338P should be competitive with the older Xeon in multi-threaded benchmarks.

As for the $598 6370P, that's going to go up against the E5-2430 (Sandy Bridge, 2.7GHz Turbo, six cores) at $589 or the $649 Xeon E5-2620 v2 Ivy Bridge processor. This latter chip is still just six cores, but it comes in at an 80W TDP with a 2GHz base clock and a 2.6GHz Turbo. Internal I/O bandwidth is significantly higher on the IVB-E parts, but AMD does have a greater than 2>1 core advantage against these processors. Intel's eight-core server parts don't start until $919 retail, which gives AMD a huge advantage, provided Piledriver can keep up in representative workloads.

AMD is talking up these cores as part of the Open Compute initiative and will demonstrate new systems at the upcoming Open Compute Summit V on January 28 and 29 of this year. Looking at AMD's overall product stack, it seems clear that further yield improvements to Piledriver have made it possible for AMD to target a lower TDP on the big-core Opterons. AMD currently has revealed no plans to launch a Steamroller variant of Opteron -- while it could definitely do so, for now, these are the additions to the company's server roadmap on the x86 side of the equation for 2014.