Sunnyvale (CA) – AMD has introduced two new Opteron processors with higher clock speeds and has dropped the power consumption of the preceding flagship models with 3.0 GHz.
AMD squeezes more clock speed out of its dual-core architecture as the company is putting the finishing touches on its new Barcelona quad-core processor, which is due for customer shipment during this quarter. The new dual-core top-of the line versions are the 2P 2224SE and the 4P 8224SE models are both clocked with 3.2 GHz and both rated with a thermal design power of 119 watts.
Compared to Intel's dual-core Woodcrest processors, AMD promises a performance advantage between 17 and 37%, depending on the benchmark. AMD did not provide performance comparison numbers to Intel's quad-core Xeon 5300 series, but AMD's pricing model shows confidence of the company in its capabilities: The 2224SE sells for $873 in 1000-unit trays, Intel sells its fastest Xeon X5355 (2.66 GHz) for $744. Intel does not provide pricing on the 3.0 GHz quad-core Xeon, which is still produced in limited quantities.
The 4P Opteron 8224SE is listed for $2149.
Besides the performance increase on the high-end, AMD has introduced mainstream models (i.e. without the "SE" add-on in the model name) of the 1222, 2222 and 8222 CPUs. The 2222 and 8222 are now rated at a thermal design power of 95 watts and the 1222 at 103 watts.
Also, pricing of other Opteron processors has been reduced: The 1200 series is now available from $103 (1210, 1.8 GHz), the 2200 series from $172 (2210HE, 1.8 GHz) and the 8200 series from $523 (8212HE, 2.0 GHz).