AMD has announced the 'Zurich' series of low-power Opteron 3200 processors for small businesses.
The Opteron 3200 processors are designed for web hosts that want a reasonable degree of throughput without consuming too much power, and will compete with Intel's Xeon E3 chips. Image credit: AMD
"The standard world of big fast processors is starting to see interesting things happening down at the low end," John Fruehe, AMD's director of product marketing for enterprise products, said. "As customers look toward the future they see more and more that low power and more efficient processors are winning out in the long run."
The chips can handle up to 32GB of memory and have between four and eight cores. The four-core processors have up to 8MB of cache; eight-core, up to 16MB. The chips have a thermal design power across the series from 45W to 65W, compared to Intel's 20W for the Xeon E3-1220 and 95W for the Xeon E3-1260L. The Opteron 3200s have a maximum base frequency of 2.7GHz, though some can use AMD's 'TurboCore' feature to shut down half of their cores and ramp the remaining ones to 3.7GHz, when needed.
AMD says the processors have 60-percent better performance per dollar and consume up to 19-percent less power per core than rival chips from Intel.The processors are 'server class', AMD says, as they have been validated for 24/7 operations, have integrated error correction code capabilities and have been validated for server operating systems along with Windows 7 client OSs. At the time of writing, AMD was not able to be more specific about these features.
This 3200 is going to be the first to deliver desktop-classed economics and server-class reliability.– John Fruehe, AMD
"What [small businesses] really need is true server functionality and this 3200 is going to be the first to deliver desktop-classed economics and server-class reliability," Fruehe said.
The Opteron 3200 series costs between $99 (£62) and $229, compared to $189 and $294 for Intel's comparable Xeon E3s. The Opteron 3200 series are likely to be integrated with technology from recent AMD acquisition SeaMicro, Fruehe indicated. SeaMicro makes dense servers that use low-powered chips. Prior to the AMD acquisition, SeaMicro exclusively made servers based around Intel's Atom and Xeon E3 series of processors.
"Overall we're moving to lower and lower power per core," Fruehe said. "As we get to next year and the year after we're hoping our OEM partners will join us in bringing the [SeaMicro] technology to market."
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