AMD launches Opteron 6300 server processors

AMD today launched Opteron 6300 series CPUs for quad-processor servers. Built on Abu Dhabi core and "Piledriver" microarchitecture, that incorporates a number of tweaks for improved performance, new processors offer higher level of performance than the previous generation of server products, that was branded as Opteron 6200. AMD claims that new parts offer up to 24% better performance in SPECjbb2005 server benchmark than their predecessors.

AMD microprocessors from Opteron 6300 series pack up to 16 cores depending on the SKU, as well as 16 MB L3 cache in a single package. Opteron 6308 is a quad-core processor. The number of cores is doubled on the 6320 and 6328 models. Opteron 6344 and 6348 have 12 cores, and the rest of the lineup have the maximum number of cores, 16. Operating frequencies of 6300 parts range from 1.8 GHz and to 3.5 GHz. All chips integrate quad-channel memory controller, and support the most advanced at the moment x86 extensions: AES and AVX. The processors also support Virtualization and Turbo Core technologies. Opterons are packaged in an LGA package, compatible with socket G34 motherboards. Official prices in 1K tray quantities start at $293 for eight-core 6320, and go up to $1392 for 16-core 6386 SE. The least expensive 16-core model, energy efficient Opteron 6366 HE, is priced at $575.

Overall, Opteron 6300 microprocessors are about 10% more expensive than older 6200 series models. New chips do offer better performance, thanks to microarchitecture enhancements and higher CPU frequencies. Newly released 4-, 8- and 12- SKUs are clocked 200 MHz higher than Opteron 6200 CPUs. New 16-core SKUs offer only 100 MHz higher clocks. Still, even with these improvements we can't see how the top of the line 16-core Opterons can provide more than 15% boost in performance without any other changes on the server side or in the benchmark code. Perhaps, the following phrase in AMD's press release might explain how they achieved much better performance, such as 17% better score in LAMMPs and 19% better score in NAMD HPC applications: "AMD continues to drive HPC performance with the AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors by leveraging optimizations in compilers and libraries". That might also explain "up to 24%" claim for SPECjbb2005 Java benchmark. We suspect that average performance boost of new processors over previous generation products is lower than 10%, that is in line with SPECint_rate2006 and SPECint_rate2006, and several other benchmarks on the AMD website.

Opteron 6300 is the first server family with "Piledriver" microarchitecture. In December, AMD will also release Opteron 3300 CPUs for one-way workstations, and Opteron 4300 series for dual-processor systems.

Specifications and prices of newly released Opterons are below:

Opteron 6308 4 3.5 GHz N/A 4 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $501
Opteron 6320 8 2.8 GHz 3.3 GHz 8 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $293
Opteron 6328 8 3.2 GHz 3.8 GHz 8 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $575
Opteron 6344 12 2.6 GHz 3.2 GHz 12 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $415
Opteron 6348 12 2.8 GHz 3.4 GHz 12 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $575
Opteron 6366 HE 16 1.8 GHz 3.1 GHz 16 MB 16 MB 85 Watt $575
Opteron 6376 16 2.3 GHz 3.2 GHz 16 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $703
Opteron 6378 16 2.4 GHz 3.3 GHz 16 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $867
Opteron 6380 16 2.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 16 MB 16 MB 115 Watt $1088
Opteron 6386 SE 16 2.8 GHz 3.5 GHz 16 MB 16 MB 140 Watt $1392

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