AMD launches five new 6-core processors

Sunnyvale (CA) – AMD today announced five new 6-core Istanbul processors, three aimed at 2P servers and two at 4P/8P models. The new CPUs include two SE processors for performance-focused server environments and three HE processors that consume less power than the standard versions of the 2400 and 8400 6-core series. Down the road, AMD will offer EE chips that drop their average power consumption to just 45 watts.

AMD 6-core Istanbul HE and SE processors (5 pictures)

For 2P servers, AMD now offers the 2439 SE (2.8 GHz, 105 watts), 2425 HE (2.1 GHz, 55 watts) and 2423 HE (2.0 GHz, 55 watts) and for 4P/8P servers the 8439 SE (2.8 GHz, 105 watts) and 8425 HE (2.1 GHz, 55 watts). The chips are offered at a premium over the standard 6-core 75 watt processors that were introduced in early June.

The new flagship model 8439 SE is priced at $2649, while the 8425 HE is priced at $1514. The 2439 SE costs $1019 and the 2425 HE $523 (2423 HE: $455).

On the performance side, AMD aims its SE processors at Intel’s Nehalem chip, and, at least in 4-way, 24-core configurations, the green team appears to have an advantage over Intel at this time, if we believe the official integer results posted for the Spec CPU2006 benchmark. 2439 SE and 8439 SE 2-way configurations seem to be right in the middle of Nehalem processor performance, somewhere between the Xeon E5504 and the E5520. It is interesting to note that these Intel chips are substantially cheaper – $224 on the low end and $373 on the high end.  

AMD is aware that it cannot compete in terms of performance with Nehalem and therefore markets the “balanced” approach with Istanbul, which would include power consumption. And, in fact, the Istanbul chips seem to consume less power than the direct Intel rivals, with a power consumption of 75 watts in standard configurations, 105 watts in high-performance products and 55 watts in low power versions. However, since Intel publishes the power consumption of its processors in a maximum thermal design power rating and AMD in an average power consumption rating, we simply have no idea which processor consumes less power. In the end, customers will have to determine themselves which processor is more power-efficient in a specific server environment.

AMD is careful comparing its 6-core processors to Intel products, but mentioned that its HE processors deliver 18% more performance per watt than its standard CPUs. The 6-core SE processors are about 50% faster than the quad-core SE processors, the company claims.