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SKUs and Pricing

Before we start with the benchmarks, we first have to check what you get for your money. Let's compare the AMD chips with Intel's offerings.

AMD vs. Intel 2-socket SKU Comparison
Xeon
E5
Cores/
Threads
TDP Clock
(GHz)
Price Opteron Modules/
Integer
cores
TDP Clock
(GHz)
Price
High Performance High Performance
2680 8/16 130W 2.7/3/3.5 $1723          
2665 8/16 115W 2.4/2.8/3.1 $1440 6386 SE 8/16 140W 2.8/3.2/3.5 $1392
2660 8/16 95W 2.2/ $1329          
2650 8/16 95W 2/2.4/2.8 $1107          
Midrange Midrange
          6380 8/16 115W 2.5/2.8/3.4 $1088
2640 6/12 95W 2.5/2.5/3 $885 6378 8/16 115W 2.4/2.7/3.3 $867
          6376 8/16 115W 2.3/2.6/3.2 $703
2630 6/12 95W 2.3/2.3/2.8 $639          
          6348 6/12 115W 2.8/3.1/3.4 $575
2620 6/12
95W
2/2/2.5 $406 6234 6/12 115W 2.6/2.9/3.2 $415
High clock / budget High Clock / Budget
2643 4/8 130W 3.3/3.3/3.5 $885          
2609 4/4 80W 2.4 $294 6320 4/8 115W 3.0/3.3/3.6 $293
2637 2/4 80W 3/3.5 $885 6308 2/4 115W 3.5 $501
Power Optimized Power Optimized
2630L 8/16 60W 2/2/2.5 $662 6366HE 8/16 85W 1.8/2.3/3.1 $575

We tested two AMD Opterons: the 6376 and the 6380. The 6380 competes against the octal-core 2GHz 2650, the 6376 targets the six-core 2630 at 2.3GHz. There is more than list prices of course. At the end of the day, most of us do not buy trays of processors, we buy server systems. As Dell's website is still the easiest to use, we configured very similar systems on the DELL US site. All systems include:

  • Two 500GB SATA drives
  • 64GB of 1600MHz RDIMMs
  • A PERC H700/710 with 512MB of NV RAM
  • iDRAC Express and all other "cheap" options (no OS, Single PSU...)

Below you can find the total price, when configuring such a system in the beginning of February 2013.

AMD vs. Intel System Price
Model CPU Memory Other Price
Dell R720 Dual Xeon E5-2630

8x8GB

Perc H710 512MB NV $5008
Dell R720 Dual Xeon E5-2660 8x8GB Perc H710 512MB NV $6778
Dell R715 Dual Opteron 6376 8x8GB Perc H700 512MB NV $4225
Dell R715 Dual Opteron 6380 8x8GB Perc H700 512MB NV $5339

The Intel based systems have a small advantage as they have two additional hard disk bays, but that difference can be ignored as that will hardly make the system significantly more expensive. The reason why we upgraded the R720 to an 8-bay chassis is that we wanted all the servers to have 2.5-inch bays and thus similar storage systems; 2.5-inch drives are now more common anyway.

A Dell R715 with a dual Opteron 6376 costs $500 less than a similarly configured Dell R720 with Dual Xeon E5-2630, despite the fact that the listed price of the Opteron is slightly higher. This might be a result of AMD offering larger discounts, but it's probably also a result of keeping the platform the same. As the Opteron 6100, 6200 and 6300 use the same socket and motherboard infrastructure, validation costs are very low for the OEMs.

If the Opteron 6376 can beat or even match the Xeon E5-2630 in performance/watt, it can offer a cost advantage. If the Opteron 6380 can come close to an E5-2660, it can offer a significant cost advantage. The latter Opteron must however defeat the E5-2630 clearly to be attractive to the server buyers. After all, most people buy AMD for a cost or performance bonus (preferably both).

We'll compare our new Opterons with two Xeon configurations: the Xeon 2660 and a Xeon 2660 with two cores disabled. To be competitive, the Opteron 6376 should beat the Xeon 2660 with two cores disabled. If the 6380 can offer about 90% of the performance of the 2660 and consume a similar amount of energy, it can become a very attractive alternative as well. So the goals are clear and set for the AMD Opterons. Let us see if they can pull it off.

Introduction Benchmarking Configuration
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55 Comments

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  • sherlockwing - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    These Piledriver based Opterons look competitive but the threat of Ivy-EP is immenient. The last time Intel die-shrunk their High end platform they introduced the monsterous 10 core Westmere-EP(the current Xeon E7 lineup), I wouldn't be surprised Ivy-EP introduces 10/12 core extreme E7 Xeons as well as Octa Xeons with better performance/watt. Reply
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Ivy Bridge-E is indeed coming but it is looking to be 6 months out. These Opterons were shipping since November which would give them a 10 month lead time. The real question for AMD is what they'll have in response in that time frame. Steamroller based parts all look to be released in 2014. On the bright side, AMD should be pairing those chips with a new socket as DDR4 becomes available.

    One thing though about Ivy Bridge-E is that it will also be a socket 2011 part so migration to it should get relatively quick in comparison to the Westmere-EP to Sandybridge-E transition. The same cost savings for OEM noted in this article for socket G32 Opterons will apply to Ivy Bridge-E this time around.
    Reply
  • Oskars Apša - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Wasn't intels 2011 socket to be only physically identical, but electrically totally redesigned? Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    "These Opterons were shipping since November"

    I reject this statement. Nothing counts as being "on the market" until Anandtech has done a full review of it. That's my stance and I'm sticking to it :P
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ...is that the 63xx series is focused primarily on micro servers where it fits well. If the just disclosed Jaguar cores are any indication of AMD products to be released this and next year, I'd say AMD is back in the game in many PC and portable markets.

    The only thing Ivy Bridge has going for it is reduced power but at a price penalty.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    SeaMicro was indeed one of first to use Piledriver based cores, but I don't think the Opteron 6300 is meant to be a "typical" microserver CPU. Otherwise, AMD would have focused more on low power parts. This meant to be an update for the general server market. Reply
  • Jovec - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ... as it is showing the multi-threaded chart instead. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out, always appreciated. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Hey!
    I get a " Page Not Found" error from the Racktivity PDU link. :)
    Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You say that AMDs bad implementation of C6 costs them in the energy efficiency tests, but AFAIK with a low of still 10% CPU the CPU should not enter ACPI C3 (Intel C6), it will probably stay in C1e providing there is still more than enough workload to do on each OS tick.

    If the xeons are observed to go into ACPI C3, then that is very probably a scheduler optimization specific for intel processors, not an actual implementation problem by AMD. Balancing C-state transitions - especially complete core sleep modes like ACPI C3 - is a notoriously hard task to do because each transition also costs a certain amount of mJ that, on immediate wake, are wasted compared to just leaving the cores in C1(e)
    Reply

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