AMD launches three new dual core Opteron chips

AMD has upped the ante in the battle for the next generation of x86 class servers with the announcements of three new versions of its dual core Opteron range. The three new chips span the range from one-way devices for workstations through to a version aimed at large eight way enterprise class servers.

The three new parts announced are the Model 880 for up to eight-way enterprise servers that equates to a 16-core machine while the Model 280 is targeted at high performance dual-processor workstations and servers. The final part is the Model 180 aimed at one processor workstations and servers.

The new models already have the support of AMD’s most important customers HP and Sun. HP has already deployed the dual core Opteron across its range of ProLiant servers and workstations. The Model 880 will be fitted in the four-processor HP ProLiant DL 585 and BL45p while Model 280 will be built into the ProLiant DL385 and DL145 G2, plus the BL25p and BL35p server blades.

The Model 280 is also slated to appear in the HP xw9300 scientific workstation with multi-processing capabilities and support for dual PCI-Express x16 graphics.

Sun which launched the Sun Fire range of Opteron-based servers a few weeks ago has also pledged its support for the new models. The company says that the Sun Fire x64 server family are multi-core ready, including the enterprise-class four-way Sun Fire X4200 and Sun Fire X4100 servers, and one- and two-way Sun Fire X2100 servers.

The Opteron Model 880 costs $2,649 over 1,000-unit quantities and the Model 280 is priced at $1,299 in 1,000-unit quantities. Availability of the Model 180, for single-processor workstations and servers is promised within the next 30 days and will cost $799 in 1,000-unit quantities.

Intel is still hurrying to get its new dual core Xeon processors to market. The chip giant has brought forward the launch of the dual core ‘Paxville’ design forward to this year in a bid to stem the drift to Opteron among server builders and customers. In the meantime, AMD is making hay while it still has the field to itself.

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