You can find a good review of this new processor at The Tech Report ("AMD's Quad-Core Opteron 2300 Processors"), but I'd like to share some of the slides I had access to and point to a few features that makes this a very interesting new platform for servers.
The first slide is just an overview of this new family of processors. The most interesting features are the AMD CoolCore Technology, for reducing energy consumption by turning off unused parts of the processor; the Independent Dynamic Core Technology, an enhancement to AMD PowerNow! technology, allowing each core to vary its clock frequency depending on the specific performance requirement of the applications it is supporting; and Dual Dynamic Power Management (DDPM), which provides an independent power supply to the cores and to the memory controller, allowing the cores and memory controllers to operate on different voltages, determined by usage.
The Independent Dynamic Core Technology sound really promising. For comparison, on Intel processors all cores must run at the same speed, regardless of individual workload.
Also interesting is that AMD provides 512KB L2 cache for each core, and a shared 2MB L3 cache. They say this reduces possible bottleneck that could come from a single cache implementation.
AMD is heavily investing in virtualisation, and Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors come with Direct Connect Architecture, providing an integrated memory controller for reduced memory latency, and Rapid Virtualization Indexing, a new AMD innovation in AMD Virtualization technology designed to reduce the overhead associated with software virtualization. Rapid Virtualization Indexing takes functionality that was previously performed in software and accelerates it by performing those functions within the CPU.
The last slide is the introduction to Average CPU Power (ACP) metric, which represents processor power usage, including cores, integrated memory controller, and HyperTransport technology links, while running a suite of high utilization workloads to be more indicative of the power consumption that end-users can expect.
ACP is a useful metric for data center operators when estimating power budgets to size their datacenters.
Overall it was a good conference call, although lacking in the questions side - in my case I thought the presentation and slides provided a good coverage of new features and other information.
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Microsoft Ignite New Zealand, Microsoft Surface Studio
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