Got a Hankering for Istanbul?
Subject: Processors | July 21, 2009 - 05:09 PM | Josh Walrath
If you are interested in upgrading our building a whitebox server with the latest AMD Opteron processors based on the Istanbul core, you are in luck. Newegg has just posted the 2.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz processors on their site, and the prices for these products are very reasonable. The 2.2 GHz offering is listed at $450 US and the 2.4 product is at $699. Both have the 75 watt ACP rating, as well as the more traditional 115 watt TDP. For a 6 core part running at 2.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz, this is actually pretty impressive. Performance of these parts are quite good considering price, power, and features. Their performance under virtualization is also quite impressive, again competing with the best that Intel has to offer (though still not able to get over the overall performance hump that is the Nehalem architecture).
With these parts already hitting the retail channel, AMD and their partner at GLOBALFOUNDRIES must certainly be pumping these processors out at an impressive rate. While the economic downturn has certainly cut expenses for many companies in this area, a new part such as this is usually under tremendous demand at first. Fulfilling OEM orders comes first, and then parts start to trickle out to retail. Note that these are not the highest end offering of the Istanbul parts, so we can assume that those chips are heading to the OEMs/ODMs first. Of course, in a worst case scenario, AMD is not producing many of these, but the demand is so poor that they are already hitting the retail channel. From what we have been led to believe though, that is not the case. There is a lot of interest in these new parts, and AMD has provided a more cost effective, and overall better performing part, than the Intel Dunnington based processors.
These chips are the 2000 series of parts, which means they are aimed at the 1S and 2S marketplace. No 4S for these. The 8000 series of chips will be needed for 4S systems, and the prices on those are significantly higher (think around $2500 US for starters).
For people wishing to build their own, we can see guys like Tyan putting out a solid, yet inexpensive, 1U white box setup. All that is needed are the basics such as processors, memory, and hard drives. Everything else is included in the box, and for $899 it is a pretty tremendous deal. Throwing in two of the 6 core processors, as well as high speed hard drives, and plenty of memory, will give you a hefty machine for around $3000 US. Thanks to Randy for the head's up.