In a very rare occurance for AMD, they have launched the new six-core Instanbul Opteron an amazing five months ahead of schedule.
The new chips come just in time to give Intel's Nehalem-EX Xeon processors a run for their money. According to AMD, Istanbul offers up to a 34% increase in performance per watt over previous Opterons and it is a simple drop-in upgrade utilizing existing hardware.
AMD hopes that the low cost of upgrading will be a huge selling point for Istanbul. It utilizes the same socket and memory as the previous generation of Opterons, meaning that the only cost in upgrading is in the new chip itself, rather than having to purchase a new server or motherboard and RAM combo to support it.
While Istanbul is expected to be available from major OEM's sometime this month, it will be a while before other versions of the chip become available. AMD plans on bringing EE, SE, and HE version of Istanbul to the market, but they won't be out until sometime in the second half of 2009. AMD's full press release is available here for those that are interested.
"Based on close collaboration with our customers, we believe there is a clear value shift changing the economics of the server market," said Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager, Server and Workstation Business, AMD. "The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor meets the increasing need for a combination of low total cost of ownership, superior performance-per-watt and scalability. Simply put, Six-Core AMD Opteron processors deliver top-line performance that's bottom-line efficient."