AMD and INTEL: The battle of the Quad Core CPUs

amd quad core barcelona

Continuing in their battle for supremacy, both Intel and AMD announced their new Quad CPU processors this month. A quantum jump from the dual processors, the new chips place 4 x86 cores on to a single die.

AMD’s Opteron 8000 series named “Barcelona”, hailed by AMD as the “world’s most advanced x86 processor ever designed and manufactured” is aimed towards the server market, and is positioned as having superior “performance per watt”. AMD also points out the fact it is a true native quad processor, which might be a bit of a dig at Intel’s “Tigertron” Xeon 7300 processor which is is a packaged combo of two dual processors.

intel opteron quad core cpu

Intel has released its quad core Xeon 7300 (”Clovertown”) series. Intel also claims better energy efficiency as well as enhanced virtualization capabilities.

So how do these two CPUs stack up?

The battle lines in the CPU market are generally drawn around the speed of the processors in handling computations, and in the power efficiency of the chips (power consumptions is not as much as an issue, as is the waste heat which limits the performance of the chips).

AMD claims that Barcelona will exceed the performance of Clovertown, by 40% at any clock speed. AMD has not released the clock speed of Barcelona but Intel’s Xeon clocks in at 2.66 GHz, although the company is also releasing 3.0 GHz processors.

Both companies claim lower power consumption, although no figures have been released.

Barcelona and Clovertown will both be aimed towards the high end commercial servers with an emphasis towards the speed gains in database applications.

While side by side comparisons of the two CPUs have not been published yet, there are some leaked reports of tests done by IBM (pdf here), for the two processors. According to some analysis by George Ou, a blogger at ZDnet, AMD’s Barcelona might indeed be behind at this point, and might not be able to catch up in performance to the Intel Opteron until they get to the 3.0 GHz clock speed (Intel already has a 3.0 GHz quad processor).

As with the dual processor race between AMD and Intel, this one promises to get pretty exciting!

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