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AMD: 6-Core Istanbul Available in June

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 52 comments

AMD plans to ship the six-core Opteron in May to boost profitability. Intel says that its processors are still better.

AMD began its sixth anniversary of the Operton with the launch of two low-power Opteron EE chips, targeted towards cloud computing or other dense server environments. The company finished up the day with even better news: the official announcement of AMD’s six-core “Istanbul” processor, set for a May release.

For those of you thinking you’ve suddenly missed out on a few months of your life, don’t panic. Originally, the 45-nm Istanbul had been scheduled to ship later in the year, but speaking to financial analysts earlier this week, AMD’s president and chief exec, Dirk Meyer, said that the company decided to "pull in" the timetable. Yesterday afternoon AMD held a news conference to discuss its server roadmap and the company released additional details about Istanbul.

AMD claims the soon to be released processor will produce 30 percent more performance than the existing "Shanghai" quad-core processor at the same power requirements and said we can expect to see systems incorporating Istanbul in June. And just because every announcement made in the processor market these days seems to come with its own little piece of soap opera drama, the Register reports that upon hearing the announcement, Intel had this to say:

"As competitors fall behind in performance, you’ll see them throw more cores and more die size at their processors to keep up. This takes up valuable processor real estate and fab capacity. The key is not I/O, integrated memory controllers, or any one peripheral feature. The key is who has the better processor microarchitecture, and clearly that is Intel."
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  • 22 Hide
    B-Unit , April 23, 2009 1:23 PM
    *SCRATCHES HEAD*

    Didn't Intel release the first 6-core? Why is is a good idea when they do it, but when AMD does, its 'throwing' more cores at it?
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , April 23, 2009 1:16 PM
    I find it humorous that the response to this news from Intel ends with, "The key is who has the better processor microarchitecture, and clearly that is Intel."

    While I don't dispute this currently, as it's evident that the I7 is an outstanding CPU, it wasn't that long ago when Intel was throwing around clock speed in attempt to keep up with AMD's superior architecture. Of course, maybe this statement is in response to AMD's slight reemergence into competition with Intel.
  • 17 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 23, 2009 1:36 PM
    Man, just reading some garbage like that makes me seriously sick. It actually makes me wanna take my Q6600 and motherboard and smash it. Seriously. AMD has seemed to always play a fair game even when they were wiping the floor with Intel. You didn't see them talk trash like THAT. CMON INTEL, throw me a friggin bone here. You don't like a little competition? They beat you to the punch with your 6 core chip... soooo WHAT.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 23, 2009 1:04 PM
    ... why tha paranoia from intel? ... why they try to rule all? ... architecture or not, but the attitude stinks!!!
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , April 23, 2009 1:16 PM
    I find it humorous that the response to this news from Intel ends with, "The key is who has the better processor microarchitecture, and clearly that is Intel."

    While I don't dispute this currently, as it's evident that the I7 is an outstanding CPU, it wasn't that long ago when Intel was throwing around clock speed in attempt to keep up with AMD's superior architecture. Of course, maybe this statement is in response to AMD's slight reemergence into competition with Intel.
  • 13 Hide
    chunkymonster , April 23, 2009 1:17 PM
    The Intel reply of that it's not about IMC's, that AMD is throwing more cores at the problem, and six cores takes up valuable die space stinks of irony. It seems to me that's exactly the strategy Intel has employed in the past.

    The fact that Instanbul adds performance, does not increase the thermal profile, and is socket compatible with existing servers is in line with AMD's strategy. Given the current state of the economy, releasing a drop in compatible proc that only requires a BIOS update (if even that) is cost effective than requiring a new systems altogether to support an improved mArch, regardless if that mArch is "better" or not.
  • 16 Hide
    tweak13 , April 23, 2009 1:20 PM
    Either way, competition is good - it brings in new products and better prices.
  • 22 Hide
    B-Unit , April 23, 2009 1:23 PM
    *SCRATCHES HEAD*

    Didn't Intel release the first 6-core? Why is is a good idea when they do it, but when AMD does, its 'throwing' more cores at it?
  • 16 Hide
    curnel_D , April 23, 2009 1:26 PM
    Nah, the key is keeping up either way. And if AMD can keep up or exceed intel because of two more cores or better power performance due to die shrinks, then they've got the better processor despite how robust Intel's microarchitecture is.

    In that market, more cores with less power req's is going to win, period.
  • 17 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 23, 2009 1:36 PM
    Man, just reading some garbage like that makes me seriously sick. It actually makes me wanna take my Q6600 and motherboard and smash it. Seriously. AMD has seemed to always play a fair game even when they were wiping the floor with Intel. You didn't see them talk trash like THAT. CMON INTEL, throw me a friggin bone here. You don't like a little competition? They beat you to the punch with your 6 core chip... soooo WHAT.
  • 9 Hide
    jsloan , April 23, 2009 1:51 PM
    6 cores, can we have 8 please ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    theJ , April 23, 2009 1:52 PM
    This is good for the market, even if it really isn't a better processor than the i7. If AMD ever couldn't keep up, we'd be left with one company...and that's only good for that company.

    I'll probably never buy one, but i hope other people do.
  • 4 Hide
    t85us , April 23, 2009 2:01 PM
    B-Unit*SCRATCHES HEAD* Didn't Intel release the first 6-core? Why is is a good idea when they do it, but when AMD does, its 'throwing' more cores at it?



    yep, tipical intel attitude. that's why i hate them and i don't buy anything that is related to them. simply i hate intel because of they veryveryveryveryveryveryveryvery poor innovation when they are in monopoly. shame on you intel.
  • 1 Hide
    curnel_D , April 23, 2009 2:01 PM
    curnel_dNah, the key is keeping up either way. And if AMD can keep up or exceed intel because of two more cores or better power performance due to die shrinks, then they've got the better processor despite how robust Intel's microarchitecture is. In that market, more cores with less power req's is going to win, period.

    I have a feeling intel will rush their dual die i7 procc out in 2k10 to answer this. So I doubt you'll be waiting long.
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , April 23, 2009 2:03 PM
    Weird... I could have sworn I hit quote on Jsloan's post...
  • -1 Hide
    Pei-chen , April 23, 2009 2:04 PM
    Didn't Anand run a review showing Nehalem to be about 50% faster than Shanghai in server application? Istanbul is 30% faster than Shanghai meaning 4 cores Nehalem is faster than 6 cores Istanbul.

    Less cores = smaller die so AMD is cutting it close competing with Intel with inferior microarchitecture.
  • -1 Hide
    fatedtodie , April 23, 2009 2:21 PM
    screw 6 cores AMD's roadmap has 12 core processors available by q1 2010 wait a year get double the cores =) .... one thing to say to Intel Fanboys... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA eat that.
  • 5 Hide
    scook9 , April 23, 2009 2:21 PM
    intel makes me laugh....throwing more cores at a processor....like they are ones to speak. AMD has ALWAYS been the first of the two to come up with true multi core designs.... Pentium D, core 2 Quad, the coming 6 core cpu, all dual die processors. Wow intel, just wow. Of course i guess intel does like bragging on their microarchitectures....they liked the core 2 duo so much, they stuck 2 on 1 package and called it a "quad" core. Granted, it DID grind amd's barcelona's into the ground, but still, veyr lacking in innovation on intel's part. It seems like AMD is always behind intel on releases, but does a better job because they arent racing, they take their time - and oh ya, they cost nearly half as much at every price point.

    And i am in no way a fanboy, all 3 of my computers run intel, this just had to be commented on.
  • 2 Hide
    Mathos , April 23, 2009 2:29 PM
    i7's main advantage is hyperthreading, which turns that quad core into an effective 8 core chip. So a 6 core opteron may be able to keep up better with that quad core i7, at least until AMD can manage to start implementing SMT in their chips.
  • 4 Hide
    tipoo , April 23, 2009 2:42 PM
    Should be interesting, 6 physical cores vs 4 physical and 4 virtual cores.
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , April 23, 2009 2:55 PM
    I just don't understand 6 cores. It is not a logical step from 4 cores.
  • 1 Hide
    t85us , April 23, 2009 2:59 PM
    but if it's a native 6 core cpu, than it's easyer to do a 12 core cmc or whatewer called "fused" cpu, or not ?
  • 2 Hide
    armistitiu , April 23, 2009 3:17 PM
    curnel_dI have a feeling intel will rush their dual die i7 procc out in 2k10 to answer this. So I doubt you'll be waiting long.

    Turns out AMD will do that too in 2010. According to their server roadmap refresh they will have 8-12 cores per CPU (dual die, mcm or native... they didn't say in tech report's article).
    Performance wise it's gonna be a close battle but AMD's die size will be huge and probably is going to cost them a small fortune to produce it. I sure hope that Bulldozer will bring some kind of SMT into the game.
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