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AMD Unveils 'Istanbul' Six-Shooter Opteron

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

AMD has shown off its first working demonstration of its counter punch to Intel, a six-core Opteron processor code-named “Istanbul”.

Istanbul is a pretty straight forward socket upgrade over AMDs current Shanghai Opterons. A 45nm processor with 6 MB of L3 cache that fits into a Socket-F style mainboard, only now with six cores rather than Shanghai’s four cores. The end result is that Istanbul will provide a direct drop-in upgrade for existing Socket-F systems without the need to change major components or perform software upgrades/changes.

AMD had originally stated that Istanbul processors would become available in the second half of this year (2009), however no other information has been released as to exactly when we could expect to see them becoming publicly available. Though, with the recent working demonstration of Istanbul, it may be safe to say that we could expect them slightly earlier than originally projected.

AMD demonstrated the Istanbul six-core and ran an identical Shanghai system beside it and performed Stream based benchmarks, both with HyperTransport 3 active (note that HyperTransport 3 is not currently available in shipping Shanghai products).  The Shanghai system configured with 16-cores produced a throughput in the range of 25,000 MB/sec. while the 24-core Istanbul configuration produced about 42,000 MB/sec.. That is nearly double the performance gained by the addition of only fifty-percent more cores.

This gain in performance is attribued to a feature AMD calls a probe filtering or properly put, a snoop filtering, which functions to reduce traffic on socket-to-socket HyperTransport links by storing an index of all caches and preventing unnecessary coherency synchronization requests. Current Opterons use a broadcast-based probe protocol, sending probe requests to all sockets.

AMD is currently planning a full lineup of six-core Opterons based on Istanbul including low-power HE versions and high-performance SE models, all within customary Opteron power and thermal envelopes.

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  • 2 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , February 24, 2009 12:10 AM
    Shaggy and Scooby?
  • 9 Hide
    Silluete , February 24, 2009 12:28 AM
    Way to go AMD.
  • 3 Hide
    Economister , February 24, 2009 12:44 AM
    "That is nearly double the performance gained by the addition of only fifty-percent more cores."
    No it isn't. As a matter of fact, it is about 68% more performance from 50% more cores.
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    aznguy0028 , February 24, 2009 12:48 AM
    gotta love their progress. woot to competition!
  • -3 Hide
    aznguy0028 , February 24, 2009 12:49 AM
    woot for competition! :D 
  • 8 Hide
    Dekasav , February 24, 2009 1:18 AM
    68% more performance for 50% more cores is still a wicked improvement. Even linear scaling is tough, let alone managing to use a similar system more efficiently with all those cores to bog down memory/HDD/intercore connections.
  • 0 Hide
    turbolover22 , February 24, 2009 2:17 AM
    TekkamanraidenShaggy and Scooby?

    You gotta name 'em something. Why not make it something that represents your character or hobbies.
  • 1 Hide
    jsloan , February 24, 2009 2:19 AM
    nice, but how much and when will it trickle down to the desktop. i bet intel will answer with an 8 core...
  • 0 Hide
    jsloan , February 24, 2009 6:20 AM
    God, intel noob always has to ruin the show. My dog can run faster then yours!! Idiot

  • 0 Hide
    justjc , February 24, 2009 7:33 AM
    @joeman42: There is one good reason why both AMD and Intel launches the business chips first. They can ask a lot more for their Opterons and Xeons. Expect it to take from 3 to 6 months, after the business optimized are launched, for the fabs to be ready for a desktop release.
  • 2 Hide
    zedx , February 24, 2009 11:11 AM
    Hope they make the Bulldozer a 'bit' earlier too..
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 24, 2009 12:01 PM
    Well done! Btw, didn't Intel release a hexacore(Xeon 7400?)?
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , February 24, 2009 4:16 PM
    AMD just needs to completely kill the competition (intel). How about a true 48 core processor with hyper threading... INTEL could never keep up as they cant fit it onto the dye.... work it!
  • 1 Hide
    aracheb , February 24, 2009 4:17 PM
    zedxHope they make the Bulldozer a 'bit' earlier too..

    only the name give me chills..
  • 1 Hide
    sontan , February 24, 2009 5:33 PM
    it will probably be a power hungry beast.
  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , February 24, 2009 7:24 PM
    Six cores and 6 MB of L3 cache? I think Intel already proven the bigger the L3 cache, the better it is for server.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 8:46 PM
    what's wrong with this page?
    I see 2 monitor pictures!
  • 1 Hide
    cichy69 , February 25, 2009 7:06 AM

    those are two different pictures.. for two processors
  • 1 Hide
    AMD_Phenom , February 25, 2009 3:16 PM
    Check out Istanbul demo videos here: &

    Images of the demos can be seen here:
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