AMD claims Magny Cours will deck Intel on price

AMD has high hopes for its 6100 series of chips – the family inexplicably named Magny Cours.

John Fruehe, director product marketing for servers at AMD reckons that Intel will have a hard time keeping up with the family because it aims to deliver four cores for the price of two.

Plus it’s got Direct Connect Architecture 2.0 – that lets the CPUs talk to each other a bit faster.

Here are Fruehe’s words:  “We believe that Direct Connect Architecture 2.0 will deliver more performance for important workloads.  The 6100 series removes the so-called 4P tax. People look more towards value and cloud computing will be more important. Customers used to care about raw performance but as we filled out the data centres, they were running out of room and power became critical.  The desire to keep skilled IT people was important and they cut back on the number of servers they were buying, as a result of the recent economic downturn.”

AMD says that in 2010 there will be eight and 12 cores in its Magny-Cours family, and in 2011 it will introduce Interlagos,  with 12 and 16 cores. The SR5600 series will have a “Bulldozer” core.

Fruehe said that in Lisbon four and six cores will come this year, and Valencia with six and eight cores will also use the Bulldozer core.

AMD thinks that the best place to get marketshare is in the 2P space. Intel tries a one size fits all approach, and removes features from popular low power value processors, the smaller competitor claims.

Intel, it claims, artificially limits memory speeds, and IO speeds, and it uses different chipsets for many models of its microprocessors. AMD does not, it claims.

Because AMD offers the same API, BIOS and drivers, it makes it easier for OEMs like HP to manufacture, said Fruehe.

Direct Connection 2.0 lets all processors communicate with each with only one hop, and gives a claimed 33 percent increase in CPU to CPU communication speeds. And there’s more memory channels, so AMD supports more memory. Said Fruehe.

Westmere has only six channels and 17 DIMMs, and AMD has an advantage because it has better throughput with eight channels and 24 DIMMs. AMD can scale to 48GB per processor. Said Fruehe.

AMD has also rationalised its pricing. The 4000 series will be aggressively priced, but the price for the 6000 price will be the same for a 2P or a 4P processor. AMD’s price is $1,386 while Intel’s 2P costs $1,633 and $3,600 for 4P systems.  Said Fruehe.

The company also claims it outperforms Intel processors at both integer and floating point.  “If you want to pay more money for Intel you can do that. Just know you get lower performance”. Said Fruehe.

AMD will have partners including Dell, Acer, HP, and Cray. It will also get support from the major software companies. Said Fruehe.

HP will introduce HP Proliant G7 servers using the Opteron 6100 series – the DL385 G6, DL165 G7 and the SL165z G7. HP said.