SKUs and Pricing

Before we start with the benchmarks, we first have to check what you get for your money. Let's compare the AMD chips with Intel's offerings.

AMD vs. Intel 2-socket SKU Comparison
Xeon
E5
Cores/
Threads
TDP Clock
(GHz)
Price Opteron Modules/
Integer
cores
TDP Clock
(GHz)
Price
High Performance High Performance
2680 8/16 130W 2.7/3/3.5 $1723          
2665 8/16 115W 2.4/2.8/3.1 $1440 6386 SE 8/16 140W 2.8/3.2/3.5 $1392
2660 8/16 95W 2.2/ $1329          
2650 8/16 95W 2/2.4/2.8 $1107          
Midrange Midrange
          6380 8/16 115W 2.5/2.8/3.4 $1088
2640 6/12 95W 2.5/2.5/3 $885 6378 8/16 115W 2.4/2.7/3.3 $867
          6376 8/16 115W 2.3/2.6/3.2 $703
2630 6/12 95W 2.3/2.3/2.8 $639          
          6348 6/12 115W 2.8/3.1/3.4 $575
2620 6/12
95W
2/2/2.5 $406 6234 6/12 115W 2.6/2.9/3.2 $415
High clock / budget High Clock / Budget
2643 4/8 130W 3.3/3.3/3.5 $885          
2609 4/4 80W 2.4 $294 6320 4/8 115W 3.0/3.3/3.6 $293
2637 2/4 80W 3/3.5 $885 6308 2/4 115W 3.5 $501
Power Optimized Power Optimized
2630L 8/16 60W 2/2/2.5 $662 6366HE 8/16 85W 1.8/2.3/3.1 $575

We tested two AMD Opterons: the 6376 and the 6380. The 6380 competes against the octal-core 2GHz 2650, the 6376 targets the six-core 2630 at 2.3GHz. There is more than list prices of course. At the end of the day, most of us do not buy trays of processors, we buy server systems. As Dell's website is still the easiest to use, we configured very similar systems on the DELL US site. All systems include:

  • Two 500GB SATA drives
  • 64GB of 1600MHz RDIMMs
  • A PERC H700/710 with 512MB of NV RAM
  • iDRAC Express and all other "cheap" options (no OS, Single PSU...)

Below you can find the total price, when configuring such a system in the beginning of February 2013.

AMD vs. Intel System Price
Model CPU Memory Other Price
Dell R720 Dual Xeon E5-2630

8x8GB

Perc H710 512MB NV $5008
Dell R720 Dual Xeon E5-2660 8x8GB Perc H710 512MB NV $6778
Dell R715 Dual Opteron 6376 8x8GB Perc H700 512MB NV $4225
Dell R715 Dual Opteron 6380 8x8GB Perc H700 512MB NV $5339

The Intel based systems have a small advantage as they have two additional hard disk bays, but that difference can be ignored as that will hardly make the system significantly more expensive. The reason why we upgraded the R720 to an 8-bay chassis is that we wanted all the servers to have 2.5-inch bays and thus similar storage systems; 2.5-inch drives are now more common anyway.

A Dell R715 with a dual Opteron 6376 costs $500 less than a similarly configured Dell R720 with Dual Xeon E5-2630, despite the fact that the listed price of the Opteron is slightly higher. This might be a result of AMD offering larger discounts, but it's probably also a result of keeping the platform the same. As the Opteron 6100, 6200 and 6300 use the same socket and motherboard infrastructure, validation costs are very low for the OEMs.

If the Opteron 6376 can beat or even match the Xeon E5-2630 in performance/watt, it can offer a cost advantage. If the Opteron 6380 can come close to an E5-2660, it can offer a significant cost advantage. The latter Opteron must however defeat the E5-2630 clearly to be attractive to the server buyers. After all, most people buy AMD for a cost or performance bonus (preferably both).

We'll compare our new Opterons with two Xeon configurations: the Xeon 2660 and a Xeon 2660 with two cores disabled. To be competitive, the Opteron 6376 should beat the Xeon 2660 with two cores disabled. If the 6380 can offer about 90% of the performance of the 2660 and consume a similar amount of energy, it can become a very attractive alternative as well. So the goals are clear and set for the AMD Opterons. Let us see if they can pull it off.

Introduction Benchmarking Configuration
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  • arnd - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I have dual Opteron 6344 workstation system, which tends to be either near complete idle or near complete busy, so C states are extremely important to me. The CPU has power sensors that are exposed in Linux using the 'sensors' tool. With C6 enabled, I get the power consumption per socket down to 42 Watts, which still seems like a lot, but disabling C6 made it jump to 104W per socket, when under 100% load it is constantly within 1W of the 115W TDP limit.
    I did not see a significant impact of C1E, neither with C6 enabled nor disabled, presumably because I rarely have cores that are idle for a short period.
    More annoying to me is the lack of S3 suspend mode, the system still consumes around 100W on S1.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    The difference I believe is that you cannot use AES-NI instructions when using Twofish and serpent. I guess that AMD's AES-NI implementation is just slower. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Sounds reasonable. The question is then why Twofish and serpent are so fast on the Opteron. They probably scale very well with cores. Reply
  • Yorgos - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I've been abandoning tech sites due to stupid posters and internet trolls.
    There is so much addition info and questions in the comments and I don't know why are you letting people ruin that feature from your site?
    You should make a ranking system(similar to /. ) for users, in order to automatically hide someone's comments, so we don't have to double check every time the poster and/or the comment.

    I feel stupid for making that type of comment, also reading specific stupid opinions, below that article.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I like your ideas, however most of the laugh (or should I say cringe?) worthy comments would be hidden and the entertainment value would be tainted by having to click the Show button all the time. ;) Reply
  • lwatcdr - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Or requiring real names. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I had meetings and people visiting me, so I could not "baby sit" the reactions. But if you don't react to the offensive message we can delete them. So the best way to deal with th trolls is to ignore. Sooner or later, they will be banned. Reply
  • coder111 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Because some of the people posting here are obviously trolling for Intel and do not bring anything constructive to the discussion. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Yes, it is quite pathetic. An ignore button would take care of this situation nicely. Reply
  • iamezza - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    An ignore button and a report button would be great! Reply

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