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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  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Per Core. So with the -np 32 setting. I have tried less before, but the LS-DYNA really likes the extra load and store units of the second unit. so 32 MPI processes give a 30% boost. Reply
  • alpha754293 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    That's a healthy boost! It's amazing how these technologies are maturing to the point where conventional wisdom that they might be starved for FPU resources isn't enough to slow them down.

    It'd be interesting to see whether it makes a difference if you were to let the OS handle the job/process scheduling or whether manual intervention can help reduce some of the thread/process migration overhead, especially across 16 FPUs.
    Reply
  • dmytty - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Before the benchmarks came in, I looked at an HPC build for the new 6300 series. I saw the real sweet spot for AMD being the 6344 which is a CPU of type 2.6 Ghz @ 12 or 6 core (depending how you define a 'core'). Anandtech never mentioned this CPU in the review. (?)

    In simple $ terms for the CPU, it's the E5 2640 @ $815 vs the Opteron 6344 @ $415. So how does AMD not have a decisive price advantage?

    In 4S land the price advantage widens.

    AMD 4S...I priced a build (not including a case) at ~$3860 for 4 x 6344, 128 GB RAM, mobo and PSU. Note that this mobo could also go out to 256 GB. CPU cost is 4 x 6344 = $1660. Again, total system cost was $3860.

    Intel 4S...I picked the 4607 as being the best 'bang for the buck processor'. It's 6 cores @ 2.2 Ghz. However, at $885 per 4607 processor the CPU cost is more than double than AMD (ie 4x Intel 4607 = $3540). The same build cost using the Intel 4607 would then be $5740.

    AMD @ $3860 vs Intel @ $5740. Why did Anandtech not talk about 4S? Why no mention of the 6344?
    Reply
  • dmytty - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I forgot to mention that the Intel board I specified for 4S build was $1200 whereas the AMD board was $800.

    A marketing person would call the system cost comparison ~$3k vs $~6k.

    Again, am I missing something?

    The AMD 6344 based 4S system has a ~19% clockspeed advantage and comes in at 62% of the cost.

    Worried about electrical cost? You can buy 700 watts of PV solar panels with the cost savings between AMD and Intel. 700 watts peak = ~3.5 kwh daily output. That would nicely mitigate (and then some) the 20 watts/cpu difference (80 watts total with 4x cpu) between AMD 6344 and Intel 4607. You would net about 1.5 kwh/day electricity going with the AMD + PV over the slightly more efficient Intel.
    Reply
  • geok1ng - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    this is all and good, but looking at spec int 2006 results, Abu Dhabi still does not match performance/watt of Magni Cours opterons. And the best competition AMd can offer against 2 gen old Xeons is still the Opteron 6180. Reply

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