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Magny-Cours Spotted

April 29, 2009
Magny-Cours, 12-core Processor

Magny-Cours, 12-core Processor

AMD’s next generation “G34” socket Magny-Cours processor was spotted recently by XbitLabs running in AMD’s 4-way test mule platform. We’ve talked about Magny-Cours and socket-G34 before, but had no picture until now. The multi-chip module (MCM) heritage is obvious given it’s rectangular shape.

Critical for AMD will be HT3+DCA2 efficiency and memory bandwidth to counter the apparent success of Nehalem-EP’s SMT technology. Although AMD does not consider hyperthreading to be a viable technology for them, it appears to be working for Intel in benchmark cases.

While seems logical that more “physical” cores should scale better than the “logical” cores provided by SMT, Intel is making some ground of legacy “physical core” systems, demonstrating what appears to be a linear scaling in VMmark. However, Intel has a fine reputation for chasing – and mastering – benchmark performance only to show marginal gains in real-world applications.

Meanwhile, the presure mounts on Instanbul’s successful launch in June with white box vendors making ready for the next wave of “product release buzz” to stimulate sinking sales. Decision makers will have a lot of spreadsheet work to do to determine where the real price performance lies. Based on the high-cost of dense DDR3 and DDR2, the 16-DIMM/CPU advantage is weighing heavily on AMD’s side from a CAPEX and OPEX perspective (DDR2 is already a well-entrenched component of all socket-F platforms).

Up to now, Intel’s big benchmark winners have been the W5580 and X5570 with $1,700 and $1,500 unit prices, respectively. Compounded with high-cost DDR3 dual-rank memory, or reduction in memory bandwidth (which eliminates a significant advantage), the high-end Nehalem-EP is temporarily caught in an economic bind, severely limiting its price-performance suitability.

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