AMD’s Piledriver Opteron Series Revs Up to 6300


Chip maker AMD has just rolled out its latest batch of Opteron processors, with a choice of quad-core, 8-core, 12-core and 16 core options available, clocking up speeds ranging from 2.3GHz to 3.5GHz.

The 6300-series chips can certainly pack a punch – AMD claims that they offer as much as 37% uplift versus the older 6200-series, while the processors are all based on its next-generation modular core “piledriver” architecture, which promises a much faster performance, and a better price for performance, then its predecessor chips.

AMD’s 6300-series has some pretty impressive specifications too – the processors are built using the firm’s latest 32-nanometer architecture, and feature 16MB L3 cache, 2MB of L2 cache per core, four HyperTransport links, plus a quad-channel memory controller that can support up to DDR3-1600 of RAM.

Another useful feature of the new chips where enterprise users are concerned is their socket compatibility with existing processors, as the AMD 6300s each come equipped with a Socket G34 1944-pin LGA, making them an ideal ‘drop-in’ replacement for the old Opteron “Bulldozer” series. Using the 6300-series chips as a drop-in will allow enterprise users to retain the same TDP level, which ranges from 115W to 140W, for all except the high-efficiency 16-core parts. For companies, this means that they’ll be able to extend their existing hardware’s lifetime simply by plugging in the new chips.

There is one significant black mark against the 6300-series opteron processors however; namely, their price tag. The new chips cost about 10% more than their predecessors, yet only offer a performance boost in the region of 7% to 8%, so there are going to be question marks about the true value they offer.

The 6300-series chip launch comes just days after AMD revealed it had licensed ARM technology for its next generation of server processors. The company said that it plans to introduce 64-bit server chips based on the design of ARM’s Cortex-A50 series, although these won’t be available until 2014 at the earliest.