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AMD shows off Barcelona server chips, garners mixed reviews

Darren Murph

With Intel giving its shareholders some awfully great news to savor over the holidays, AMD had to hit back with some news of its own, but you'll definitely get a different vibe from reading ExtremeTech's take on the firm's recently showcased Barcelona than from the horse's own mouth. While AMD parades its 65nm chip as "the world's first native quad-core x86 server processor," and boasts about its "significant advancements in performance per watt capabilities," we've reason to wonder if things aren't a bit sugarcoated. While the wafer was demonstrated as utilizing "all 16 cores" and being a seamless upgrade from "dual-core to quad-core", hard facts (read: the much anticipated benchmarks) were curiously absent. Aside from injecting onlookers with more of the same technical minutiae we've seen over the past few months, AMD didn't exactly flesh out a lot of new details to chew on, but ExtremeTech's reference system "was the loudest they'd ever had in their office," and sucked down nearly 600 watts of power with just two HDDs and a single graphics card. So while we're firmly withholding judgment until its officially released, we'd say AMD still has a bit of tweaking to do before the competition rolls in.

Looks like we mistook the quad-core Opteron and the Quad FX (announced on the same day, nonetheless) chips as one in the same, when (thankfully) they're not, but those eying the recently-released FX-based desktops may want to think about how much noise they're willing to put up with before throwing down on a new machine.

Read - AMD Press Release
Read - ExtremeTech's Hands-on Testing

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