AMD silences quad core critics

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AMD silences quad core critics

AMD has released benchmark data for its upcoming Barcelona quad core server processor. It also demonstrated a quad core Phenom desktop processor running at 3Ghz.

Barcelona is scheduled to ship in August. Phenom is slated for release in the fourth quarter of this year, although AMD has yet to say at which clock speeds it will be shipping the first chips.

The chipmaker came under fire last month when it announced that its Barcelona quad core server processor would ship at 2Ghz, sparking speculation that it wouldn't be able to deliver on an earlier promise that it would outperforming Intel chips.

Intel by comparison is shipping a 2.66 Ghz X5355 Xeon quad core chip as its fastest server processor and has a 3Ghz model for work stations. The chip maker in recent months has gained market share in the server market.

At AMD's Technology Analyst Day at its Silicon Valley headquarters, the chipmaker boasted that its processor outperformed a 2.33Ghz Intel Xeon quad core processor by 25 percent in the SPECfp_rate2006 benchmark, and claimed a 30 percent advantage on the performance per Watt metric.

AMD claimed that comparing its Barcelona with the 2.33Ghz E5345 Xeon provided similar configurations in terms of power consumption and clock speeds, making for the most honest comparison.

The new data ends the debate about whether AMD will be able to keep its performance promise, Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies told

"This gives AMD bragging rights for some period of time," said Kay.

"Given the broad assault from Intel, it's good for them to achieve a large victory."

He cautioned however that the benchmarks are comparing a future AMD product with a current Intel chip, which makes for a somewhat skewed comparison.

Jim McGregor, a director with analyst firm , added that AMD's victory might be short lived.

"I don't see the leapfrog right now," McGregor said. But he added that competitiveness in the chip market depends on more than just price or performance benchmarks. Factors such as power consumption and price also come into play.
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