According to AMD its new Barcelona processor will be up to 42 percent faster in floating-point performance than Intel's top "Clovertown" Xeon X5355::
The news marked the first performance numbers AMD has provided for the chip that packs four Opteron cores on a single die and will be in production this fall. AMD also demonstrated working versions of its next-generation graphics chip the R600 to be released by the end of June.
AMD has been under pressure from archrivals Intel and Nvidia. Intel is shipping multiple quad-core processors using a system-in"package approach, claiming it has retaken the performance lead in x86 CPUs. Nvidia shipped a new generation graphics controller last fall, a move the graphics division of AMD has not yet answered.
Mario Rivas, general manager of AMD's microprocessor group, said Barcelona will provide a double-digit leap in integer performance over the quad-core Xeon, though he declined to be more specific. Henri Richard, chief of sales and marketing at AMD, said Barcelona will have a significant integer performance lead over Intel's quad-core chips.
However, it should be noted that few applications besides high-performance computing and video encoding take advantage of high floating-point performance.
"Virtualized Web servers don't use floating-point processing, but if AMD is seeing integer performance gains over Intel in double digits, that's a positive for them," said Dean McCarron, principal of Mercury Research (Cave Creek, Ariz.), referring to the most mainstream application for Barcelona.