CNET reports AMD showed off its upcoming quad-core Barcelona processor yesterday at a meeting.
This marked the first time AMD shared Barcelona performance information with anyone outside of its server partners and internal folks, said Randy Allen, corporate vice president for server and workstations at AMD.
The company is on track to ship Barcelona in production volumes sometime around the middle of this year, Allen said. Server vendors already have samples of the quad-core chip, and systems are expected to start arriving in the third quarter, he said.
Barcelona represents AMD's current hope for returning to profitability by stabilizing its server processor prices. The company has been forced to dramatically cut the prices of its dual-core Opteron processors to compete with Intel's quad-core server processors, which have been on the market since last November.
During the presentation AMD ran an imaging benchmark called POV-Ray, and it looks like this benchmark takes good advantage of extra cores. While a dual-core chip from AMD scored 2,200 pixels per second in this benchmark, the quad-core achieved about 4,000 pixels per second.
Allen said Barcelona was not running at the fastest clock speed that will be available at launch, although he declined to specify the speeds that will be available.
AMD did not test Barcelona's performance against one of Intel's quad-core Clovertown Xeon processors, but Allen said Barcelona "will be the highest-performing x86 chip out there. It will blow away Clovertown."
CNET didn't really manage to uncover the specifications of the chip shown off by AMD but The Inq says AMD presented 4S AMD development platforms with HE (65W) processors and DDR2 memory.