|Servers with the newest Intel six-core Xeon hit the market in April. The fastest six-cores Xeons were able to offer up to twice the performance of six-core Opteron â€œIstanbulâ€. The reason for this was that the age of the integer core in AMD's Opteron was starting to show. While the floating point part got a significant overhaul in 2007 with the AMD "Barcelona" quad-core chip, the integer part was a tuned version of the K8, launched back in 2003. This was partly compensated by large improvements in the multi-core performance scaling departement: HT-assist, faster CPU interconnects, larger L3 caches, and so on.|
To counter this lower per-core performance, AMD's efforts focused on the "Magny-Cours" MCMs that scaled even better thanks to HT 3.0 and four DDR3 memory controllers. AMDâ€™s twelve-core processors were launched at the end of March 2010, but servers based on these â€œMagny-Coursâ€ Opterons were hard to find. So for a few months, Intel dominated the midrange and high-end server market. HP and Dell informed us that they would launch the "Magny-Cours" servers in June 2010. That is history now, and server buyers have an alternative again for the ubiquitous Xeon Servers.