Today, AMD releases their new 45nm Opterons, codenamed Shanghai. It's been a very quiet year for AMD on the server front, after a fairly rough launch of Barcelona, but AMD hopes to regain consumer confidence and earn back some market share from Intel.

A little history

Barcelona was AMD's first product based on their monolithic quad-core design, which was a very different path from what Intel decided to take. Intel decided effectively to join two dual-core CPUs at the hip to make their quad-core product. Barcelona was not a smooth launch. Hindered by CPU design issues and supply problems, it was one of the worst launches we've seen from AMD. However, today is a new day, a new part, and hopefully new customers.

Shanghai is an update to the Barcelona architecture, which means it is socket compatible and should be a drop-in replacement in servers that have a BIOS update that supports Shanghai. Something that some people might not realize is that AMD uses the same core product in their 2P, 4P, and 8P product lines. This may not matter to everyone, but it makes the life of OEMs a little easier. Besides the various tweaks to the Barcelona architecture, Shanghai is also a die shrink to 45nm. As AMD has already revealed in their 2009/2010 roadmap, Shanghai will be with us until the end of 2009 as a quad-core chip, followed by a six-core product when AMD releases Istanbul. Shanghai will ship in several different clock speeds, listed below.

AMD Shanghai Overview
Model CPU Clock MC Clock Part Number Price
Opteron 2384 2.7GHz 2.2GHz OS2384WAL4DGI $989
Opteron 2382 2.6GHz 2.2GHz OS2382WAL4DGI $873
Opteron 2380 2.5GHz 2.0GHz OS2380WAL4DGI $698
Opteron 2378 2.4GHz 2.0GHz OS2378WAL4DGI $523
Opteron 2376 2.3GHz 2.0GHz OS2376WAL4DGI $377
Opteron 8384 2.7GHz 2.2GHz OS8384WAL4DGI $2149
Opteron 8382 2.6GHz 2.2GHz OS8382WAL4DGI $1865
Opteron 8380 2.5GHz 2.0GHz OS8380WAL4DGI $1514
Opteron 8378 2.4GHz 2.0GHz OS8378WAL4DGI $1165

All of the Shanghai parts that release this year will be 75W versions, ranging from 2.3 to 2.7GHz. In Q1 of 2009, AMD expects to release HE (55W) models as well as SE (105W) models. Another change that's coming next year is the move to HyperTransport 3.0, which will increase bandwidth by up to 17.6GB/s. We found it a bit odd that there will be effectively an update to the architecture to support this move, and that this feature didn't make this initial product release.

What's new with Shanghai? / Test Setup
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  • Jason Clark - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Hi folks, as with most all launches, there are a number of articles we do each on a specific area. Ross and I focussed on database performance under microsoft sql server. I know a VM piece is in the works, just hang on and you'll see something soon.
  • Viditor - Tuesday, December 9, 2008 - link

    "I know a VM piece is in the works, just hang on and you'll see something soon"

    Not to be picky, but it's been almost a month now. Any word on the VM piece??
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    no, you have to have it all done at once, and you have to cover every aspect we could even imagine wanting tests for, or we're going to gripe.
  • Viditor - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    I am surprised that you didn't choose any VM specific benches, as that is an obvious design goal of Shanghai's...
    It would have been nice to see if they were successful.
  • duploxxx - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    that's exactly what i asked, additional Vmware testing like anand did before.

    the overall vmware performance of shanghai 2,7 is already known in VMmark, it totally destroys any x86 intel platform known today even the 6 core dunnington @2,66ghz. but additional tests would be nice.">
  • lplatypus - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Regarding the delayed introduction of HT3: could it be that these CPUs actually do support HT3, and we're only waiting for support in the chipset?
  • duploxxx - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Common anand you can do better then that. Where are mysql loads/io/3d measurements and hypervisor testing....
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    Please understand that:

    Anand is the CEO and founder of the complete Anandtech, inc. and writer of many desktop/mobile oriented articles.

    Jason and Ross are part of and run the Windows/Database tests.

    The hypervisor/ MySQL/Linux stuff is done by myself (Johan De Gelas) and I am still working on our Shanghai review. ESX does not like the new BIOS that makes Shanghai possible, so we won't be able to post ESX numbers before a new BIOS is ready.

  • duploxxx - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    if you would just let us use the edit button :), my usage of anand, was just meant as a short word of anandtech actually, sry for that.

    didn't know you had bios issues, seems like some vendors (dell) had less issues. looking forward to those parts.

    the info like latency is really added value.
  • Proteusza - Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link

    We see some numbers for Shanghai. Any news on when the desktop part will be released/tested?

    I'm pleased it does well in performance/watt, but slightly disappointed that it doesnt beat Barcelona significantly in performance/clock.

    I wonder how well it will fair in games?

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