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Re: [K12OSN] New servers

The Opteron will continue to be on Socket 940.  It's the Athlon FX that's going to Socket 939.  The reason for this is that the Athlon FX is, today, really just an Opteron 1xx w/ "official" DDR-400 support, and AMD wants to be able to produce a relatively inexpensive "gamer/enthusiast" chip without risking cannibalizing its Opteron chip sales.  Opteron will have a higher price point.  They also want to be able to run on cheaper-to-manufacture 4-layer PCB motherboards, and Opteron--and thus today's Athlon 64/FX--apparently just doesn't work on such motherboards, hence none exist.

These are the reasons why the current Socket-940 Athlon 64/FX series is priced as high as it is, and why Socket 939 chips will not be compatible with Socket 940 motherboards.  It's somewhat analogous to when folks go out and buy Athlon XPs when they want to do SMP instead of buying the more expensive Athlon MPs.  AMD wants to put that kind of thing to a stop.  They don't dare change the socket for the enterprise-intended Opterons, though, because otherwise enterprises will tell AMD to go to Hell.  They *really* want a piece of that market...B-A-D-L-Y.

Thus, I believe that, for server purchases, we're pretty safe as long as we stick with Opteron-based systems.  But I would definitely wait on Athlon 64/FX.  With either chip, we're going to have killer GNU/Linux performance, though, so it's not like we're hurting.  :-)


On Sun, 2003-10-12 at 02:20, Jim Anderson wrote:
I've read that the Socket 940 Opterons are an intermediary solution. 
Something having to do with memory channels and ECC memory.  It will be
phased out in Q2 of 2004 in favor of the Socket 939, whose Opterons will
handle memory better for servers.  As far as workstations the Socket 754
for Athlon64 will continue.  Those chips have only one memory channel
(Opteron has 2), but it can use non-ECC DDR400 RAM, as opposed to the
Opteron's requirement for ECC DDR333 (which may also explain the better
benchmarks for some 32-bit chips that don't require the ECC RAM).

Jim Anderson


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