Reviewers are starting to get their mitts on AMD’s six-core “Istanbul” server chip and the news looks good from a virtualization standpoint. Anandtech found that while slower than some Intel Xeons, the platform’s affinity to virtualization, power savings and cost differential make it very competitive.
The six-core Opteron is about 11 to 30% slower on vSphere 4 than the 2.93 GHz Xeon X5570 but the overall cost of the Istanbul platform is significantly lower (DDR-2 versus DDR-3) and the 2.6 GHz 2435 consumes less power in a virtualized environment (*). On the condition that you optimize your hypervisor well to take advantage of the six cores (cell size is for example one critical optimization), we feel that the six-core Opteron is a worthy opponent for the Xeon “Nehalem” in this market.
Visit Anandtech to read the full review, all 12 pages of it.
In related news, AMD also announced today that all of the major server makers — Dell, HP, IBM and Sun — are gearing up to launch Istanbul-based systems this month.