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AMD Opteron 3200 Series Platform Answering Intel Xeon E3 series

AMD Opteron 3200 Series Platform Answering Intel Xeon E3 series

by Patrick KennedyMarch 20, 2012

AMD is following Intel’s Xeon E3 strategy for uniprocessor servers and is announcing the availability of the AMD Opteron 3200 series. The Opteron 3200 is a Bulldozer-based server CPU that utilizes one of AMD’s mainstream CPU sockets, socket AM3+. This is very much like what Intel does with its current Xeon E3-1200 line and is something I have been eagerly awaiting for quite awhile.

Some readers may wonder, why AMD would go with an AM3+ socket CPU over its C32 and G34 platforms. The reason is two fold, but primarily driven by cost, just as it is with the Intel Xeon E3 platform. First, the G34 platform sports quad memory channels per CPU and support for one to four processors. The C32 platform is dual memory channel design and allows single or dual socket configurations. These make the motherboards more complex and I have heard server vendors explain that the G34 platform, is very complex to trace on a relative basis (and this makes sense.) Conversely, the desktop (and now server) socket AM3+ platform is mass produced and designed with cost in mind much like the Intel Xeon E3 series.

Remember AMD is not competing clock-for-clock or top overall performance in the majority of applications with the AMD Opteron 3200 series. Instead, AMD is trying to compete with Intel by providing “good enough” performance at a much lower price across market segments. In fact, AMD is touting a $90 lower system cost for the new Opteron 3200 series processors touting “New AMD Opteron 3200 Series Processor Family Changes Industry Economics for Single-Socket, Dedicated Hosting and Cloud customers.”

Now, the reason I have been eagerly awaiting the AMD Opteron 3200 series, is simply because server quality, low-cost, tends to be a big driver in home servers. I am backed up a bit on reviews and new site features at the moment, but I will be covering the AMD Opteron 3200 series as I have long felt AMD needed this to meet the cloud/ web host needs as well as SMB/ home servers with its Opteron line.

Key Facts, Performance and Technical Detail of the AMD Opteron 3200 Series

  • 45W to 65W TDP
  • 2.7 GHz base frequency, up to 3.7 GHz frequency using AMD Turbo CORE technology
  • 4- and 8-core options
  • 2 DDR3 memory channels supporting ECC UDIMM
  • 1333, 1600, 1866 MHz memory speed
  • Supports 1.5V, 2Rank
  • Up to 32GB memory capacity
  • Supports up to 2 DIMMs per memory channel
  • Total Cache: 16MB for 8-core, 8MB for 4-core
  • L2 Cache: up to 8MB total
  • L3 Cache: up to 8MB total

I am excited to see how the Socket AM3+ AMD Opteron 3200 series fares against the Intel Xeon E3 line. Intel has a distinct advantage in terms of the number of CPUs shipped as well as the fact that Intel is migrating the Intel Xeon E3 line to Ivy Bridge in the near future.

About The Author
Patrick Kennedy
Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.
  • Stephen H
    March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Great analysis. I think this may be in a future build. Can you buy these yet?

  • Enkio
    March 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I think these went on sale yesterday. I only saw two 4 thread models and one 8 thread model for sale.

  • Wim
    March 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Uh oh ECC UDIMMS? Those are very expensive if you want 8GB modules. RDIMMs would have been killer…

  • ryan t.
    March 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Same limiting factor as the Xeon E3’s… ECC UDIMMs. For users thinking the E3’s would of been an awesome platform for labs on a budget, only to find out they had to spend $800 for 4x8gb UDIMMs (though considerably cheaper now still twice as expensive as Reg/ECC last I checked).
    The Xeon E5-1620 appears to be the answer, with a lot more headroom than the E3 could of ever had.

  • Jason
    May 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    technology5, speed6!??!?!?!?!? Where are the notes. 3.7 with one core, all others parked? 1866mhz, one DDR3 per channel/2 sticks only? Nice shotty article you got here.

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