Today, I spoke to Bruce Shaw at AMD, who was over in the UK to talk about AMD’s latest and greatest server processor – “Barcelona.” This quad core chip is socket compatible with the dual core AMD Opteron processor, yet AMD says it consumes the same amount of electricity and generates the same amount of heat.
What this means, according to Shaw, is that you can upgrade existing dual-core Opteron servers simply by plugging in Barcelona chips and upgrading the Bios. A two processor machine can become a four-processor box, and, if Shaw is right, it will deliver a performance boost of between 40 and 70% – more powerful hardware, without the extra power and cooling issues normally associated with increased performance.
I think this represents a good step in the right direction for green IT. There should be no need to dump two-processor Opteron servers.