Technology Primer: AMD Opteron 6200 CPUs (Interlagos)

Written on November 17, 2011 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

Opteron 6200 Series (Interlagos) LogoAMD has just launched their new Opteron 6200 series of processors (codenamed Interlagos) based on the recent Bulldozer architecture. Featuring an increase in cache size, up to 16 cores per CPU, a new 32nm manufacturing process and Turbo Core support - Interlagos should have many performance advantages over its predecessor. These CPU's continue to use the same G34 socket so this launch is only a CPU refresh, not a full platform refresh. To start this article off, lets take a look at what products are available at launch.

Meet Interlagos

At launch, there will be ten different Intelagos processors available. The specifications for the ten CPU's are below:

Model Stock Frequency Turbo Core Frequency # of Cores Total L2 Cache L3 Cache Thermal Output
6282 SE 2.6Ghz 3.3Ghz 16 16MB 16MB 140W
6276 2.3Ghz 3.2Ghz 16 16MB 16MB 115W
6274 2.2Ghz 3.1Ghz 16 16MB 16MB 115W
6272 2.1Ghz 3.0Ghz 16 16MB 16MB 115W
6238 2.6Ghz 3.2Ghz 12 12MB 16MB 115W
6234 2.4Ghz 3.0Ghz 12 12MB 16MB 115W
6220 3.0Ghz 3.6Ghz 8 8MB 16MB 115W
6212 2.6Ghz 3.2Ghz 8 8MB 16MB 115W
6204 3.3Ghz N/A 4 4MB 16MB 115W
6262 HE 1.6Ghz 2.9Ghz 16 16MB 16MB 85W


Overall, the stock frequencies are a bit higher than the previous 6100 series, and the addition of Turbo Core should give a nice boost to the performance of these processors. Note however that the 4-core 6204 CPU does not support Turbo Core at all. Total L2/L3 cache and the maximum number of cores have also increased - but we will cover that more in the next section.

Opteron 6200 Series (Interlagos) CPU

Detailed Features

Below is a quick breakdown of the features of the 6200 series of processor versus the previous 6100 series:

  6200 Series (Interlagos) 6100 Series (Magny-Cours)
Maximum Cores 16 12
Turbo Core Support Yes

No

L2 Cache per core 1MB 512KB
L3 Cache 16MB 12MB
HyperTransport Technology Four x16 links at up to 6.4GT/s  Four x16 links at up to 6.4GT/s 
Memory Support Up to 4 memory channels supporting LRDIMM,ULV-DIMM,UDIMM,RDIMM up to 1600MHz Up to 4 memory channels supporting R/U DDR3and LV-DDR3 up to 1333MHz
Memory Bandwidth Up to 102.4 GB/s per CPU Up to  42.7GB/s per CPU
Process Technology 32nm 45nm
Socket G34 G34


As you can see, the 6200 series has increases nearly across the board, with only the HyperTansport Technology and the socket not changing. All of the increases will have a positive impact performance, including the smaller manufacturing process. Although the process technology does not directly affect performance, it is what allows more cores to be fit onto the same physical space. A smaller manufacturing process also results in lower temperatures, which in turn gives the processor more thermal headroom.

This thermal headroom can be taken advantage of with AMD's Turbo Core Technology which allows the processor to automatically overclock individual cores as long as it can stay below a thermal and power threshold. This is the first time that AMD has included this technology onto their Opteron series of processors, and should provide a nice boost to performance when the system is under a heavy load.

The technicalities behind this technology are very complex, but what it comes down to is if an application is causing a heavy load, the processor can overclock the cores that are in use. Depending on the number of cores being used (more cores means less overclock per core) and the thermal/power headroom, this overclock can be nearly as high as 1Ghz, which can give a very noticeable performance boost.

Conclusion

Opteron 6200 Series (Interlagos) 16core DieAfter reviewing the specifications for these new processors, it is clear that the new 6200 series has many excellent improvements over the previous 6100 series. Even though the names of both series is very similar, the 6200 series is based on an all new architecture (Bulldozer) and offers numerous performance advantages.

Overall, we see no reason to continue offering the previous 6100 series of processors, and will be completely overhauling our line to include only the new 6200 series. The only reservation we have is that most of these processors have a thermal output of 115W, which is much higher than the 6100's average of 80W. These CPU's will require a bit more cooling, so the system will end up being slightly louder as the fans will need to run at a higher RPM. 

The sheer number of different processors available is slightly overwhelming, so if you are in the market for a server and want some advice on which product is right for you, feel free to email any questions to our Puget Systems team at info@pugetsystems.com

Ericgaray

It was sad to hear so many folks were let go at AMD. I understand why, it's just hard to see the wrong people go as it always falls on the shoulders of management who gave the orders, not the peons.

Those CPUs are so long compared to others. I haven't seen any of the supporting motherboards. Have you done any research to see who offers the boards and their own specs?

Posted on 2011-11-18 03:15:59

These CPU's actually still use the same socket (G34) and chipset as the previous series, so we did not have to make any changes to our motherboard offerings for AMD Opterons.  At the moment, we offer the Asus KGPE-D16 (Dual CPU) and the Supermicro H8QGi-F (Quad CPU).  Both are listed on our custom server page: http://www.pugetsystems.com/co...

Posted on 2011-11-18 20:05:21