AMD releases 40W EE Istanbuls

Less than 6W per core

AMD RELEASED THE last member of the Istanbul family this morning, the 40W EE version. For a six core, 1.8GHz chip, this is a pretty low power draw.

The raw specs on the chip are not really any different from the previous Istanbul releases. SE, normal, HE and EE all share the same feature set, a drum AMD likes to rightly bang. Looking at the spec sheet does not induce headaches like it does with Intel products. Short story, other than clock and wattage, this Istanbul is the same as the other Istanbuls.

Technically speaking, the product is called the Opteron 2419 EE. The new CPU costs $989 and it runs at 1.8GHz while drawing 40W ACP. The usual disclaimer of ACP and Intel’s TDP not being comparable apply, so if you are concerned about comparing apples to offroad tires, run the measurements yourself.

There are a few interesting bits to be glearned from the new release. The low wattage is attained through the classic means, undervolting and underclocking the chips. It is not a new die, nor is it done on a different process from the standard AMD 45nm CPUs. Basically the chips are binned for the ability to run at a low voltage, and then fused to do exactly that.

Standard Istanbuls run at a max of 2.6GHz while pulling 1.3V and have an ACP of 75W. The high clock SEs up those numbers to 2.8GHz, 1.325V and 105W. Previously, the low wattage champ of the AMD line ran at 1.150V and pulled 55W at 2.1GHz while the new EEs drop the voltage to 1.125V, the wattage to the previously mentioned 40W, and clock at a max of 1.8GHz. For reference, the older Shanghai EEs had 4 cores at 2.1GHz or 2.3GHz at 1.1V in the same 40W envelope.

Why is this important? Well, if you look at the upcoming G34 parts, one of the things AMD is promising is the same thermal envelope as Socket F parts. That means 40/55/75/105W bins. Since they are basically two Istanbuls on a cracker, that would mean each part would have to be 20/27.5/37.5/52.5W to fit.

You can drop the lowest two right off unless you want Magny-Cours chips measured in MHz instead of GHz, so that means AMD has to supply 6 core dies that only draw ~40W and ~55W respectively to reach the 75W and 105W TDPs with Magny-Cours. Looking back a few paragraphs, that means you can expect those parts to debut at 2.1GHz or 2.2GHz for the 12 core SE 105W models, and 1.8GHz or 1.9GHz for the 12 core ‘normal’ 75W versions.

For those worrying about how on earth AMD is going to put out 12 cores without melting the earth’s crust, you now have your answer. You can buy the components today with more or less the same specs. Until G34 parts are available, you can get more or less the same result with a pair of Opteron 2419 EEs.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate