The Opteron 3200 series consists of three CPUs, the 3250, 3260, and 3280. The first two are 4-core, the last 8 core, and the rest is basically a Bulldozer based AM3+ FX chip with server validation and chipsets. The raw specs are 45W TDP for the 4-cores, 65W for the 8-core, and they are priced at $99, $125, and $229 respectively. How fast do they run? 3250 is at 2.4/2.7GHz (base clock/turbo), 3260 ups it to 2.7/3.0GHz, and the eight core 3280 sits in the middle at 2.5/2.8GHz.
If you take these chips, put them in an ECC capable AM3+ socket board with a SR5600 and SP5100 series north and south bridge, you get the fabled Zurich platform. It is aimed at ‘rent-a-host’ providers, and that market is all about cost, something that AMD does pretty well. Intel is not far behind though, their 1S Sandy Bridge Xeons are not much more expensive.
Looking at the numbers AMD gives out, there is one thing missing, costs including running cost, and odd omission. Without running costs, the AMD server does pretty well against Intel on performance per dollar, cost per core, watts per core, and all the nice metrics a casual server buyer cares about. The performance per watt metric and the total cost including operating expenses are conspicuously absent. Unfortunately, those are the most important numbers for any large purchaser, so read in to that what you will.
In the end, there isn’t much exciting, and we don’t see much here unless purchase price is your overriding concern. The best part of the presentation was the rather nifty Tyan FM65-B8001 high density server box that the 3200 series is aimed at. 18 sockets in 4U may not be SeaMicro level density, but it isn’t bad either. All in all, this line is cheap to purchase, server rated and validated, but that is about it. If you are not a large hosting provider, you are not the target market for the Opteron 3200.S|A