Processor Power Specs: Intel vs. AMD

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ServerWatch has some fun with an article today about the battle between Intel and AMD in the chip market, comparing the rivals to the Empire and Rebels in the Star Wars series. What follows is a comprehensive overview of the processor offerings from Intel and AMD, including the “Dark Side” of performance per watt, a critical benchmark if you’re choosing equipment to fill your data center:

So how do the competing processors line up in terms of wattage? In addition to 68 watt and 99 watt versions, AMD has SE versions in the 120- to 125 watt range. One type of Xeon 5100, meanwhile, is 65 watts (a year ago, it was 120 watts for a single core processor), and a Xeon 7100 model is 95 watts. But a closer look at the Intel spec sheet reveals that there are others in the 5000 and 7000 categories that go down as low as 40 watts and up as high as 150 watts. So it is hard to tell who is really “winning.” All that can be determined is that Intel has made considerable progress, and users must test products in their specific environments to determine the best fit.

With recent improvements in energy efficiency, perhaps the story should have been titled “Chip Wars: A New Hope.”

Sorry, couldn’t help myself … I guess I’m too much of a Star Wars geek to pass up that punch line.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.