AMD's Shanghai "Phenom II" Server CPUs Put to the Test

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
As we found out two weeks ago, AMD is doing a great job in boasting what their Phenom II processors are going to be capable of. That was proven when the company revealed a 4.00GHz overclock on air cooling, and if you've been paying attention at all, it's easy to see why that's an impressive improvement over their current-generation offerings.

One important bit of information we've been lacking, though, has been general performance increases. Overall, we knew that Phenom II was going to be faster than the original (sequels are always better than the originals, right?!), but the big question was with regards to how it would compare to Intel's Core 2 line-up, or even Core i7.

Well, our friends at the Tech Report have taken a look at the server version of Phenom II, called Shanghai, and have developed conclusions that we were expecting. AMD made great effort to increase the power efficiency, and these new CPUs are indeed faster, but they're still going to fall behind Core i7 performance. That was highly expected, however.

AMD isn't at a total loss though... far from it. Their new CPUs excel in certain tests, and where they do seem to fall behind the most is with desktop-type applications, not server applications. So hopefully further improvements will be made to the desktop version of Phenom II before release, and if not, we'll still be left with what seems to be a great improvement over the original.


In many cases, Shanghai at 2.7GHz was slightly behind the Xeon L5430 at 2.66GHz. The Opteron does best when it's able to take advantage of its superior system architecture and native quad-core design, and it suffers most by comparison in applications that are more purely compute-bound, where the Xeons generally have both the IPC and clock frequency edge.

Source: Tech Report