Barcelona is here, and Tech Report have the first official benchmarks. The results? Not too great, if you were looking forward to seeing AMD take the overall performance lead with Barcelona.
In server and workstation applications, Barcelona exceled because of its native quad-core architecture. However in floating-point-intensive apps, there is not a huge gain. Overall, the new Opteron has pretty much caught up to Core 2 based Xeon.
Even more depressing is that while AMD has caught up to Intel today, 45nm “Harpertown” Xeons are on the horizon (complete with a 6MB L2 cache, 1.6GHz front-side bus, clock speeds over 3GHz, and expected improvements in per-clock performance and power efficiency, according to Tech Report), which may once again put Intel in the clear lead. It’s not a guarantee though, because Barcelona’s architecture allows it to scale very well, and it should excel in power efficiency.
On the desktop though, it’s going up against a much improved CPU from Intel, freed from the power and memory latency penalties of FB-DIMMs. This next batch of processor releases are certainly going to be interesting to follow.