AMD has bolstered its workstation and server processor offerings in the run-up to Christmas with the introduction of three new 64-bit chips.
The new Opteron 148, 248 and 848 processors are targeted at the workstation, dual-server and enterprise server markets, respectively.
They are also the first processors to support PC3200 memory, including DDR1 memory operating at 400MHz. AMD has claimed this can offer workstation users a performance boost of up to 28 per cent, based on the Sciencemark 2.0 Stream benchmark.
Marty Seyer, general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit, said: "We're giving the server and workstation industry an opportunity to hit a grand slam with its purchasing decisions.
"IT managers, SMEs and workstation users are increasingly interested in products that meet their immediate needs for 32-bit processing power and protect their investments as they move to the next phase of computing with 64-bit applications."
Les Billing, managing director of distributor Microtronica, said: "AMD is not just increasingly concentrating on the server and workstation space but is also winning business in this area.
"We are seeing people now considering an AMD solution versus a Dell/Intel solution. A growing number of resellers now see AMD server solutions as a good alternative, rather than just a cheaper alternative."
The new Opterons arrive during an unusually good spell for AMD. HP will this week launch its first Athlon 64-based PC, boosting the popularity of the processor among other manufacturers.
Sun, which manufactures the Sparc family of workstation and server processors, has also announced that it will build a range of Opteron-based servers.
Vernon Turner, group vice president of IDC's global enterprise server solutions, said: "IT managers may be finding themselves at a crossroads of technology options.
"The AMD Opteron processor can offer a unified platform for servers at every position in the data centre, from print servers to database management, and can do so with both price and performance leadership."
The Opteron 248 is shipping immediately at $913, while the 148 and 848 are due next month, priced respectively at $733 and $3,199 in 1,000-unit quantities.
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