AMD's just revealed its quad-core Opteron chips manufactured with its new 45nm process. Based on the "Barcelona" chipset, the new "Shanghai" chips have a few extra tweaks: the L3 cache has risen from 2 to 6MB, giving it about 35% boosted power performance over the previous generation. The new chips also have better power management, meaning they can draw up to 35% less power under idle conditions, are compatible with DDR2-800 memory for faster memory accessing, and are backwards compatible with existing Socket-1207 mounting. These 75W server chips are out now, between 2.3 and 2.7 GHz clock speeds, and a desktop variety, dubbed "Dragon" is due early 2009. [AMD and PCWatch]
Seems like AMD is quietly cranking out some awesome CPUs again after their early Athlon 64 doldrums, meanwhile everyone appears to be focused what Intel does, as always. They've preserved their socket 1207 upgrade path, and once they hit the street, prices will become very attractive. Nice job AMD.
Even though this is about their server CPUs, their consumer line is also extremely competitive via the price/performance ratio. You can honestly get equivalent performance from AMD and save lots of money nowadays.
My only complaint with AMD is how long it has taken for their process to shrink down to 45nm and start saving power/heat. I think they've done a better job with their multi-core implementation too, though well behind Intel's timeline.