Online Store Selling AMD's 12-core Server Chip Before Launch

An online retailer is selling a 12-core Opteron server processor from Advanced Micro Devices ahead of the product's official launch by the chip company.

Server distributor Oakville Mehlville Computers is offering the 12-core Opteron processor code-named Magny-Cours on its eBay auction site. The chip is being offered for US$8,000 for instant purchase, and the retailer is also accepting bids starting at $7,000. The processor runs at 2.2GHz.

The distributor is also selling a four-socket server loaded with Magny-Cours processors for $20,000. The server contains four 12-core AMD Opteron 6174 chips that run at 2.2GHz, giving it a total of 48 processor cores. The system also includes 64GB of memory.

An AMD spokeswoman said in an e-mail that Magny-Cours chips are scheduled for launch this quarter. The company declined comment on the authenticity of the chip being sold by Oakville Mehlville.

However, the retailer has been selling products on eBay since 2005 with many satisfied customers, as evidenced by its 99.2 percent positive feedback rating. The retailer did not immediately respond to a phone call or e-mail for comment.

Magny-Cours doubles the core count on the existing server chip code-named Istanbul, which includes six processor cores. The 12-core processor was originally announced in 2008, and at the time AMD said it would include 12M bytes of L3 cache and support DDR3 memory.

The company hopes that doubling the core count on the chip will help servers handle larger workloads while cutting down on power consumption. The chips, which will be part of the Opteron 6000 product line, are expected to use roughly the same amount of power as existing six-core Istanbul chips. The processors will come in multiple variants, operating at different clock speeds and drawing different levels of power.

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