A Breakdown of AMD’s Processor Numbering

A while back, we took a look at Intel’s Xeon processor numbering scheme to get a better idea of how their server CPUs are identified.  Intel, however, is not the only server processor manufacturer on the block.  Its direct competitor, AMD, has a server line called Opteron processors.

According to AMD’s specifications, every processor in the third generation of the Opteron server line follows the same four-digit model numbering system (ZYXX).

Z refers to the product series.

  • 1000 Series is for 1-way servers
  • 2000 Series is for 2-way servers and workstations
  • 8000 Series is for up to 8-way servers and workstations

Y determines the type of processor in the series

  • Z2XX is the Dual-Core
  • Z3XX is for the Quad-Core
  • Z4XX is for the Six-Core
  • Z1XX are Six, Eight, and Twelve-Core processors

XX specifies the performance of the processor compared to others in the series. For example, the Opteron 8439 will out-perform the 8431.

FInally, the product suffix reveals more information about the processor:

  • SE is “performance optimized”, high-power processor
  • no suffix means that it is a normal power processor
  • HE is a low-powered processor
  • EE is the lowest power possible

Like Intel’s scheme, the numbering can sometimes get pretty confusing.  For example, the 2400 and 8400 series are both codenamed “Instanbul” with six core processors.  On the other hand the 4100 series, codenamed “Lisbon”, has both quad core and six core processors.  Since the numbering of product series does not seem to be in any particular order, and the number of cores and clock speeds vary across all series, you really have to look at actual performance rankings and benchmarks to know which processors are the best.