The AMD® Opteron DP™ cpu has that feel of a fast cpu. It was a pity that the 64 bit version of Windows.Net RC1 that I had didn't recognise the Opteron as a 64bit cpu. Some will use a 64bit version of linux but many will want to see an offering from Microsoft. It was a shame we couldnt spend longer with the board and run a full suite of benchmarks and tests on the board. We had the same problem a lot of the target market will have, that is finding software that takes advantage of the 64bit cores.
The board and Opteron's in general are also in a strange market. Without the usual AGP we cant see it used for grapic design or high end workstation use. You would have a problem squeezing it into a 1RU rack for the high density server markets which leaves us small / midsize businesses and SOHO markets. This is one area where AMD and MSI can really make a differance. The pricing on the Opterons very good compared to the Intel XEON offerings but the higher end marketplace is dominated to such a degree by Intel that a lot of vendors wont even look at AMD as an option let alone get it to the end users in any sort of numbers. This leaves the middle ground for AMD to increase its market share in and with this board MSI have a rock solid offering, plenty of power plus the advantage of 64bit processing to futureproof the purchase. It will be interesting to see over the next few months what software is released and what support AMD gets from retailers to assist in promoting the higher end server platforms. Personally i think both the Opteron and up and coming Athlon64 will be very popular but AMD needs to ensure good software support and lots of titles to get the ball rolling.
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