Not quite as exciting as the impending release of Barcelona, AMD offered at least a small tithing today, with the release of new dual-core Opterons. The Opteron 2222 SE and 8222 SE both run operate at 3GHz and sport 2MB of L2 cache. There's nothing particular noteworthy about these chips, which are still based on the older (but powerful) Opteron architecture. The release is timed with the four year anniversary of the Opteron, which really set them apart as a company able to truly compete with Intel. They've been losing that edge for a while now, though, and as such re-iterated their earlier claims of the new Barcelona core offering amazing performance.

While I'd take any benchmarks coming directly from a hardware manufacturer with a very large grain of salt, AMD has posted some promising information and performance specs for their upcoming quad-core line. They are claiming, and now have figures demonstrating their claim, that Barcelona will see performance gains as high as 20% to 50% over the Core 2, an impressive feat indeed - should it actually pan out.