AMD is introducing a new Opteron this week, hoping to offer a low-power chip that is attractive to the enterprise for dense server computing. The newest Opteron EE is based on a 45nm process, and promises a power consumption of a mere 40 watts, replacing the existing Opteron HE as the most power-efficient server CPU AMD offers. The new quad-core parts will be available with clock speeds of 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz, which is decent but not impressive. The chip vendor commented specifically on the performance aspect of the new Opteron EE, indicating that they feel the enterprise highly values power savings, adding that their 45nm Opterons represent the “best of both worlds” in terms of performance per watt.

AMD pitches the 40-watt unit as ideal for cloud computing environments where many CPUs may share a small amount of space. They also claim that compared to the HE, the EE will reduce power consumption by upwards of 14% when idle, helping reduce the amount of power wasted.