AMD brings power capping to new 45nm Opteron line

PowerCap Manager lets admins save energy by setting limits on processor speed and voltage

With the announcement of two new quad-core 45nm Opteron processors this week, AMD revealed an interesting power-saving features called PowerCap Manager.

PowerCap Manager will allow admins to set predefined maximum limits for the processor's clock speed and voltage, via the BIOS, resulting in reduced energy consumption. "Because many workloads tend to be spiky in nature, the need to run at the highest clock speed is often only for a cycle or two. Power capping helps smooth out the peaks and can help maintain a better overall average power," writes John Fruehe, director of business development for server/workstation products at AMD.

The feature can reduce server processor power by as much as 63 percent, according to Fruehe.

[ Companies have already introduced power-capping features for servers in their systems management software. Read more IBM's and HP's respective offerings. ]

Additionally, AMD announced that it's extending its CoolCore technology, which lets admins turn off unused portions of the processors, to include the L3 cache, Fruehe writes.