It surely hasn't escaped anyone's attention that motherboards based on AMD's G34 socket and Opteron 6100 processors are, putting it mildly, a bit scarce. In fact it looks like they've disappeared completely.
So what happened?
It all seemed promising enough, when AMD announced an impressive line-up of 8 and 12 core behemoths, providing formidable computing power, but at a low price and (perhaps even more importantly these days) low power consumption. Motherboard and server manufacturers lined up to offer support for this new platform, followed by a flurry of enthusiastic articles in the Tech Press, and some (including ASUS, Tyan and Supermicro) even released actual products.
But try to actually buy one of these mythical motherboards, and you're likely to come up empty handed, certainly here in the UK.
Believe me, I tried, I really did, but it soon became clear I was on a wild goose chase. The only board I could even find advertised was the ASUS KGPE-D16, but that seemed little more than wishful thinking by the retailers, as none of them appear to have ever had any in stock, and none I contacted could even provide a lead time.
It doesn't make any sense.
AMD have a clear run at the server market, and at the market in general, now their arch rival Intel has been prosecuted for bribing OEMs to exclude AMD technology. We're still deeply entrenched in the worst recession since the Great Depression, so companies are more budget conscious than ever. They need high performance, low energy, low cost computing solutions, and the G34 platform is it.
So why is no manufacturer actually delivering this solution?
It surely can't be a lack of demand, given the circumstances. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Intel was breaking the terms of its agreement with the FTC. The idea that no one is buying G34 systems, therefore no one wants to manufacture or retail them, is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy, and just sounds like a rather lame excuse for some ulterior motive. How exactly is anyone supposed to buy these boards, if no one makes (or delivers) them? The words chicken and egg come to mind.
Where's the hard marketing data that proves nobody wants this platform? Show me that, and I might just start to believe there's some substance to the claim ... if that is indeed the claim, as no one seems to be saying much at all on the subject - except me, of course. That fact, in itself, seems rather odd, don't you think?