Yesterday, we bumped onto an interesting auction on eBay, courtesy of X-Bit Labs. Ebay Seller Oakville Mehlville Computers initiated an auction where they were selling no less than four Magny-Cours Opterons clocked at 2.2 GHz each. These were no engineering samples – but rather your everyday retail Opterons, with the regular markings.

Four trayed AMD Opteron 6174 processors - 48 processing cores at your viewing pleasureGiven that AMD started selling these processors, we were not surprised to see them trickling out onto eBay.

However, the seller didn’t count that Opteron processors weren’t all that popular, since the price tag of $7,000 with an $7,700 Buy-it-Now option did not attracted any customers, sans the 10,000 readers of different technology websites. AMD also did not cry foul and that the auction ended without any buyers, we dug some more and found interesting facts.
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The seller, Oakville Mehlville Computers purchased several Opteron 6174 processors through regular channels and started building systems with those processors. The company operates an eBay store, where you can purchase various servers and workstations. In case of Opteron 6174, the company is not just selling the Magny-Cours Opterons themselves. You can also purchase a whole workstation computer built around four Opteron 6174s.

$20,000 AMD Opteron 48-core Workstation: Tyan VX50 case, 4x Opty 6174, 64GB DDR3-1333 and many more.
$20,000 AMD Opteron 48-core Workstation: Tyan VX50 case, 4x Opty 6174, 64GB DDR3-1333 and many more.

As you can see in the image above,the system comes with 48 CPU cores, a Tyan S8812 motherboard, 64GB of DDR3-1333 memory connected via 1024-bit bus [256-bit per CPU] for a grand total of 136.49 GB/s of memory bandwidth [1024-byte times 1333]. You can put up to 256GB of DDR3 memory, since every CPU socket comes with eight DIMM slots. The system also features 2+1 Redundant Power Supply with a supplemental Power Supply Module for Graphics cards.

Naturally, this kind of performance comes at a cost, which is a nice rounded figure of twenty grand. That’s right, $20,000 gets you either a Ford Mustang or a 48-core monster.

Update #1: February 19, 2010 12:05 UTC - The auction may have ended, but according to Oakville Mehlville Computers, German customer ordered the processors for the sum of $8,000 – $300 more than Buy it Now price.