The company ran a demo comparing the performance of two four-socket servers, one using the quad-core Barcelona chip and one using a dual-core Opteron chip. The demo measured the performance of the chips on an imaging benchmark called POV-Ray, ...
The quad-core chip processed about 4,000 pixels per second in rendering the image, while the dual-core chip could only hit around 2,000 pixels per second. Allen said Barcelona was not running at the fastest clock speed that will be available at launch, although he declined to specify the speeds that will be available... AMD did not test Barcelona's performance against one of Intel's quad-core Clovertown Xeon processors, but Allen said Barcelona "will be the highest-performing x86 chip out there. It will blow away Clovertown."
Remember the number: POV-Ray at 4000 for a 16-core 4S Barcelona config (4Sx4core).
To compare that number, check this Intel V8 Review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/intel-v8.html
Intel's 8-core Clovertown scores 4677 p/s in POV-Ray.
UPDATE: From Uberpulse: "Why do you need 16 cores, when you can do better with 8. Our 8 core system is 30% faster than the 16 core machine AMD showed to the press yesterday. I just don't understand how they can claim to be 40% faster", said Francois Piednoel, an Intel engineer present at the show.
It takes Intel half the number of cores to beat Barcelona! If this doesn't spell disaster for AMD, I'm not sure what. Forget about competing with Intel. I just hope that AMD releases Barcelona soon enough to at earn at least something to pay for the bancruptcy fees.