Intel, AMD Unleash New Wares Page 2

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Feb 15, 2005

Big Blue on Board

Server vendors like IBM and HP have been eager to embrace both processor families. Big Blue, for example, is recasting five of its xSeries servers with technology from the new Xeon DP, taking advantage of the new chip's 2 MB of Level 2 cache.

By the end of the month, eServer xSeries systems x226, x236, x336, and x346, as well as BladeCenter HS20, will contain the new Xeon chip.

Stuart McRae, manager of IBM eServer xSeries, said the doubled cache will lend a performance boost of 18 percent to IBM servers. Moreover, he said the upgraded servers leverage two new utilities in the chip, Demand Based Switching (DBS) and Execute Disable Bit (XD).

DBS helps the new Xeon better manage processing power to reduce cooling costs in the datacenter. For example, if an application requires less power at night, DBS will automatically lower the power utilization of the application to pare power consumption and costs. XD offers virus protection from buffer overflow system security and worm attacks.

Likewise, IBM (which was the first major OEM to sell Opteron-based servers) said its A-Pro IntelliStation and the IBM e326 has been designed to support the AMD dual-core specification. IBM also said Opteron is being used with eServer technology, like Xtended Design architecture, to meet customers' performance-per-watt needs.

HP: Options in Parallel

HP is also covering its bases with support for both new Xeon and Opteron chips. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said it will offer a Opteron-based rackmount server and two new blade servers for its BladeSystem. Even though their pin counts are different, HP's new Opteron BL25p and BL35p blades are similar in design to its current portfolio of Xeon-based BL20p and BL30p blades, and enterprises can intermingle the Xeon- and Opteron-based blades within the chassis, as the system is "chip-nogstic," Paul Miller, vice president of marketing, Industry Standard Servers and BladeSystems, told ServerWatch.

The DL385 is the Opteron counterpart of the popular DL380. It joins the DL585 and DL185, which were released last year to mirror their respective DL580 and DL180 Intel counterparts.

Miller emphasizes HP is seeking, growth, not cannibalization to its server line, in offering the parallel options. It is also responding to customer demand. The DL385, for example, was born out of customers wanting the DL380's functionality with Opteron performance capabilities.

The servers are scheduled to be available by the end of March. The BL25p will be priced starting at $3,399, the HP ProLiant BL35p will start at $2,899, and the HP ProLiant DL385 will start at $2,899.

One-Chip Shops

Sun and Dell remain in the one-chip category, however.

Sun, which is reportedly selling more Opteron systems than anyone else, said it will configure its Sun Java Workstation W1100z, Sun Java Workstation W2100z, the 2-way Sun Fire V20z server and the 4-way Sun Fire V40z server to handle the newest AMD Opteron processors.

Dell meantime continues to be an Intel-only shop. Intel said the Round Rock, Texas-based company will offer a series of servers based on the new Xeon. AMD confirmed Dell is still kicking Opteron's tires but will not be releasing any server products based on AMD chips at this time.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com. It has been modified to appear on ServerWatch.

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