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Vendors Rally Around Dual-Core Page 2

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Apr 25, 2005


IBM

IBM's zeal for selling dual-core Opteron is tempered by Big Blue's desire to sell its own POWER 5 chips. But the company said it is strategically committed to AMD's 200-series for its IBM eServer and IntelliStation product lines.

The computer giant will begin shipping a new A Pro 6217 IntelliStation in June starting at $3,259. The workstation, based on the Opteron 275, features the next generation of PCI Express, x16 2D/3D graphics from Nvidia and 3Dlabs with dual-display support for up to four-cores per system and up to 16GB PC3200 error correction code memory.

IBM also announced that the IBM eServer 326 high performance 1U server line would be expanded to include AMD Opteron dual-core processors in May.

"When a customer is asking for more power and performance more often than not they are asking for improvements to the CPU and the memory," Susan Davi, Worldwide product manager, IntelliStation A Pro at IBM, told internetnews.com.

One of those customers is Santa Monica-based Luminetik Animation Studios, a 3D Animation and Visual Effects House best known for its anime star Akiko Ashley.

HP

HP is offering up the largest amount of Opteron-based servers, including three different blade servers, three ProLiant DL products, and a workstation.

The company has the incentive to keep a healthy stock of AMD products. Dell remains the number one vendor for x86 servers, even though IDC's latest Server Tracker stats show HP sells more Opteron-based servers by volume than the rest of the pack.

To keep the heat on Dell and the others, HP is launching its 4-processor BL45p blade ($6,999) and 4-processor DL585 ($9,999) server. The DL585 now supports 1.8 GHz and 2.2 GHz dual-core processors, 1GHz HyperTransport, and PC2700 and PC3200 memory. The server is also catching the eye of HP partner DreamWorks. The BL45p server features SAN storage capability, 32-GB memory capacity and four gigabit NICs standard with optional Fibre Channel support.

Steve Cummings, group manager ProLiant Opteron, told internetnews.com HP is structuring its pricing for the new systems so that the lowest bin dual-core is the same price as the company's fastest single core server.

"You don't always have a chance to create a new market category, and we're now going to do it for a second time," he said. "First is our adoption of Opteron, and now we are reclassifying the market transition to 4-way off of 8-way servers."

HP said the next phase is to launch its Opteron 200-series ProLiant BL25p, BL35p, DL385, and the HP xw9300 workstation with dual-core technologies starting in May. The workstation features the NVIDIA nForce Professional chipset.

Sun

Sun is taking the quick and easy route when it comes to its transition to dual-core Opteron.

The company said it would transition its entire x64 product line to the new architecture starting with its Sun Fire V40z server. The current V40z ships with a single-core Opteron but easily becomes a dual-core machine after a chip replacement and an upgrade to the driver. Sun said its dual-core Opteron would be available in May.

Sun said customers will also be able to purchase an 8-way server equipped with the dual-core AMD Opteron processor Model 875 and 16 GB of memory for about the same price as a 4-way server powered with the single-core Opteron processor Model 850 when it was first introduced last year, for $38,995.

Graham Lovell, a product marketing director with Sun, said the vendor prefers to ship its V40z with Solaris 10, but the server can be partitioned to run Windows and Linux as well.

"Where that alignment occurs is where you'll see us shine," Lovell said.

Sun is also looking to capitalize on the growing momentum in hardware and software virtualization. AMD plans to offer its Pacifica virtualization technology in 2006. Lovell said Sun is looking to match that advantage with Solaris features like Containers, Predictive Self Healing, and Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) as well as using open source plug-ins like Xen.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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