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IBM's New eServer Supports AMD Dual-Core

By Jim Wagner (Send Email)
Posted Sep 10, 2004


IBM is looking to get a leg up on the competition with the October 15 launch of eServer 326, a rack-mounted server that supports AMD's upcoming dual-core 64-bit processor. Although AMD's Opteron dual-processor chip is months away, Big Blue is getting companies ready with a beefed-up eServer 325 called the eServer 326.

Though the AMD Opteron chip isn't due to hit the market until some time in mid-2005, the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant is positioning to protect its market share in the AMD server sector.

"Having the first product delivered to the market, designed for that specification, gives us a time-to-market advantage and really builds on all the firsts we've had in the AMD market," said Stuart McRae, IBM's eServer xSeries marketing manager.

The eServer 326 replaces the eServer 325, IBM's first Opteron server based on a single 64-bit, x86 processor. In addition to supporting the dual-core processor, the eServer 326 gets a RAM upgrade with 8 DIMM slots and support for up to 16 GB of PC3200/2700 DDR1 memory.

It also features two PCI-X slots for 64 MHz/133 MHz/100MHz frequencies and two U320 high-speed SCSI or fixed SATA hard drives.

When the eServer 326 ships next month, it will have on board the single-core AMD Opteron chip. Once AMD releases its dual-core chip, customers will be able to swap the old with the new and, officials hope, continue without a hitch.

Equally important, according to McRae, are the Calibrated Vectored Cooling features, which are especially critical in a server environment with dual-core processing. Single-core silicon chip development was beginning to reach the point where heat dissipation and power consumption were losing ground to meet the demand for more processing cycles, which prompted AMD's dual-core strategy.

The eServer 326 is the first two-way server to incorporate the company's Xtended Design Architectures (XDA), what IBM calls "mainframe-inspired features" for its server line. Its trying to bring is the demanding computational powers of the mainframe and squeeze it into a box. In addition to the new cooling scheme, IBM designers built high-speed input/output, integrated RAID and system management capabilities into its XDA.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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