The HP xw460c is geared for users in the computer-aided design field.
Hewlett-Packard is beefing up its blade workstation offering by adding more
choices of Intel quad- and dual-core processors as well as Nvidia graphics.
The ProLiant xw460c Blade Workstation is specifically geared toward the MCAD
(mechanical computer-aided design) market, which requires a powerful computing
system to render 2-D and 3-D graphics and to support the types of applications
needed by users.
The updated blade workstation can support one or two Intel Xeon processors.
HP is offering the choice of quad-core Xeons from the 45-nanometer family, with
clock speeds running from 2GHz to 3.16GHz, and older dual- and quad-core Xeon
models from the 65-nm line with clock speeds ranging from 3GHz on the high end
to 1.6GHz on the lower end.
The OEM is also offering a choice of the newer Nvidia Quadro FX1600M
graphics processor and the Quadro FX560M graphics chip. The system uses an
Intel 5000P chip set.
Blades continue to be the hot part of the server market. In
February, IDC found that blades generated about $1.2 billion
in revenue for
vendors during the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of more than 54 percent
year-over-year. Of the major vendors, HP and IBM continue to dominate this
slice of the market, controlling about 75 percent of the revenue combined.
IBM also has a competing blade
workstation product-the HC10-although it uses older Xeon processors and offers
less memory: 8GB of DDR (double data rate),
compared with the 32GB that HP packed into the xw460c.
In addition to the hardware features, HP is offering its Remote Graphics
Software, which allows for better graphics capabilities and will let users tap
into the blade from a remote location through a network connection.
The system also supports a number of operating systems, including Microsoft
Windows and Red Hat Linux. In
addition, HP has certified the blade to support a number of computer-aided
design applications, such as CATIA, Siemens UGS NX, PTC
Pro/ENGINEER, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks and MicroStation.