Whos Adopting Xeon DP

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-10-10 Print this article Print

The Intel Xeon DP chip is expected to be widely adopted by server manufacturers, including Dell Inc., Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM. The companies will use the new chips to their marketing advantage by touting their extra computing power. Companies like Gateway, whose largest system now contains four single-core processors, will use the chips to extend their reach.
With dual-core chips on board, Gateway can seek out customers looking for boxes that can do the work of eight-processor servers, said Tim Diefenthaler, senior director of product marketing at Gateway.
Businesses are expected to take advantage of the new chips by buying dual-processor servers, for example, which will work like four-processor systems, but sell for prices closer to todays dual-processor, single-core systems. Dell, which has been eyeing the dual-core chips for some time, will be among the first to offer servers with them. It has already begun taking orders for several dual-core Xeon servers. Dell, which began gathering the orders in late September, said it would offer the dual-core chips on a mix of single and dual-socket PowerEdge servers, including PowerEdge 1850, 2800 and 2850 models, as well as its PowerEdge 1855 blade server and its Precision 470 and 670 workstations. Pricing for the servers starts at $2,448. They began shipping Monday, the company said. Click here to read more about why Dell dropped servers based on Intels Itanium 2 chip. Dell, along with companies like IBM, has already been selling dual-core Pentium D-based machines for small and midsize businesses. IBM will also be among the first to offer the new Xeons. It will get its start by offering the dual-core chip in two of its X Series server models. The Armonk, N.Y., computer giants two-socket x346, a 2U (3.5-inch) rack-mount server, will be its first to offer the dual-core Xeons at speeds of up to 2.8GHz. The machine, which can be configured with up to 2GB of RAM, dual-gigabit Ethernet links and a single hot-swap power supply, will start at $2,969—the same price as its single-core predecessor—a measure IBM has said it hopes will speed adoption of the dual-core chips. IBM will follow up by adding the dual-core Xeon to its two-socket X Series x336 server in November. Pricing and specs on the x336 will come as the shipping date gets closer, the company said. Still other server makers will join the fray in November. Gateway of Irvine, Calif., said it plans to ship a pair of servers based on the new dual-core Xeons at that time. The company will ship the two-socket E-9510T tower server and the E-9415R rack system armed with the dual-core Xeons. Its E-9510T server tower will offer two of the dual-core chips, along with up to six SATA (Serial ATA) drives or up to 10 SCSI drives, as well as redundant and hot-swap fans and power units. Its dual-processor, rack-mount E-9415R will offer up to three SATA or SCSI drives, and also have redundant power supplies, the company said. HP will put the dual-core Xeons in its ProLiant DL380, a dual-socket system that will ship in November. Later the same month, HP will start shipping the four-socket DL580 and ML570 systems with the dual-core Xeon chips. Both will have up to 64GB of memory support, the company said. Despite having a number of brand-name server makers signing on to offer its chips, Intel will still face competition from AMD, as many dual-core Opteron servers—some of which come from Sun Microsystems Inc. and others which are made by IBM and HP, which will also offer the dual-core Xeons—have already been on the market for months. Click here to read more about AMDs share of the server chip market. For its part, HP said the demands of the software its customers are running may well dictate the choice between Intel and AMD processors. HP has been pleased with the customer adoption of its Opteron-based ProLiants, particularly among those running massive back-end applications and working in high-performance computing. But the company said it expects to see a mix of demand for both platforms, as those customers who are concerned about processor cache sizes will gravitate to the Intel systems, while those more focused on memory latency will more likely adopt the AMD processor-based systems. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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