Hewlett-Packard is revamping its workstation product line to include support for Advanced Micro Devices latest quad-core Opteron processor, formerly called "Shanghai."
While there are a number of system vendors, including HP, that have lined up to support the new AMD Opteron processor with new or revamped servers, HP is the first vendor to roll out a workstation - the HP xw9400 - that uses the new 45-nanometer microprocessor.
In the past year, HP has shown a willingness to take a chance on new AMD microprocessors even after the chip maker reported silicon problems with the original 65-nm, quad-core Opteron for servers and the Phenom chip for desktops. In January, HP launched a consumer desktop that made use of the AMD Phenom chip and in March, HP followed with one of the first server systems - the eight-socket ProLiant DL785 G5 - that took advantage of the original, quad-core Opteron.
In addition to offering older dual- and quad-core AMD Opteron processors, HP is offering several of the newer, quad-core Opteron chips with the xw9400 workstation, including the Opteron 2376 (2.3GHz), the Opteron 2378 (2.4GHz), the Opteron 2380 (2.5GHz) and the Opteron 2384 (2.7GHz).
In addition to AMD Opteron processors, the HP xw9400 offers a choice of two Nvidia chip sets, including the nForce Professional 3600 and the nForce Pro 3050.
The workstation also offers a number of discrete graphics options from Nvidia. These options include support for two Nvidia Quadro NVS 290 graphics cards on the low-end to a pair of high-end Nvidia Quadro FX5600 graphics cards.
The HP xw9400 supports up to 64GB of DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory and offers up to five SATA (serial ATA) hard disk drives that offer up to 5TB of data storage or five SAS (serial attached SCSI) drives that offer up to 1.5TB of storage.
The HP xw9400 also includes a total of seven PCI slots, including PCIe x16 slots.
The starting price for the HP xw9400 is $2,303, according to the company.