Rackable Takes Chance on AMD's Quad-Core Opteron

The company also has plans for several new systems that use Intel's 45-nm Xeon processors.

Rackable Systems, best known for its high-density, x86 servers and storage products, is preparing to roll out several new systems that use Advanced Micro Devices' quad-core Opteron processors.

The company announced Jan. 10 that it will add a number of different Opteron processors to its line of Eco-Logical 1U (1.75-inch) systems. Rackable also plans to add several of Intel's 45-nanometer Xeon processors into its portfolio.

While not on the same level as Hewlett-Packard or IBM, the fact that Rackable is going ahead with a quad-core, Opteron-based system is welcome news for AMD, which is looking to bounce back after a series of missteps in bringing the much-talked-about chip to market in 2007. At a meeting with financial analysts in New York City in December, AMD executives announced that all the technical problems with the chips had been resolved and they would begin shipping processors in volume in the first quarter of this year.

Systems from the larger OEMs are expected in the second quarter.

The new systems from Rackable are all part of the company's line of half-depth servers, which measure 15.5-inches in depth. The systems are most prominently used in Rackable's ICE (Integrated Concentro Environment) Cube, a mobile data center that debuted at the 2007 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The 11 new systems from Rackable offer a choice of one 3.5-inch or two 2.5-inch hot swappable SAS (serial attached SCSI) or SATA II (serial ATA II) hard disk drives. The new severs can be configured with up to 64GB of memory and up to 2TB of capacity.

The Intel-based systems will use an Intel 5000P chip set and support several processors from the new line of Xeon 5400 series, which are the chip maker's new 45-nanometer processors that offer clock speeds up to 3.2GHz.

The AMD-based servers will use Nvidia's nForce 2200 or 3600 chips sets. The systems will use quad-core Opteron chips from the 2300 series, which have clock speeds that top out at 2.0GHz.

All the news Rackable systems can support either one or two processors, for up to eight cores per server.