IBM, HP to Embrace Xeon Dual-Core

Following in the footsteps of Dell, IBM and HP next week will release servers fitted with Intel’s Xeon dual-core chip, according to information obtained by
Code-named Paxville, the chip has two processing engines, or cores, to pack more power onto a single wafer without boosting power consumption. Intel will sell Paxville chips for servers with dual processors and machines with four or more processors.

IBM said in an e-mail it would issue versions of its xSeries 336 and xSeries 346 systems with the speedy, 2.8Ghz Intel chip, whose release was accelerated by several months to help Intel keep up with dual-core Opteron chips from rival AMD. “Dual-core enables significant performance increases, and IBM intends to continue to lead the server industry in performance,” IBM said in a statement.

The x336 and x346 systems feature Big Blue’s calibrated vectored cooling technology to cut down on power consumption, as well as virtualization utilities previously only available in the high-performance computing space. The machines were hatched under the auspices of IBM’s Xtended Design Architecture (XDA), a “mainframe-inspired” package that extends the capabilities of IBM’s current X-Architecture to the 64-bit environment. XDA is geared to help 32-bit and 64-bit systems access larger amounts of memory and provide more processing punch.

The x346 will ship with Paxville in mid-October, and the x336 will follow in November, according to IBM.

HP is being less specific about its new dual-core Paxville machines, though the company did say in a statement the ProLiant machines would “deliver optimal performance to customers.”

IBM and HP’s dual-core upgrades come on the heels of Dell’s recent Paxville revelation.

Last week, the computer maker released versions of its PowerEdge dual-core servers with two sockets, a multi-core approach that offers over 50 percent more performance than its single-socket, dual-core predecessors.

Dual-core has been all the rage since AMD trotted out its Opteron chips last April, offering better performance and energy conservation on the same footprint as a single chip. Intel was originally slated to bring Paxville to the market in 2006 but sped up its plans to counter AMD’s rapid market traction in the dual-core space.

While Dell is sticking with Intel for now, both IBM and HP offer servers with both AMD and Intel dual-core technology.

IBM’S dual-core Opteron offerings include the Opteron-based e326 server, the AMD Opteron LS20 for IBM BladeCenter and the IntelliStation A-Pro workstation. HP sells the ProLiant BL25p, BL35p anf DL385 blade servers and the HP xw9300 workstation based on the Opteron 200 dual-core processor.


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