Server vendors queue up behind Intel's new processor

The promise of smaller, higher-speed cache memory processors has server makers lining up behind Intel Corp.'s new Gallatin chip.

The 2-GHz servers from Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and others will be aimed at customers who need to crunch CRM, database and other large-scale applications. The company also will announce that an eight-processor ProLiant DL760 will be available in the first quarter of 2003. Unisys also is expected to ship 32-processor ES7000 Gallatin-based servers in the first quarter.

The Gallatin processor, formally called the Intel Xeon Processor MP, has been incorporated into HP's four-processor ProLiant ML570 server. Dell is expected to announce that its PowerEdge 6600 and 6650 servers have been upgraded to Gallatin. And IBM is expected to announce that three of its xSeries servers - the x225, x360 and x440 - will contain the processors.

Intel says the Xeon Processor MP is as much as 38 percent faster than its dual-processor Xeon DP-enabled servers. The company says the processor owes its performance improvements to increased processor speeds, double the cache memory of the Xeon DP processor and a new manufacturing process that results in thin, and thus faster, connections between components. The Gallatin processor also lets hot-pluggable spare or mirrored memory be installed in the case of a failure.

As for the new boxes, HP's ML570 is a four-processor 1.4-GHz server, with hot-pluggable mirrored memory and seven PCI-X slots. It starts at US$6,920 and is available now.

IBM's x255 four-processor server will start at $6,170; the four-processor x360 will start at $7,300; and the x440, which has four to eight processors, will start at $18,100. IBM expects the x255 and x440 servers, which support Linux and Microsoft Windows, to be available this month; the x360 should be available in December.

Dell's 6600 and 6650 units start at US$6,000.

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