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Intel updates Xeon MP

Mar 11, 20042 mins

* Intel releases souped-up Xeon MP for multi-processor servers

Intel last week refreshed its Xeon MP processor line by adding a chip that runs at 3 GHz and includes 4M bytes of cache.

Codenamed Gallatin, the chip has twice the cache and operates as much as 25% faster than its predecessor. The previous Gallatin was unveiled in November 2002.

Intel will also launch 2.7-GHz and 2.2-GHz versions of the chip that will have 2M bytes of L3 cache. A large amount of L3 cache is necessary to increase the performance of transaction-intensive applications.

This version of Gallatin, however, does not include Intel’s recently announced 64-bit extension technology. A chip with this capability is planned for the next version of the Xeon MP, which is codenamed Potomac.

Among the companies planning servers based on the new chip is Unisys, which will update its mid-range ES7000 servers. The ES700 will have either two or four Xeon MP processors and is expected to ship next month.

HP presently ships five servers that use the chip. They are the four-processor ML570, DL560 and DL580, and the eight-processor DL740 and DL760. The ML570 starts at $5,800; the DL560 starts at $5,900; and, the DL580 starts at $7,220. For HP’s eight-processor servers, the DL740 starts at $19,800; the DL760 starts at $26,300. All are available now.

IBM is using the chip in the xSeries 255, 365 and 445 systems, as well as its HS40 blade servers. A two-processor IBM server containing the chip starts at $7,360.

Dell is putting the chip in its PowerEdge 6650 and 6600 servers.

Intel this summer is planning to debut a version of Xeon codenamed Nocona that will contain the 64-bit extension technology.

While servers that use x86 chips have about 90% of the market, revenue from x86 servers only represent half of total server revenue.