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Dell, HP and IBM hitch a ride to Intel's dual-core kegger in Paxville

Sweet Xeon party, ya'll

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At long last, Intel has delivered a dual-core Xeon processor and moved a step closer to matching rival AMD's Opteron chip. That's great news for Intel's largest server processor customers, particularly Dell which has loafed along without dual-core chip powered gear. Even though they have Opteron systems, HP and IBM benefit from Paxville's release too as they have large Xeon server franchises to protect and sell into. Here's a look at some of the Paxville-based servers announced by these vendors.

Dell - the only other member of the Brotherhood of Single-Core Chips - actually announced its Paxville-based gear back in September. As a reward for its loyalty, Dell received the go ahead from Intel to reveal dual-core Xeon systems before HP and IBM. It pays to be last it would seem. Sort of.

Dell has been taking orders for the PowerEdge 1850, 1855, 2800 and 2850 servers since that September announcement. So, that's dual-core goodness stretching from the 1850 and 1855 blades on up to the 2U 2850 box. In addition, Dell has slotted the dual-core Xeon into its Precision 470 and 670 workstations. Feast your eyes on Dell's multicore embrace here.

HP reckons customers could see up to a 44 per cent speed boost on certain applications by using its new Paxville-based servers. First out of the gate will be the two-processor ProLiant DL380 followed by the four-processor ProLiant ML570 and DL580 servers. All systems should ship "within the next 60 days," which is the same timeframe Intel has given for delivery of its dual-core Paxville MP chip. The DL380 starts at approximately $4,200, the DL580 at $7,000 and the ML570 at $6,000, HP said.

As mentioned, HP already sells two and four-processor servers based on AMD's Opteron chip. More information on all the ProLiant gear is available here.

If being Big and Blue is your thing, then be on the look out for the xSeries 346 box, which arrives in late October. This 2U server will ship with two of the new Xeon chips, 2GB of memory, an Ultra320 controller, hot-swap fans, a systems-management processor, four PCI/PCI-X slots, eight drive bays and a partridge in a pear tree.

IBM is also expected to put a bit of Paxville in the 1U x336 box, but we've yet to receive official word on that. So, for now, you're looking here.

Even Intel admitted that interest in Paxville won't be as strong as it will be for more sophisticated dual-core chips arriving in 2006. Intel really just managed to combine two single-core chips using a MCM (multi-chip module) with Paxville. Future designs, will have the two cores rubbing up against each other in a speedy embrace.

Most server customers will likely stay on the Opteron bandwagon for now and wait to see what this future Intel gear looks like. ®

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