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Dell ends four-way, dual-core chip boycott

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At long last, Dell can now go head-to-head with its main competitors and offer a four-way server that uses dual-core chips.

Dell piggybacked on Intel's announcement today of the Xeon MP processor 7000 to say that its PowerEdge 6800 and 6850 servers are dual-core ready. The quad-socket boxes perform up to 51 per cent better with the dual-core chips than Dell's same systems running on Intel's single-core Xeon. The systems allow Dell to match dual-core Opteron-based products from HP, Sun Microsystems and IBM that have been on the market since April.

Dell's Intel-only policy had made it somewhat of a laughing stock in the server market. The hardware maker was forced to wait for its close partner to rush out a dual-core product that could compete with Opteron. However, the Xeon MP processor 7000 uses a clunky multi-chip module to integrate two single core chips per package instead of placing two cores on a single piece of silicon as AMD does with the dual-core Opteron. In 2006, Intel will deliver a more elegant dual-core Xeon line when it releases its first chips that integrate two cores per silicon die using a 65 nanometer process.

During a conference call today, Dell executives reminded the press that the new servers are great for running Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 database. So there you have it. ®

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