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Dell is selling its servers and workstations with Intel's Quad-Core Xeon processors on board.

The company is the first to announce availability of the new processors which become an option for all ranges currently offering Intel dual-core processors.

There are two processor versions available, the 1.6 GHz E5310 at £470 and the 1.8GHz E5320 for £610. The chips, developed under the codename Clovertown, cover the lower ranges of the quad-cores detailed by Intel, and the faster 2.33GHz and 2.66GHz processors may not be available in quantity until 2007.

Pin compatibility means the dual processor servers are available with either duo or quad configurations. It also means that Dell's lead will be short-lived.

The workstations will appear soon after the servers, Dell said, but the higher performance versions using Quad-Core Extreme chips will probably not be available until early next year.

The PowerEdge servers now available with Quad-Core Xeons are models 1900, 1950, 1955, 2900, 2950 and SC1430, and the 1955 blade.

At a press conference in Barcelona, Eric Velfre, director of enterprise marketing for Dell EMEA, claimed the new server options offer up to 1.6 times the performance of equivalent dual core systems and offer more bang for your buck with a performance per watt increase of up to 1.4 times.

The quad announcement accompanied the release of dual-core AMD servers. Velfre said this fully justifies Dell's recent decision to add AMD as a supplier allowing Dell to offer its customers choice and the best performance and pricing to suit their needs.

He added that when AMD delivers its own quad-core processors in Q2 of next year, the technology would become the mainstream technology in the server.

A base configuration of the SC1430 server without operating system and VAT costs £839 and at the high end the basic price of the 2950 is £1,379. ®

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