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Intel readies Xeon E5 mobo assault

CPU, chipset, networking, motherboard – complete

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Just give me the whole box, Intel

If you want Intel to supply the whole server or workstation, that will also be an option. Here are three new platforms that Intel plans to deliver:

Intel Xeon E5 whiteboxes

Intel Xeon E5 white box servers and workstations (click to enlarge)

The Bobcat Peak Server System H2000 box looks like a 2U box sporting four half-width Xeon E5 Jefferson Pass or Washington Pass boards, while the Server System R2000 looks like a 2U rack server designed for the Grizzly Pass fat memory board. The Union Peak pedestal can be used for two-socket servers or workstations.

The problem with Intel supplying the processors, the chipsets and the motherboards as a complete stack, is that IT vendors and their customers are right back to having a single source for the key components in their systems. If Intel screws up a chipset, then it holds up the processor and motherboard launch, as happened with the Sandy Bridge-DT Xeon E3 launch earlier this year when the SAS controller in the C200 chipset had some issues and had to be redesigned.

That's a problem for customers. But what seems clear is that Intel, which wants more of the systems revenue pie, is working to get customers to not only use its chips and chipsets, but also its motherboards. And unless and until someone else starts making chipsets for Intel and AMD x86 server chips – Nvidia and Broadcom have exited this biz – you can bet that Intel will start seeing more and more server makers adopting its boards. That's how Appro International got so many Xeon E5 systems on the Top 500 list this time around. Appro moved to Intel mobos, and got moved to the front of the Xeon E5 line. ®

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