RealTime IT News

Paxville Servers Rest on X3

IBM on Monday announced an addition to its xSeries of servers, the first built on Intel's new dual-core Xeon processor code-named Paxville MP.

The new IBM xSeries 460 starts as a four-way server starting at $20,999. It can be scaled up to a 32-way SMP system in an eight-chassis configuration.

Like other dual-core processors, such as AMD's Operton, Paxville has two processing engines, or cores, to pack more power onto a single silicon wafer without boosting power consumption.

Big Blue is also announcing the new dual-core four processor xSeries 366 starting at $9,999. IBM said the new systems are designed for enterprise level applications and server consolidation using virtualization software such as VMWare.

IBM is using its many years of experience and expertise in mainframe and other system technology to beef up performance in the already high-powered machines.

"We use our own memory controller with its own cache latency, which is different than the off-the-shelf Intel chipsets our competitors use," Jay Betzman, director of IBM eServer xSeries products told internetnews.com.

While a different technology than IBM's, AMD also claims a performance advantage with its direct connection to memory versus standard Intel processors that use a slower frontside bus to connect to memory.

The new xSeries Paxville-based servers were designed using IBM's X3 architecture unveiled earlier this year. IBM said at its release that the X3 architecture is the culmination of a three-year, $100 million development effort to bring mainframe-like technologies down to IBM servers based on 64-bit Intel chips.

"No one else made the investment, the same bet we did," said Betzman. "Other vendors with Intel x64 systems and Intel-supplied chipsets draw the line at four processors."

IBM was among the first vendors to announce systems based on standard dual-core Xeon processors earlier this month along with HP and Dell. The IBM xSeries 346 and 336 systems are based on the first dual-core Paxville DP from Intel.

Like HP, IBM also sells systems based on AMD's dual-core Opteron processor. In fact, though AMD rightly touts its accomplishment in being the first to deliver a dual-core processor for servers earlier this year, IBM shipped its first dual-core processor, the Power4 based on two of its 64-bit PowerPC cores, back in 2001.

Intel wasn't first but has certainly found the multi-core religion. In August, the chip giant said it has 17 multi-core projects under development and expects more than 85 percent of its server volume by the end of next year to be multi-core processors.