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Dell, Wintel Join in Dual-Core Launch

Dell today unveiled its new four-way PowerEdge servers, which are powered by the new dual-core, Intel Xeon 7000 (code-named Paxville) MP chips and (hot-off-the-coding board) SQL Server 2005 from Microsoft.

The launch came during a media call staged by longtime partners Dell , Intel and Microsoft to showcase servers running the latest database software and dual-core chips from the world's top software maker and chipmaker.

Neil Hand, vice president of enterprise worldwide marketing for Dell's server line, said the PowerEdge 6800 and 6850 quad-socket servers can offer up to a 51 percent performance increase in computing workloads.

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

Hand also said the new machines are ideal for customers concerned about balancing performance demands with power consumption. For example, the Paxville dual-core processors can increase the total performance per watt of the new PowerEdge servers by up to 43 percent.

Moreover, PowerEdge 6800 and 6850 servers maintain a common system image and are backward compatible with Dell's previous single-core four-way systems. This helps customers update their computers while protecting their investment.

Hand said the machines will boast greater performance gains when the Round Rock, Texas company adds an 800 megahertz front side bus to the mix in 2006.

Starting at $6,400, the PowerEdge 6800 and 6850 servers will begin shipping in two weeks with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Hand also embraced partner Microsoft on the call, noting that Dell will sell SQL Server 2005, which will launch next Monday to great fanfare, to customers through pre-packaged on Dell PowerEdge servers or via existing licensing agreements.

"Dell, along with Microsoft and Intel have been completely collaborative on how we integrate not just a piece of hardware or software, but a complete solution across the portfolio," Hand said on the call.

Dell has been Intel's staunchest supporter for dual-core technology since AMD beat Intel to the market last April with dual-core Opteron silicon, supported by IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems.

The company unveiled the SC430 dual-core, single-socket machine in July. Dell followed that launch up with more advanced, multi-socket systems in August and September.

With Paxville, Intel is getting additional support from vendors like IBM, which yesterday launched its four-way xSeries 460 machine, starting at $20,999. It can be scaled up to a 32-way SMP system in an eight-chassis configuration.

Big Blue also announced 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.

In related server computing news, HP reaffirmed its commitment to the maligned Itanium architecture, introducing the HP Integrity BL60p blade server as the first such device to support both HP's Unix (UX) 11i operating system and the Intel Itanium® 2 processor. The BL60p is geared for distributed, remote sites and UNIX system consolidation.