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Intel Doubles Down With 'Tulsa' Dual Core Chips

UPDATED: Intel Corp.  today unveiled eight new dual-core Xeon 7100 series processors designed to offer computer servers considerable performance and reliability boosts.

As part of what Intel is calling a "summer of servers" push, HP , Dell , IBM  all upgraded their Intel chip-based servers with the 7100 series chips, previously code-named Tulsa.

The Xeon 7100 series, which includes 95 watt choices to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent, boasts twice the performance and nearly three times better performance-per-watt over previous Intel Xeon MP processors.

Intel, locked in a fierce game of one-upmanship with rival chipmaker AMD  to produce powerful chips that don't consume a lot of power, said in a statement that servers based on the 7100 series processors are "an excellent choice for server consolidation," particularly in systems that rely on virtualization to share workloads.

The No. 1 chipmaker, whose "summer of servers" play has led to 23 new processors in three market segments in fewer than 100 days, said the 7100 chips are designed for heavy software workloads, including database, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and e-commerce applications.

Pricing ranges from $856 for a 7110 model with 4MB of high-speed cache (2.6GHz clock speed) to $1,980 for a 7140 model with 16MB of cache (3.4GHz speed).

HP upgraded its ProLiant line of servers with new versions based on Intel's dual-core Xeon 7100 series processors.

In addition to overall speed improvements and energy savings touted by Intel at Tulsa's release, HP is emphasizing the balanced architecture of its new systems and specific application benchmark performance.

For example, HP said that in a four-processor (four processors = eight cores = 16 threads), two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application Benchmark test, the new dual-core HP ProLiant DL580 G4 server supported 2,127 SAP SD Benchmark users at 1.99 seconds average dialog response time.

The record-setting performance also included 10,650 SAPS, 213,000 fully processed order line items per hour and 639,000 dialog steps per hour.

By comparison, the DL580 G4 supported 812 more SAP SD Benchmark users than it did in a previous two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark with older Xeon chips, for a nearly 62 percent performance improvement.

CPU utilization was balanced across the processors at 98 percent on the central server, according to HP.

"This is a significant upgrade in performance over a single generation," John Gromala, director of server marketing at HP, told internetnews.com.

Gromala also noted that HP's System Insight Manager software distinguishes its servers from other vendors in being able to provide IT managers with a single console view of both virtual and physical resources.

With the addition of Xeon 7100 processors, HP's ProLiant DL580 G4 server now offers up to 16MB shared L3 cache on an 800MHz dual independent frontside bus (FSB).

It also supports up to 64GB of front accessible memory for demanding applications and virtualization.

The HP ProLiant ML570 G4 server, with an 800MHz FSB and up to 16MB of L3 cache, provides performance gains for multi-threaded applications such as database, financial services and supply chain management.

It also has up to 64GB of 400MHz DDR2 memory with 4GB DIMMs.

The dual-core HP ProLiant DL580 G4 and ML570 G4 servers are both shipping now. Pricing for the DL580 starts at $6,649, while the ML570 server starts at $5,799.

InternetNews.com's Clint Boulton contributed to this story.