September 25, 2006 5:00 PM PDT
Intel to announce low-end Xeons
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Intel is expected to debut its Xeon 3000 processors this week at the Intel Developer Forum. The chips, close relatives of the Core 2 Duo desktop line, are for low-end servers.
The Xeon 3040, 3050, 3060 and 3070 processors, expected to ship this month, are geared for uniprocessor servers that typically use Pentium D processors. The 3000 series is based on the Core microarchitecture, which improves the performance and electrical power efficiency of Intel processors, compared with NetBurst-era chips such as Pentium D.
According to an Intel price sheet seen by CNET News.com, the 3040 will run at 1.86GHz, the 3050 at 2.13GHz, the 3060 at 2.4GHz and the 3070 at 2.66GHz. The two lower-end models have 2MB of high-speed cache memory, and the two higher-end models have 4MB, the source said. (The price sheet did not list prices for those models.)
Those specifications match those of desktop processors--the Core 2 Duo E6300, E6400, E6600 and E6700. The Xeons use the same 1066MHz front-side bus connection to the rest of the system as their desktop brethren, but the chip packaging is different for the Xeons, a source familiar with the products said.
Intel declined to comment on unannounced products. But Hewlett-Packard is including the Xeon 3000 products in three models of its ProLiant x86 server line that are slated to be available on Sept. 27.
HP will upgrade three servers--the ProLiant ML110 G4, ML310 G4 and DL320 G5--with the new Xeon chip. The DL320 G5 also includes new hard drives that are physically smaller, as well as improved networking and management software, HP said Monday.
Intel is using its Core line of processors to try to win back market share lost to rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices. Although Intel remains the market leader, its loss of share in recent years has been particularly notable among server customers, which AMD didn't even try to tackle until 2003.
Intel already has begun selling its Xeon 5100 line of "Woodcrest" servers, which use the Core microarchitecture for dual-processor servers. By doubling two dual-core processors in one package, Intel is designing quad-core processors including "Kentsfield" for PCs and "Clovertown" for servers that the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company plans to begin selling in the fourth quarter.