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Itanium Update: Compaq's TrailBlazer and Dell's Pricing

The two highest volume U.S. Intel architecture server vendors, Compaq and Dell, offered a few more details of their plans for the new 64-bit Itanium processors that Intel formally launched this week.

Compaq Computer Corp. announced a program called TrailBlazer. The program for accelerating adoption of Itanium systems conforms to the industry attitude that Intel's Itanium processor will be a test platform.

Conventional wisdom predicts more widespread 64-bit Intel architecture deployments beginning when Intel delivers its second-generation 64-bit chip, McKinley.

Like Dell Computer Corp., IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., Compaq unveiled a four-processor, Itanium-based server to ship in the third quarter. The 64-bit ProLiant server will support 733 MHz or 800 MHz Intel processors.

Surrounding that hardware, Compaq will be working with independent software vendors, early adopter companies, Intel and Microsoft on porting 32-bit applications or developing 64-bit applications.

Dell, which announced its four-way PowerEdge 7150 server last week before Intel's Itanium launch, is now offering details on its pricing plans. Dell's prices usually represent the bottom of the range for a given class of server systems.

The PowerEdge 7150, which ships in mid-July, will start below $20,000 for one processor. Mid-range systems with two processors and 16 GB of RAM will cost nearly $30,000. Fully loaded systems (four processors and 64 GB RAM) will approach $70,000.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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