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AMD Begins Shipping Dual-Core 64-bit CPUs – HP Ships AMD-Based Servers

AMD began delivering its first dual-core Opteron 64-bit CPUs in quantity this week, and HP announced its first servers based on the technology.

Ready for immediate delivery, the Dual-Core AMD Opteron 800 Series processor can be used to build four- to eight-way servers. HP jumped on board by announcing one new and one updated four-processor server based on the 800 Series dual-core processor.

AMD also announced dates for upcoming dual-core chip deliveries. For instance, the 200 Series processors for two-way servers and workstations will be available in late May. In addition, AMD announced that the AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual-Core processor for desktops will ship in June. Dual-core chips for mobile applications are scheduled for 2006.

HP’s two new offerings are a server blade dubbed the HP ProLiant BL45p for the HP BladeSystem, and an update to HP’s existing single-core ProLiant DL585 server. Both are available with either dual- or single-core processors. A single-core-based version of the BL45p starts at $6,999 and the DL585 single-core-based server starts at $9,999, according to an HP statement. Single-core versions of the two servers are available now – dual-core versions will ship in the next month.

Additionally, HP plans to release three other servers -- the HP ProLiant BL25p, BL35p and DL385 -- and the HP xw9300 Workstation with dual-core technologies in mid-2005, when AMD delivers its Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor 200 Series.

IBM also announced this week that it is nearly set to ship what it claims is the first workstation based on the Dual-Core AMD Opteron 800 Series processor.

One advantage that AMD claims is that the new dual-core chips will work in existing computers, with a BIOS update. “Only AMD customers will have the ability to upgrade 90nm-ready server platforms with dual-core processors and continue running legacy 32-bit x86 applications as well as new 64-bit OS solutions,” AMD said in a statement.

The same big hardware OEMs that have announced support for AMD’s dual-core initiative – like HP and IBM – are also onboard with Intel’s dual-core strategy.

Pricing for the Dual-Core AMD Opteron 800 Series ranges from $1,514 each in 1,000-unit quantities for the Model 865 to $2,649 each in 1,000-unit quantities for the Model 875. The AMD Opteron 200 Series starts at $851 for the Model 265 and scales to $1,299 for the Model 275, also in 1000-unit quantities. Prices for the upcoming AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors will range from $537 to $1,001 in quantity.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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