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Sun To Ship Four-way AMD64 Dual-core Servers

Sun Microsystems plans to ship versions of its Sun Fire V40z server in May that will be available with up to four of AMD’s new dual-core, 64-bit Opteron processors.

In addition, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said in a statement that it will offer AMD’s dual-core technology across its entire x64 server line.

Existing 64-bit Opteron-based servers can, in many cases, be updated to run the latest dual-core CPUs in the same slots that currently support single-core CPUs by refreshing the systems’ BIOS.

The Sun Fire V40z can be ordered with up to four AMD64 dual-core Opteron processors. Because each dual-core chip features two processor “cores” on the same die, a dual-core CPU literally lets computers have the equivalent of two processors occupying the same physical space as a single-core processor – thus theoretically doubling the computers’ raw processing power.

Therefore, Sun argues, the updated four-way V40z can be purchased in a configuration that is the equivalent of an eight-way server. Sun’s statement says that a four-way V40z equipped with the dual-core AMD Opteron processor Model 875 and 16GB of memory (it supports up to 32GB) will cost about the same as a four-way server powered with the single-core AMD Opteron processor Model 850 did when it shipped last year -- around $39,000.

The V40z runs Solaris, 64-bit and 32-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 64-bit SUSE Enterprise Linux, and 32-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server. Support for Microsoft’s just released Windows Server 2003 x64 editions is pending. “We are currently doing the certification on Win64 now and we should be certified shortly,” says Paul Read, director of Sun's Network Systems Group.

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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