Portland, Ore. - Answering the call for higher performance in server boards, two companies have rolled out products based on the Intel Xeon processor with a 533-MHz front-side bus.
Force Computers Inc. (Fremont, Calif.) introduced two server boards incorporating dual Intel Xeon processors, 533-MHz Intel E7501 chip sets and ServerWorks GC-LE 533 chip sets. The processors and chip sets lay the foundation for what is said to be the fastest front-side bus architecture available today.
Within days of the Force launch, Intel Corp. here unveiled its own boards based on the same technology. In all, the company rolled out five server boards, two server chassis and three RAID controllers based on the Xeon processor and the 533-MHz front-side bus. The new products also include Intel E7501 and E7505 chip sets.
The product rollouts from both companies are considered significant for the server market because they raise the state of the art for front-side bus frequencies from 400 MHz to 533 MHz, thus enabling boards to pass more data, more quickly, between processors and chip sets. As a result, they set the stage for a new breed of servers that can be employed in applications ranging from network servers and medical imaging to high-performance computing applications like oil field simulation and digital rendering for movies.
A lot of customers are willing to upgrade from 400 MHz to 533 MHz to get more performance, said Abdelilah Aadil, product-marketing manager for Force in Munich, Germany.
Force's new offerings, the FES-4204 and FES-4203/533, incorporate the fast front-side bus. The boards offer dual 1.8-GHz to 2.8-GHz Xeon processors, Gigabit Ethernet and up to 12 Gbytes of double-data-rate SDRAM on a 12 x 10-inch ATX form factor.
Intel's new boards seek a niche in apps like scientific research simulation, oil exploration and enterprise-level databases. Boards include the SE7501WV2, SE7501HG2, SE-7501BR2 and SE7501CW2. All Intel server boards use the Xeon processor with the 533-MHz front-side bus and the Intel 7501 chip set. The rollout also includes the SE7505BV2, which incorporates the Xeon processor with a 533-MHz bus, but differs from the others by employing the Intel 7505 chip set.
The SE7501WV2 is optimized for high-density server environments like high-performance computing or streaming media; the SE7501HG2 for departmental and e-business infrastructure, and the SE-7501BR2 for database manage-ment or work group servers.
Intel engineers call the fast front-side bus the key to the new product introductions. "The 533 MHz represents a big jump in front-side bus frequency," said Philip Brace, director of marketing for Intel's Enterprise Platforms & Services Division. "It's the cornerstone of all of our new server products."
Pricing for Force's FES-4204 starts at $899. Pricing for Force's FES-4203/533 starts at $935.
Estimated pricing for typical end-user-configured systems for the SE7501WV2-based platforms will be $1,500 to $3,000. Pricing for the SE7501BR2 will be $1,200 to $2,500, and the SE7501HG2 between $1,500 and $3,000. For the SE7501CW2, pricing will be $1,000 to $2,000; for the SE7505VB2, $1,200 to $2,500; and from $4,500 to $7,000 for an SRSH4-based platform.
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