IBM plans to announce on Monday its second Itanium server, a more powerful machine that can accommodate as many as 16 of the high-end processors from Intel. The new x455 is a relative of the four-Itanium x450, IBM's first entry into the Itanium market. As expected, x455 systems will let customers stack up as many as four 7-inch-thick modules, each with four Itanium 2 processors. The x455 will be generally available Dec. 7, with a starting price of $21,999, according to IBM. It will come with Microsoft Windows or with Linux from Red Hat or SuSE Linux.
The machine is a significant IBM endorsement of Intel's Itanium processor family, a 64-bit line intended for high-end computers. The Itanium--which can run software designed for Intel's popular Xeon and Pentium processors only with difficulty--is not yet widely used, but its advocates, most notably Hewlett-Packard, believe this is beginning to change. IBM, however, has shown mixed feelings about Itanium. For example, on the same day it launched its first Itanium server, it trumpeted the speed of servers that use its own Power processor.
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News source: CNET News.com