Intel released three new Xeon chips for four- and eight-processor servers in a move to increase the pressure on Sun Microsystems.
The new chips--formerly codenamed "Gallatin"--are enhanced versions of Intel's Xeon line for multiprocessor servers. The fastest of the new chips runs at 2GHz and contains a 2MB tertiary cache, a reservoir of memory for rapid data access. The older Xeon, which came out in March, tops out at 1.6GHz and has a 1MB cache.
"The performance speed-up is in the 20 (percent) to 38 percent range" on various applications, said Lisa Graff, director of enterprise processor marketing at Intel. "Cache (has) a huge impact on performance."
IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer, among others, will adopt the chips fairly rapidly, as the new chips cost the same as the older Xeons and can fit into existing servers without a great deal of re-engineering. These servers start at $6,000 and can cost more than $100,000 when fully configured.
The four- and eight-processor server market has become the primary battleground in the war between Sun and Intel. Servers made with Intel chips running Windows or Linux dominate the one- and two-processor segment.
News source: CNet