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HP likes Opteron, but Xeon still the favorite

Hewlett-Packard has enjoyed strong demand for its servers based on AMD's Opteron chips, but Intel's Xeon chips will remain the primary processor for its x86 servers, HP's CTO Shane Robison said Friday.

AMD has a performance edge over Intel in the server market as of today, with its point-to-point buses and integrated memory controller. However, demand remains strong for Intel's Xeon chips and customers shouldn't expect to see a product lineup that's half Opteron and half Xeon any time soon, Robison said during a briefing on HP's 2006 strategy.

"Intel is a much bigger split" of HP's x86 servers in 2006, he said. However, HP is still expected to increase its usage of Opteron this year in response to strong demand.

Despite Intel's problems in the server market in 2005, the companies remain close, Robison said. He claimed Intel and HP's relationship might have actually strengthened during the last few months, during which Intel has revised its road maps for both its Xeon and Itanium processors.

"Because we had problems, we had to work more closely together," Robison said. The companies planned to work very closely together on Friday, with Robison, server chief Ann Livermore, PC leader Todd Bradley, and other executives scheduled to spend most of the day at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, California.