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IBM releases low-cost Unix servers

Big Blue releases two new inexpensive Power5-based Unix servers to take on Unix machines from HP and Sun.

IBM has released two new inexpensive Power5-based Unix servers, models that IBM positions against Unix machines from Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, but which also compete directly with systems using x86 chips such as Intel's Xeon. Both models are lower-priced "Express" configurations of existing systems, IBM plans to announce Tuesday.

The new p5-520 Express can accommodate two processors: a single-processor machine with a 1.5GHz chip and 512MB of memory costs $3,443, but IBM expects most buyers to purchase $5,000 configurations. The p5-550 Express, which holds as many as four processors, has a starting price of $7,050 for a system with one 1.5GHz chip and 512MB of memory, but IBM expects typical configurations to cost closer to $15,000.