In doing so, the Sunnyvale, California, manufacturer joins a raft of companies, including Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and NEC Computer, who announced server models using improved chip shortly after it was unveiled last week.
The upgraded Pentium Pro runs at the same clock speed, 200 MHz, as older Pentium Pro chips, but has double the amount of memory on the L2 cache. Because processors work much faster than standard DRAM memory can feed them data, high-speed cache memory is used to make sure the processor is not "starving." Increasing the cache size thus allows the processor to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, and overall server performance goes up.
According to NeTpower, the upgraded Pentium Pro boosts the performance of Sparta servers by up to 25 percent.
Like its competitors, the Sparta is targeted at high-end users who run data-intensive financial or business applications requiring high "fault tolerance," or reliability in case of failure or the need to perform maintenance without taking the entire server offline. Equipped with 64MB RAM, a 2GB hard disk drive, Microsoft's Windows NT operating system, and Octopus HA+ (data-protection software), an entry level Sparta costs $17,395, about the middle of the road. The servers will be available immediately.
Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.