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Toshiba beefs up servers

The company adds faster chips as it moves to establish itself in the market for PC servers, currently dominated by the likes of Compaq and Dell.

Toshiba has beefed up its relatively new server line to include faster chips and options for PC server installations in a bid to garner attention from corporate customers.

Toshiba's first go-around at the server market was launched in June at PC Expo in New York, but it lacked a case design favored by many corporate customers who manage large networks of servers.

The company also added faster chips to the lineup as it moves to establish itself in the market for PC servers, which is currently dominated by the likes of Compaq Computer and and Dell Computer.

Toshiba's high-end Magnia 7000R server now ships with up to four Xeon 400-MHz processors, featuring either a 512KB or 1MB of secondary cache. The Magnia 5000R server now incorporates a 350, 400, or 450-MHz Intel Pentium II processor with a 100-MHz system bus for increased performance.

The company also announced a specially designed rack to go with its new rack-mount servers in order to ease system maintenance and upgrades.

Cramming more servers onto racks is an increasingly important consideration for customers such as Internet service providers who have limited real estate. Also, customers now are buying more servers and using them for single functions, rather than buying a few multi-function servers.

Toshiba needs to boost sales of servers because PC vendors are suffering from lower profit margins on desktop PCs. In addition, notebook computers--a Toshiba mainstay-are getting cheaper, even though the sector had in the past been relatively immune to price cuts.

With continued price erosion, analysts say PC vendors that lack the higher profit margins associated with strong server and workstation product lineups will not compete effectively in the overall market.

Available in late December, the Magnia 5000R has an estimated price starting at $4,505. The Magnia 7000R starts at $8,515.