HP releases lower-end dual-core Opteron servers

ProLiant servers will use AMD's dual-core Opteron chips, which combine two processing engines on each slice of silicon.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
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Stephen Shankland
Hewlett-Packard plans to announce Wednesday that its lower-end ProLiant servers will begin using Advanced Micro Devices' dual-core Opteron chips, which combine two processing engines on each slice of silicon.

The dual-core chips will be available in lower-end systems with two chip sockets. The DL385 starts at $3,299 and the DL145 G2 at $1,219. The BL25p and BL35p blade servers start at $3,099 and $2,599, respectively. The systems will be available Monday, HP said.

AMD began selling its dual-core server chips in April, and Intel plans to follow suit early in 2006. HP already began offering dual-core Opterons in its higher-end DL585 and BL45p machines, which accommodate as many as four processors.

The new systems increase performance for server tasks adapted for multiprocessor systems. Using SAP's SD performance test, a dual-core BL35p accommodated 949 users and processed 95,330 transactions per hour, compared with the single-core version's 423 users and 43,660 transactions per hour, HP said.

HP competes chiefly with Dell and IBM in the market for servers using x86 processors such as Opteron or Intel's Xeon. Dell sticks with Intel chips, and IBM uses Opterons only for technical computing systems, but Sun Microsystems has aggressive plans to enter the market with its own Opteron systems.