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ALR to ship Pentium Pro server early

Advanced Logic Research said it will begin shipping a four-processor Pentium Pro server this week, about two months ahead of schedule.

Advanced Logic Research announced today that it will begin shipping a four-processor Pentium Pro server this week, about two months ahead of schedule.

ALR is the first vendor out of the gate to use a modified Pentium Pro processor and Pentium Pro chipset from Intel that are intended to fix major flaws in past versions of these chips in server environments.

Aimed at targeting high-traffic, enterprise-wide, server applications, the ALR Revolution Quad6 200/256 can be configured with up to four 200-MHz Pentium Pro processors.

The 200-MHz model joins 166-MHz models of the ALR Revolution Quad6 that have already been announced. Both models are available immediately.

The 200-MHz model comes with 256K of integrated level-2 cache, while the 166-MHz model has 512K of built-in cache. Because of the higher amount of cache available, some applications may perform better on the 166-MHz model than the 200-MHz systems despite the slower speed of its processor, said David Sorenson, ALR product marketing manager. But applications that rely on internal processor speed, however, will still run faster on the 200-MHz Pentium Pro systems, he added.

Both configurations run best in 32-bit multiprocessing operating environments such as Microsoft Windows NT (SMP), SCO UNIX (MPX/SMP), Novell NetWare SMP, Sun Solaris (SMP), and IBM OS/2 (SMP).

Both the 166- and 200-MHz systems, with one Pentium Pro processor, are priced at $14,495. Pricing for the four-processor systems was not available.

Although the company says these systems are "engineered, designed and manufactured by ALR," it ships them in the shadow of some outstanding problems with Pentium Pro servers manufactured by Intel, according to other vendors and industry sources.

A source at one large systems vendor who requested anonymity said there is still some "significant re-engineering" that needs to take place to achieve the desired performance in a four-processor Pentium Pro system from Intel. "The Orion (Pentium Pro) bus is very new to the market," this source added, and problems may not be fully solved until November.

Another hardware vendor said his company has seen problems with PCI-to-PCI bridge chips on Pentium Pro server designs.