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NEC announces Pentium II server

The MT2200 offers greater storage capacity than NEC's other Pentium II servers because it comes in a larger chassis.

NEC Computer (NIPNY) today announced a new Pentium II server intended for the lower end of the market, as previously reported by CNET's NEWS.COM.

The server offers greater storage capacity than other models in NEC's LE2200 series of Pentium II servers because it comes in a larger chassis that can accommodate more memory and hard drives.

The MT2200 incorporates one or two Pentium II processors running at 233 MHz and 300 MHz and can use up to 512MB of high-quality ECC memory, 512K of Level 2 cache, and six hard drives totaling 54GB of capacity. Drives and other parts of hot-swapable.

The MT2200 comes in the same chassis used for NEC's Express 5800 server, a four-way Pentium Pro server sold for departmental use. The MT2200 is targeted at smaller departmental and small enterprise-class users.

The disparity between the Express 5800 and the MT2200 demonstrates the industry's struggle to transition between the Pentium Pro and the newer Pentium II chip. Most vendors are limited to using two Pentium II processors in a single machine. By contrast, computer makers can string up to four Pentium Pro processors together. More processors lead to more computer power.

Unfortunately, the Pentium Pro is on its last legs. As a result, the most powerful servers have had to use the previous generation of chips while the most recent chips have been stuck in smaller boxes.

The contradiction will start working itself out in 1998, said sources, when Intel comes out with standard server configurations that can use greater numbers of Pentium II chips.

The MT2200 will be manufactured under the NEC Now program, a build-to-order scheme.

Pricing for a base-level configuration, which would include one 233-MHz Pentium II, 64MB of memory, and a 4GB hard drive is $4,997. A 300-MHz Pentium II server with 64MB RAM, two 4GB hard drives, and Windows NT 4.0 preinstalled goes for $7,816.

The MT2200 server will be available in October.