Motherboard vendors are readying products to take advantage of Intel's latest Xeon processors, which were introduced last month and feature a 533MHz front-side bus.
Last week, Intel introduced five new motherboards for the new processors, said Phil Brace, director of marketing for Intel's Enterprise Platform and Services Division.
These include a single-processor model designed for 1U or 2U chassis with on-board dual Gbit and dual Ultra320 SCSI or ATA RAID controllers, a motherboard for dual-processor servers or workstation with AGP 8X graphics and Serial ATA on board, and three dual-processor motherboards for standard servers: a performance board with dual Gbit and dual Ultra320 SCSI controllers, a volume server board with dual Gbit and a single Ultra 320 SCSI controller, and a value board with dual Gbit and one ATA connector that's aimed at the SMB space.
|Tyan Computer is adding its own twist: dual Xeon motherboards in an ATX form factor.|
Motherboard rival Tyan Computer said it expects in January to start shipping several motherboards for the new Xeons. However, Tyan is adding its own twist: dual Xeon motherboards in an ATX form factor, said Don Clegg, vice president of sales and marketing at the Fremont, Calif.-based vendor.
Starting last quarter, Tyan started offering its most advanced motherboards in the ATX form factor instead of the extended-ATX size, resulting in a motherboard that fits the most common size of chassis.
While designing such a complex motherboard into the smaller size was a challenge, the result is the ability to mount two-way Xeon boards in the standard two-way Pentium III form-factor chassis, Clegg said. "This is what Intel needed to replace its Pentium III," he said. "It's great for the white-box market because it offers a significant cost savings."
Tyan also will offer two extended-ATX versions of the dual Xeon motherboard, Clegg said.
Later this quarter, the company also plans to unveil to white-box builders four-way Xeon motherboards for 4U and 8U rack-mount chassis. However, these will be for the prior-generation 400MHz front-side bus processors, he said.
Dan Nester, president of Build To Order Manufacturing, a white-box builder in Atlanta, said the Hyper-Threading technology used in the Xeon processors is key to building high-end server platforms. "The boost in performance from Hyper-Threading in servers using dual Xeon or other processors is noticeable," he said. "Servers look and act like they have four processors."