Xeon 3000 Gets Quiet Rollout At Intel Developer Forum


At Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Enterprise Group, lifted the lid on the Xeon 3000 by announcing it as Intel's most "energy-efficient, entry-level platform."

Also on Wednesday, OEMs such as Dell and system builders like SuperMicro unveiled new servers based on the Xeon 3000.

Although Gelsinger devoted more time to extolling the successes of the Xeon 9000, Xeon 7100 and Xeon 5100 processors released this summer, other Intel executives took time to tout the benefits of the entry-level Xeon 3000 processor to customers and partners.

Will Swope, vice president and director of digital enterprise brand management at Intel, said in a press conference that the Xeon 3000 single-socket offering can be targeted at SMBs and branch offices.

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"We think it's a great product for the channel," Swope said, adding that the processor will sell into the SMB space as well as large enterprises with branch offices. "We wanted to bring that same level of chipset support and expertise to Xeon we haven't had there before for single socket. It allows us to go down in product price. "

In a phone interview, Steve Dallman, Intel's director of sales and distribution of North America, acknowledged that the Xeon 3000 server chip is based on the Core 2 Duo processor but noted that the value for system builders lies in its lower price point and validation by Intel. He said many partners were using the desktop chip for low-end servers but couldn't guarantee quality for customers.

"The entry-level boards are coming in at the $180 to $300 range. That's pretty exciting," Dallman said. "It also gives them Xeon top to bottom, so with the management stuff and validation on the operating system they're not on the hook now."

The Xeon 3000 is available now and shipped to distribution in recent weeks, he said.

The entry-level S3000AH server board supports a multicore Xeon processor with a 1066MHz system bus and an Intel 3000 server chipset. It also supports up to 8 Gbytes of DDR2 SDRAM and has a PCI Express I/O interconnect level, dual-memory channel, four DIMM slots for DDR2 533/667, Intel adaptive slot technology (supporting PCI Express, PCI-X and single or dual Gigabit Ethernet connections) and Intel Active Management technology.

"The reason we're doing the Xeon 3000 is a lot of customers in the channel told us to get our act together in the [entry-level] product line and come out with single-socket server solution. The SMB [space] needs basic, entry-level server capabilities," Dallman said.

Dell announced three servers using the Xeon 3000: the PowerEdge SC440 ($599), PowerEdge 840 ($749) and PowerEdge 860 ($949).

System builder SuperMicro said more than 20 of its servers have been updated to support the dual-core Xeon 3000, including the the SuperServer 5015M-UR, which supports three high-performance add-on cards and features 450-watt redundant power in a 1U form factor. Supermico also announced two 14-inch deep, 1U servers that use the Xeon 3000: the SuperServer 5015M-MR+ and SuperServer 5015M-MF+.