HP Puts Six-core Chips in Workstation

Hewlett-Packard is offering six-core processors in a new workstation series, the company said Wednesday.

The company released the xw9400 workstation, which can use up to two of Advanced Micro Devices' latest six-core Opteron chips. The chips, code-named Istanbul, will offer faster performance while drawing the same amount of power as AMD's earlier quad-core Opteron chips.

The xw9400 is among the first workstations on the market to support Istanbul processors, which are mostly used in servers. The workstation is targeted at users who run data-intensive applications in fields such as engineering, research and digital content creation.

Other chip options include quad-core Opteron 2000 series processors running between 2.3GHz and 3.1GHz, with 6MB of L3 cache. The six-core version operates between 2.2GHz and 2.6GHz with 6MB of L3 cache. The workstation also supports Opteron 2000 series dual-core chips. The dual-chip configuration supports up to 64GB of memory, and a single-chip configuration supports up to 32GB of memory, with up to 5TB of storage capacity. It comes with the Windows Vista operating system. It also supports up to four displays using Nvidia technology for those who need extra monitors.

Pricing starts at US$1,899 for a workstation with a dual-core chip. The workstations are available worldwide at HP's workstation Web site.

AMD officially launched Istanbul last month at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. AMD is in a race with chip rival Intel to put more cores on processors to improve chip performance while drawing less power. Intel has already detailed plans to offer its upcoming eight-core Nehalem EX processors in early 2010, by which time AMD will be ready with its 12-core chip code-named Magny-Cours.

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