Intel Releases 450-MHz Xeon Processors; Vendors Follow

Just one day after desktop vendors announced a slue of updated PCs based on Intel Corp.'s new Celeron processors, the chip-giant has done it again today, except this time it's taking the high road, with brand new 450-MHz Pentium II Xeon processors for servers and high-end workstations.

With a reported 10 percent improvement over the 400 MHz version and support for 2 MB of L2 cache, the new chip has made it into Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and NEC's server and workstation families.

NEC actually jumped the gun by announcing its updated Express 5800 HX4500 line of servers yesterday. With 512 KB of L2 cache, 128 MB or RAM, and 4 GB of disk space, the HX4500 starts at $11,594.

Dell's Web site on was already taking orders on Sunday for its Precision workstations and PowerEdge line of servers including the new chip. First, the Precision WorkStation 610 with 1 MB L2 cache, 18 GB hard drive, 1 GB RAM and a 21-inch monitor starts at $14,007. Also, starting at $7,999, Dell's PowerEdge 6300 comes with either 512 KB or 1 MB of L2 cache.

Compaq also plans to improve its ProLiant servers with the 450 MHz Xeon chips. Included will be the 5500, 6000, 6500 and 7000 servers, available with as many as four new Xeon chips.

Other vendors who've updated their server lines include Hewlett-Packard Co., Toshiba America Inc., Intergraph Computer Systems, Data General Corp., Unisys Corp. and Hitachi PC Corp.

Unlike the early Celeron release yesterday, the Xeon chips are actually about 3 months late. Much of the time was taken to fix bugs in the 400-MHz version like the one that knocked out the error correcting code. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.