Hardware Vendors Embrace Intel's Penryn

Hardware vendors are wasting no time adopting Intel's new power-saving Penryn processors, stuffing them in new desktop systems that deliver better graphics and application performance. (PC World has already reviewed several new Penryn systems, including CyberPower's new gaming system, the Power Infinity Pro.)

Hewlett-Packard recently launched its latest business workstation, the XW8600 Workstation, which the company calls the "mother of all workstations."

The workstation includes Penryn-based Intel Xeon 5400 quad-core processors and enhanced graphics with 2D or 3D Nvidia graphics cards carrying memory between 256MB and 512MB.

The PCI Express Gen 2.0 standard incorporated in the system enables quicker data transfers and helps the system better handle graphics, said Jim Zafarana, vice president of marketing at HP. It supports up to 128G bytes of RAM and has storage of up to 5T bytes on five hard drives. It will come with Microsoft's Windows Vista OS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The system supports the two-dimension Nvidia Quadro NVS290 graphics card and Nvidia's three-dimension Quadro FX370, Quadro FX570, Quadro FX1700, Quadro FX 4600 and Quadro FX5600 graphics cards.

Priced starting at $1200, the system will begin shipping in mid-December.

Lenovo recently launched the ThinkStation D10 workstation with two quad-core Intel Xeon 5400 processors, its first entry into the business workstation market.

The system will include dual Gigabit Ethernet and multiple slots, bays and USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports for expandability, Lenovo said. The system will become available starting in January, priced starting at $1739.

MPC Computers inserted quad-core Intel Xeon 5400 processor in its MPC Dataframe 2112 storage area network appliance. The appliance will host up to 12 storage drives, supporting up to 12T bytes of storage. The appliance, targeted at enterprises, can also be used for disaster recovery and remote data protection.

Intel is working with 40 original equipment manufacturers to deliver systems with Penryn processors, said Stephen Smith, director for Intel's digital enterprise group operations. More server and desktop announcements will come later this year.

Desktops and notebooks with Penryn processors will come in 2008, when Intel releases more 45-nanometer Penryn chips.

Intel will ship Penryn chips for desktops, the 45-nm Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors, in the first quarter 2008. Penryn chips for notebooks, the 45-nm Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo mobile processors, will arrive in the same quarter, according to Intel.