Dell has begun offering its Precision 530 workstation with Intel's unlaunched 2GHz Xeon processor, as we predicted yesterday. To date Intel has only said that the chip will ship sometime in Q3.
The basic workstation ships with a single 1.5GHz Xeon for £1365 exc. VAT, but according to the PC vendor's UK Web site, buyers can choose a 2.0GHz Xeon for an extra £330 or have two of them installed for £895 more than the base price.
The Xeon is based on the Pentium 4. It contains 256KB of on-die L2 cache and is produced using a 0.18 micron process. It is aimed at single- and dual-processor workstations. Another version of the part, targeted at dual-processor servers, was due to have shipped next quarter, but has now been canned.
Of course, since both chips are identical, as near as we can make out, there's nothing to stop server makers using the workstation version of the part. What differentiates the chips appears to centre more on the customers Intel is targeting than technology. However, with the 0.13 micron successor to the server Xeon coming early Q1 2002, server makers are more likely to wait and avoid having to validate two processors in rapid succession. The 0.13 micron part, codenamed Prestonia, will also ship with a larger, 512KB cache and run at 2.2GHz.
A Dell US spokeswoman last night confirmed that Dell's workstation line would include the 2GHz Xeon, as and when it becomes available. Industry sources tell us that the part is due to be formally launched early next month, so Dell is clearly jumping the gun - not that we can see Intel making much of a fuss about it. ®