Dell this week rolled out 64-bit Pentium 4-based workstations alongside its more heavily-publicised 64-bit Xeon servers.
The PC maker's Precision 370 family of single-processor workstations is now on sale with 3.2GHz, 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz P4s offered as CPU options. Crucially, each P4 is described as supporting EM64T, Intel's AMD64-like 64-bit extensions to the 32-bit x86 instruction set.
For all that 64-bit capability, Dell is not shipping the 370 with a memory complement that exceeds 4GB - an even that amount requires buyers to fork out an extra $1670 for parts and installation. However, the workstations can be bought with Red Hat Linux pre-installed, so that's the 64-bit OS support taken care of.
The workstations are offered with Serial ATA or SCSI drives, with RAID on or off, and at capacities of 40GB (one drive) up to 438GB (three drives)
That the machines use a 'Prescott' Pentium 4 rather than a Xeon should come as no great surprise: Intel has long offered a line of P4s for the single-processor server and workstation markets. But it does confirm, at last, that the top-end P4s are 64-bit capable. What's not yet clear is the extent to which the functionality can be enabled in the desktop version - is it burned out, or disabled through the BIOS?
Prices for the 64-bit 370 with a suitable OS start at $1572 in the US. The lowest-cost model in the UK is £1056 inc. VAT, but here Dell does not offer an EM64T-capable OS, according to the 370 'configure and buy' page. ®
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