November 09, 2006 17:50 ET

IBM Revs Up Performance of x86 Servers With New Quad-Core Processors

New Servers Feature Balanced System Design to Optimize Quad-Core Performance

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 9, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that it is enhancing its line of x86 servers with the introduction of four, quad-core IBM systems and a new blade utilizing the quad-core Intel Xeon 5300 processor.

System x™ servers provide a whole new level of value for clients, delivering three to four times performance of systems that IBM offered less than 12 months ago, enhanced systems management capabilities, expanded memory and I/O. When combined with the built-in virtualization and power management from IBM, these new systems enable clients to consolidate applications onto fewer, more powerful servers and keep control over energy spending in the datacenter.

"The introduction of quad-core processors to the industry further drives the need for innovative server designs so that clients can take full advantage of the new capability, and at the same time it's also accelerating the need for clients to virtualize their infrastructure to simplify and get the most out of these systems," said Jim Gargan, vice president and business line executive, IBM System x. "With our strong portfolio of knowledge, products and tools, IBM is uniquely positioned to help clients realize the power of quad-core processors so they can do more with less."

IBM's x3650 packs up to 33 percent more memory and I/O than Dell's PowerEdge 2950, which reduces communication bottlenecks and optimizes performance (1). Together, memory and I/O keep each processor fed with data so that compute workloads can be executed at top speeds on all four cores. The SPECint_rate benchmark comparing System x3650 with the quad core processors to the System x3650 with dual core processors reported a 64 percent performance improvement by the system with quad core processors. (2)

To leverage the new performance capability of multicore servers, many customers will move to virtualization solutions to run multiple applications per server. The new System x servers support virtualization solutions such as VMWare, and come with virtualization sizing tools to make it even easier for clients to deploy virtualization in their environment. With the integration of IBM Virtualization Manager into new IBM Director 5.2, IBM enables clients to manage from a single console both physical and virtual machines for VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, and Xen environments on IBM System x and BladeCenter®.

IBM Director 5.2 systems management software also features easy express installation for small and medium businesses, better firmware and driver management.

IBM PowerExecutive™, one of the first solutions in the industry that provides customers with the intelligence needed to effectively manage power consumption in the datacenter, is also available on Systems x3650, x3550 and BladeCenter HS21 introduced today, at no extra charge and available by download for customers.

System Details

--  x3650: Stable business-critical application 2U, two socket rack server
    suitable for medium and large enterprises datacenter environments; Starting
    at U.S. $2,419*.
--  x3550: 1U, two socket rack server provides Application density for
    power managed data centers; suitable for medium and large enterprises
    datacenter environments; Starting at U.S. $2,369*.
--  x3500: Stable business-critical application two socket tower server;
    Starting at U.S. $ 2,189*.
--  x3400: Affordable performance for growing business; targeted for small
    and medium businesses, remote/branch offices or retail. Starting at U.S.
--  BladeCenter HS21: Delivers leadership performance efficiency in a
    smarter blade form factor; Starting at U.S. $3,049*.
Clients can order quad-core systems beginning Tuesday, November 14, with volume shipping expected to begin in December for the system x3550 and x3650, and in January for the x3400, x3500 and the BladeCenter HS21.

For more information about IBM, go to:

IBM, System x, PowerExecutive and BladeCenter are trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. For a complete list of IBM Trademarks, see

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Intel and Intel Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other products may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

* Prices subject to change without notice. Starting price may not include a hard drive, operating system or other features. Contact your IBM representative or Business Partner for the most current pricing in your geography.

All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

Performance is in Internal Throughput Rate (ITR) ratio based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput that any user will experience will vary depending upon considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user's job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve throughput improvements equivalent to the performance ratios stated here.

(1) Based on memory and configuration comparison of IBM System x 3650 vs Dell's PowerEdge 2950

(2) SPECint_rate comparison of x3650 with 3.0 GHz Xeon 5160 and x3650 with 2.66 GHz Xeon X5355. Results referenced are current as of November 9, 2006. The SPECint_rate_base2000 results have been submitted to SPEC for review. Upon successful review, the result will be posted at, which contains a complete list of published SPECint_rate_base2000 results.

Contact Information