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Hewlett-Packard announced Aug. 15 that its portfolio of servers and server blades now will include a number of models powered by Advanced Micro Devices’ new Opteron dual-core processors.

The Opteron-powered HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers are designed to use less electrical power and require less cooling due to their advanced architecture, an HP spokesperson said. The servers will incorporate AMD Opteron 2000 and 8000 Series processors, DDR2 (double-data-rate 2) memory technology and small form factor disk drives.

AMD is counting on the updated version of its Opteron chip to set the pace for its server business in the coming months. IBM on Aug. 1 was the first major server vendor to announce that it would produce servers powered by the AMD Opteron dual-core microprocessors.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., isn’t worried about playing both sides of the microprocessor fence, since it also is going to be the first OEM customer for AMD rival Intel’s new Core 2 Duo chips. Intel CEO Paul Otellini confirmed that sales note during the July 27 launch of the Core 2 Duo.

HP is the No. 1 vendor of x86 servers worldwide and the leading provider of AMD Opteron processor-based server and blade systems, according to IDG (International Data Group), a research firm based in Boston.

Click here to read more about HP’s plans for servers of the future.

One analyst said he thought HP ought to be more specific about how the new servers will best fit into the market. “By comparison [to IBM’s Opteron announcement], I find the HP announcement a bit thin,” Charles King of Pund-IT, in Hayward, Calif., told

“The IBM announcement drew a careful map of where Opteron fits in the company’s larger strategy and detailed new markets where the systems would be an ideal fit. Aside from the references to Opteron’s popularity as a virtualization platform for Wall Street firms and the new systems’ power-friendliness, HP is content to sketch the value of these new solutions in broader terms. That seems to detract from the benefits that the new Opteron processors should offer to both HP and its customers,” King said.

The HP servers will use small form factor SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) disk drives, eliminating the need for customers to make multiple drive transitions. The new drives consume half the power of larger models, the HP spokesperson said.

The new x86 processor-based HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers featuring the Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors include the HP ProLiant DL385 G2 and DL585 G2 rack-optimized servers and the HP ProLiant BL25p G2, BL45p G2, BL465c and BL685c server blades.

The BL465c and BL685c server blades are HP’s first AMD Opteron processor-based platforms for its c-Class blade architecture, announced on June 14. In addition, the new BL685c is the BladeSystem c-Class version and sister product of the industry’s best-selling 4P blade, the BL45p.

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