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Dell Inc. and Silicon Graphics Inc. are bringing high-end technology to systems aimed at the low-end and midrange segments of the market.

Dell this week is introducing its first server powered by Intel Corp.’s dual-core technology. Customers buying the PowerEdge SC430 will have the option of running it on Intel’s dual-core Pentium D chip.

The payoff from moving to dual core will be significant, claims eWEEK Labs’ Francis Chu. Click here to read his column.

The server—meant for tasks such as print/file, e-mail, Web serving and running small databases—can also be outfitted with either Pentium 4 or Celeron single-core chips.

Dual-core technology puts two processing units—or cores—onto a single piece of silicon, offering almost twice the chip performance in the same space. It also improves power efficiency, said officials at Dell, of Round Rock, Texas.

In addition to the dual-core capabilities, the SC430 offers 50 percent more storage capacity and high-speed PCI Express slots than the current SC420.

Mike Terenzi, director of IT operations at Stahl’s Inc., said he is interested in systems running dual-core processors, particularly now that Microsoft Corp. and some other major software makers have said they will license their software for such systems on a per-socket basis.

“Because of the licensing, instead of getting a dual-processor [server], if we can get one of these [dual-core systems] and cut our licensing in half, I’d be more than happy,” said Terenzi, a Dell customer based in St. Clair Shores, Mich.

For its part, SGI, of Mountain View, Calif., this week is unveiling the Altix 330 and an accompanying storage array, the InfiniteStorage S330, both aimed at lower-end customers, a segment that SGI has historically eschewed. The Linux-based Altix 330, which can run one to 16 Itanium chips, has an entry price of $7,000 and is the latest step in SGI’s push to drive its high-end technology into other business segments.

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