Hewlett Packard will next week release workstations using Intel's 32/64-bit Xeon processor, codenamed Nocona.
The new xw8200 and xw6200 workstations will be available with dual Xeon processors running at 2.8, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6GHz, with EM64T 64-bit memory extensions.
They are capable of running standard 32-bit software as well as newer 64-bit code, a capability that AMD's Opteron processor range has had since last year.
The new E7525 chipset also supports PCI Express - four times faster than current x8 Accelerated Graphics Port connectors - and improved DDR2 memory.
The xw8200 and xw6200 will be released for sale next week, priced at £1,259 and £1,620 (ex. VAT) respectively for the basic specifications.
Later today Intel is set to unveil Nocona's specifications, pricing and availability.
"We've put a lot of effort into the design of these new systems," said Sue Forkin, senior product managers for HP workstations in the UK.
"The new chipset design allows better airflow to keep the machine cool, but we've also cut chassis size and operating noise. Even with twin fans we've reduced the system's acoustics significantly."
The chassis also allows tool-less access for simple upgrading. HP is offering Open GL graphics cards from nVidia and ATI and has pre-tested a large selection of cards from other manufacturers to ensure compatibility.
Both systems come with fast Redundant Array of Independent Disks (Raid) memory that boosts system performance and ensures better data integrity. They can be configured for up to 1.5TB of storage.
The workstations will come with Windows XP Professional and, on its release in August, Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3.0.
Microsoft is expected to release a 32/64-bit version of Windows by the end of the year.
HP also released some details of its first workstation to use Intel's new 32-bit 925x chipset. The xw4200 workstation, due out in August, will also include 533MHz DDR2 memory and Raid memory.
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