Intel CPUs expand Sun’s workstation portfolio

  • Santa Clara (CA) – Following servers with Intel’s Xeon processors, Sun today introduced workstations based on Intel’s Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors.


    Sun now has a third workstation family, adding to the existing models based on single- and dual socket AMD Opteron-based systems (Ultra 20, Ultra 40 M2) as well as single- and dual-socket UltraSparc IIIi (Ultra 25, Ultra 45) models. The new Ultra 24 is based on Intel’s Core processors and, in the case of a Core 2 Quad configuration, is Sun’s first (single-socket) quad-core workstation.

    The Ultra 24 has the identical outside look of its two sister models, making the Intel Core 2 logo the only differentiator to the 20, 40, 25 and 45. The Intel system is based on the single-socket Garlow platform supporting six different processors – the dual-cores E4400, E6750 and E6850 (2.0 GHz – 3.0 GHz) as well as the quad-cores Q6600, Q6700 and QX6850 (2.4 GHz – 3.0 GHz).

    The base configuration comes with the E4400, 512 MB of memory, a 250 GB SATA hard drive, Nvidia’s NVS290 workstation graphics card as well as Solaris 10 as operating system for $995. The E6850 model with a FX1700 card lists for $1835. The base quad-core configuration with the Q6600 CPU, 1 GB of memory, a 250 GB SATA hard drive and the NVS290 card sells for $1445, while the QX6850 version with 2 GB of memory is available for $2335.

    All prices are slightly higher than Sun’s comparable single-socket AMD Opteron systems, which are priced from $895; the Ultra 24 with QX6850 quad-core processor is substantially cheaper than a dual-socket Opteron dual-core system: Four AMD cores in a Sun workstation will ring up at a minimum of $2490 with two Opteron 2214 CPUs.

    Workstations typically can be tailored to a very specific use and the Ultra 24 is no exception. The upgrade sheet reads like the options list of Italian sports cars manufacturers and provides enough depth to drive the price of this single-socket system beyond the $10,000 mark. Besides up to 8 GB memory ($1500), up to four SAS hard drives (300 GB drives run for $1000) and Nvidia’s FX5600 cards (a $2800 option), the systems can be purchased with a boatload of service plans covering installation, software and hardware.

    The Intel system can be ordered with Solaris 10, Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit/64-bit), Windows XP Professional 32-bit/64-bit), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit/64-bit), Red Hat Enterprise Linux Client 5/WS 4.5, Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 or Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.