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First Intel Core i7 Servers Announced

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Visionman Computers has launched the very first server featuring Intel's Core i7 processor.

According to a press release distributed by Visionman this morning, its Acserva ViXone7 family of servers is the first to use Intel's "Nehalem" technology. It's also the first to "re-introduce" hyper-threading, the technology that allows each core to process two threads simultaneously (meaning Windows and Linux read eight cores from the four physical CPU cores). The servers are also an industry first in offering triple-channel memory support, slamming the CPU with 4.8 giga-transfers per second. The Acserva Core i7 servers are built with small to medium businesses in mind, and start at $1799.99.

“Visionman is proud to bring the first Acserva Core i7 servers to market, a full quarter ahead of the mainstream Intel launch,” said Tre’ Cates, President and CEO of Silicon Mountain Holdings.  “Visionman will continue to innovate by delivering solutions ahead of the market, allowing our customers to become more efficient and productive in their chosen industries, ahead of their competition.”

By heading here on Visionman's website, consumers will see that the cheaper model is capable of up to 24GB of DDR-1333 memory (with 3GB installed), supports RAID o,1,5,0+1, supports port teaming (insert Shawshank Redemption reference here), 8 USB 2.0 ports (an expandable to 10) and even features dual integrated 10/100/1000 gigabit LAN connection. The server takes advantage the Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz Quad Core processor, mounted in the supermicro X8SAX motherboard (with the Intel X58/ICH10R chipset). There's also 4 Western Digital 250GB SATA-II Raid Edition hard drives thrown in for all those "personal files" no one wants found on their local (and networked) PCs.

Surprisingly enough, the graphics portion utilizes NVidia's 8400GS GPU for those special "power point" presentations viewed late after business hours. Visionman also states that memory modules are installed in banks of three, "increasing throughput and efficiency on the faster QuickPath Interconnect." With this machine, businesses can effectively run two operating systems at the same time, working as independent virtual machines. This works great for IT managers wanting to create a single build for various environments. Visionman said that all server models come with optional remote management capabilities as well as a SAS based storage system allowing 24x7 use.

Visionman's other Core i7 offering, costing $1999.99, comes with 6GB EC DDR3-1333 RAM installed and 4 Western Digital 500GB SATA-II Raid Edition hard drives. Both machines support WOL, WOR, and PXE. Oh, it has a "floppy" drive, too. Go figure (those were, like, so 90s).

"In early November of this year, Intel introduced its first CPU releases based upon the Intel Core i7 platform to rave reception from high performance desktop users and gaming enthusiasts," said the company. "The Intel core i7 processor was actually designed with high performance server applications in mind and Intel plans to officially launch their server-focused, Xeon branded offering based on the Core i7 platform in Q1-2009."

Apparently, Visionman beat Intel to the server market. The company, a subsidiary of Silicon Mountain Holdings, has been around since 1994, selling gaming systems, notebooks and servers to businesses and home users alike. Those who order the server now will receive a DVD containing 100 games, and will also ship the machine in 3 to 5 business days.

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  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 23, 2008 11:25 AM
    Quote:
    24GB of DDR-1333

    Should be DDR3.

    Quote:
    urprisingly enough, the graphics portion utilizes NVidia's 8400GS GPU for those special "power point" presentations viewed late after business hours

    That's good. Should take care of playing CSS/HL2 :p  :lol: 
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , December 23, 2008 1:47 PM
    Quote:
    RAID o

    I didn't know RAID o was an option. I've heard of RAID 0 though. How interesting. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , December 23, 2008 1:50 PM
    Quote:
    ...supports port teaming (insert Shawshank Redemption reference here)...
    I love that movie, but I can't figure out what reference this would be to in the movie... Maybe I've already shutdown my brain for the holidays.
  • -2 Hide
    martel80 , December 23, 2008 5:17 PM
    I wonder how long will it run What a stupid idea to use desktop hardware in a server. ECC is not only for fun!
  • -1 Hide
    Sad Panda , December 23, 2008 7:25 PM
    Looks like a standard Desktop i7 build with a crappy graphics card.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 23, 2008 10:01 PM
    Ah, but it does have ECC - check out their webstie
  • 3 Hide
    chookman , December 23, 2008 11:00 PM
    "The Intel core i7 processor was actually designed with high performance server applications in mind and Intel plans to officially launch their server-focused, Xeon branded offering based on the Core i7 platform in Q1-2009."

    Says it all, you cant call this a server when its got desktop parts. Simple as that.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , December 24, 2008 1:27 AM
    Not only is this a Desktop, it's over priced. Unless of course it's a 965, which I doubt.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , December 24, 2008 2:33 AM
    Well it is a server, if that's what it is used as, especially if it has a server oriented OS installed. Still, serious businesses expect Xenon and Opteron server oriented systems rather than their desktop counterparts for critical tasks. For the SMB market though this is a perfect performance server.
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 24, 2008 6:30 AM
    yep, Intel core i7 processor was actually designed with high performance server applications since AMD's Opteron processors are quite good compared to intel xeon's
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , December 24, 2008 3:07 PM
    gwolfmanI love that movie, but I can't figure out what reference this would be to in the movie... Maybe I've already shutdown my brain for the holidays.

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 24, 2008 5:40 PM
    @martel50: I agree that this box has a limited lifetime: once the real i7 Xeons come out, they'll be the best thing out there. In the mean time, the i7 destroys Core 2-based Xeons, performance-wise.

    For some memory-intensive number crunching I've been doing, an i7 takes 33% to 50% less time to run than a similarly-clocked Core 2 Xeon and I've seen near linear scaling in multi-threaded performance on an i7, but very poor scaling on the Core 2 Xeon system (due mostly to FSB saturation). So, even though the current i7 parts are "desktop", the Core 2 Xeon CPUs are basically repurposed laptop processors.
  • 0 Hide
    androticus , December 24, 2008 9:53 PM
    Nice job Tom's! Repackage a press release for a workstation using existing i7 chips calling itself a "server" as if it was an actual real news article! Not only is a workstation based on a desktop chip not a "server", but the title is egregiously misleading, since no real servers will come out until Intel releases the Xeon.
  • 0 Hide
    huipri , December 29, 2008 8:50 PM
    There is still one thing I don’t fully understand.
    How can ECC memory be used/supported while the current Intel Core i7 processors officially do not support ECC memory ?
    Could anyone please explain this ?
  • 0 Hide
    mickrussom , March 11, 2009 10:24 AM
    No ECC support on Core i7 means the memory controller was never verified to actually work. Intel is showing how arrogant and pompous they are because AMD is in the toilet right now. Shameful, no ECC in 2009.

    No ECC == I don't buy. Period. Enjoy the recession Intel alienating your customers (that actually have money).