Dell has today announced the addition of its ninth-generation PowerEdge servers, the first to be powered by Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors. Not only is this good from the performance perspective but also when it comes to bang for your buck in the enterprise, with up to 40 percent enhanced performance per watt figures. But perhaps it is the Precision decision, as Dell has added quad-core processors across the entire desktop portfolio as well, that will be of most interest. This means that Dell now has standards-based professional workstations that can perform with the best of them. For example, when configured with quad-core processors a Precision 690 can deliver up to 54 percent better performance when using multi-threaded applications.

Sticking with that Precision 690, the feature set is certainly impressive. Dual CPU socket and dual front-side buses provide as many as eight high-performance processor cores with quad cores. There’s also now double the number of memory channels, four in all, supporting fully buffered DIMMs and a unique to Dell scalable memory design that allows up to 16 DIMMs by way of optional memory risers to provide a potential 64GB. Graphics have not been overlooked, with an optional dual-graphics riser card combining two NVIDIA SLITM cards with support for quad-monitor configurations so as to keep that ‘to the power of four’ concept running through the spec.

"Dell prides itself not only on being first to market with technology, but first to deliver exceptional value to the customer while helping to reduce costly complexity in their environment," said Brad Anderson, senior vice president, Dell Product Group. "The introduction of quad-core processing enables us to guide customers more easily than ever to the benefits of a scale-out architecture, migrating from higher cost systems with four or more sockets used for enterprise applications to two socket systems with better price/performance and lower power consumption, and accelerating their ability to take advantage of this new technology for better business results now and in future growth."

Prices start as $2399 for the Precision 690.

But having said all that, if you prefer the AMD approach then you might want to hold fire until next year as I understand that Dell is committed to adopting the AMD version of quad core as well. This is good news for the consumer as it means more choice, rather than being forced down one processor route by vendor partnership deals.

About the Author

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

Great article! This makes it a little difficult to keep on not liking Dell ;)
That 690 is a pricey system, but I guess it's giving out a lot of power for that money. The best news to me is that they are going down this same route with AMD processors. I'm sure those systems will be pricey too, but at least that price hogginess will be mitigated somewhat.

Sure the AMD systems will be pricey, but I'm guessing they won't be as pricey as the Intel ones as AMD always has lower prices compared to Intel. And if it were up to me, I'd buy one of those systems as soon as it was out. However, I'm saving up for a DX10 based graphics card when it comes out.:)