Faster 32-bit offers more than hybrid chip

Intel is likely to use its developers' forum next week to unveil plans for a 32/64-bit hybrid chip codenamed "Yamhill", mirroring...

Intel is likely to use its developers' forum next week to unveil plans for a 32/64-bit hybrid chip codenamed "Yamhill", mirroring rival chipmaker AMD's 64-bit strategy.

AMD's hybrid processor, Opteron, has been adopted by a number of server makers, including Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Sun introduced a low-end server family this week, based on AMD's technology and ranging in price from £1,900 to £2,677.

In a research paper on hybrid 32/64-bit technology, analyst group Gartner advised users to evaluate the potential price and performance advantages of deploying Opteron-based servers for running applications such as terminal services, web servers, high performance computer clusters and mainstream 32-bit applications.

But Meta analyst Michael Burlison could see no benefit for users running 64-bit desktop systems based on Opteron or a future Intel hybrid chip. He said, "From an end-user perspective, 64-bits will not make much difference on the desktop." He advised users to invest in faster 32-bit systems and more installed memory.

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