If you've been waiting ever patiently for new Nehalem server chips since the microarchitecture was detailed at IDF
way back in August of 2008, we have wonderful news to pass along. Following a short, exclusive release within Apple's newest Mac Pro systems, the Nehalem-class Xeon server microprocessors and platforms are reportedly gearing up to ship to whitebox partners at the end of this month.
We're told that the first of the Mac Pro systems
, which come pre-configured with either a single 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon 3500 processor or a pair of 2.26 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon 5500s, will enjoy a short window of exclusivity, though Brian Corn of Waltham, MA-based Intel partner Source Code reportedly stated that such a relationship was "standard fare and wouldn't greatly affect the channel's 30- to 60-day window to put out new Nehalem-based systems ahead of major manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard."
Channelweb.com received word from sources close to Intel that everyone else should be seeing shipments of the Gainestown processors in the not too distant future, with the upcoming Intel Solutions Summit acting as a springboard to show the units off to prospective integrators. It's said that reactions have been mixed on the readiness of the supply channel to accept these chips, with some noting that supporting mainboards have been easy to find while others are apparently not looking in all the right places. Early estimates are pegging the nine CPU family -- which range in clock speeds from 2.0GHz to 3.2GHz -- with prices spanning the gamut from $224 to a staggering $1,600, though Intel has yet to come out and stamp those with its approval.
Of course, we fully expect some growing pains as system makers learn to deal with Nehalem's new take on memory allocation and the possible need for a new power supply configuration, but it's still refreshing to hear that the wait for high-end Xeon successors
is almost over for those of us outside of the Mac realm.