The IntelliStation Pro 6894 will be the first Itanium-powered workstation to ship, according to IBM. The company let Digit have a sneak peak at the machine yesterday, along with the next generation of Xeon-based IntelliStations.
The 6894 includes two 800MHz Itanium chips, the first 64-bit chips from Intel. It also includes 2MB of L3 cache, up to 16GB of RAM and seven free bays. Like the 32-bit IntelliStations, it will over a choice of 2D or 3D graphics cards (the Matrox G450 or NVidia’s Quadro 2 MXR). IBM is also willing to add cards such as the Wildcat II – at a cost.
However, IBM could not provide any pricing information for the machine as the launch of the Itanium was delayed from Tuesday until the much-speculated date of May 29 – which IBM confirmed (and added the more precise 6am Pacific Time). The 6894 will ship shortly after that day, with pricing also being announced then.
The 6894 will run either Windows XP or major Linux distributions including Red Hat and Turbo Linux. However, while the Linux versions will be available shortly after May 29, the Windows version will not available until XP ships in the autumn (mooted to be October 26).
The IntelliStation M-Pro 6850 is the first such machine to use Intel’s Xeon processor, codenamed Foster and formerly known as the Pentium 4 Xeon. It uses two chips that IBM will only say run at least as fast as 1.4GHz – as Intel has not formally announced any Xeon chips above this speed.
The 6850 also includes up to 4GB of memory (8x 512MB RIMMs) – up to 8GB when Rambus releases its 1GB RIMMs later this year – the usual choice of graphics cards and easier access to drive bays.
The launch of these two machines seems a re-organization of the IntelliStation line. The old M-Pro and E-Pro lines have merged into the E-Pro brand, which uses the same box as both old lines and is based around single Pentium chips up to 1.7GHz. The old Z-Pro line, based around Pentium III Xeons, has become the M-Pro line, which is based around the new Xeons. New at the top will be the Pro line (just Pro), which will be the Itanium machines.