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back to article Intel readies server-grade Atom for microserver ARM wrestling

If you were expecting Chipzilla to keep its server-chip powder dry until its Intel Developer Forum next week, surprise! It looks like Intel is going to jump the gun and get its "Avoton" Atom server chips into the field this Wednesday, as you can see from this announcement preview that Intel sent out to press and analysts over …

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Silver badge

Yeah But...

Some important features (or not)

ECC Memory - open those wallets chaps.

64Gb Ram support - yeah right. on a server board with TWO DIMM slots.

These may be low power but the ECC Ram cots a lot more and is less readily available. Then finding a small low power consumption server will cost even more than now. The small motherboards will cost the proverbial arm (pun intended) and two legs.

So Intel, it is fine making super chips but without keeping the costs down on the other parts it will fail miserably when put up against some of the forthcoming 64bit ARM based servers.

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Devil

Re: Yeah But...

1. ECC memory is not that expensive nowdays.

2. 32GB ECC DIMMs are commonplace. It is in fact readily available. It is the non-ECC at high capacities which is a problem.

IMHO, here Intel is not gunning for Arm, but for Fusion. Arm is a future threat, while AMD Fusion is clear and present danger. Nearly all Fusion MBs including measly sub-notebooks like my Vaio can address 16G per DIMM slot of non-ECC memory . Unfortunately you can buy only 8G DIMMs for the time being (which limits my subnotebook to measly 16G of RAM). People (including datacenter ones) have started to notice that and have started to look at it in earnest. This is what has made Intel grudgingly release the first Atom to be able to address a decent amount of RAM.

As far as Intel making a "super chip", that should be with quotes, right? To put things into perspective - last week I converted an Arm ChromeBook to Debian. It runs circles around any Atom/Core i3 notebook I know. I already have a decent Fusion notebook. That runs circles too. Based on first hand experience, if I buy something next 2 years I will now chose Arm, followed by Fusion for any of my desktop/laptop/microserver needs. Intel simply does not qualify on all counts - performance, addressable memory size, price, etc. I suspect I am not alone here too. In fact, I am surprised that we do not have an arm based Macbook Air yet. Based on the performance of my Samsung Exynos based machine, I would expect a hypothetical Arm Air to last 24h, not 11 while being ice cold all the time.

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Facepalm

Re: Yeah But...

ECC Memory - open those wallets chaps.

Of course it uses ECC memory -- it's for servers.

Seriously, why would anyone want to run a server without ECC memory? It's a cost-effective precaution against random menory corruption errors, what's not to like?

It may be that the Avoton chips can also use non-ECC memory for the real cheapskates among us, but support for ECC is pretty-much required for a serious server architecture.

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Roo
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Angel

Re: Yeah But...

Its a bit sad watching Intel eating AMD's lunch yet again. AMD have been pumping out low-power 64bit CPUs with ECC for a while now. The downside was that I didn't even know you could buy boxes with them in until bought a HP N54L which has a AMD Turion II (2.2GHz 64bit Dual Core with ECC). It thrashes the Atom junk I have stashed in the attic in every department and burns about the same amount of juice. I just wish I had known about it sooner, AMD's PR dept need a cattle prod applied to them IMO.

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Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Yeah But...

Yep, got Fusion running old and new FreeNAS boxes with ample RAM, because Intel are a joke at low end.

I have no interest in Atom. because they cost too much for CPU and chipset, have very underspec'd mobos, and they are still too slow; Atom is just poor value for money, so I'm amazed to see Atom in 'SME' NAS boxes, the designers must be stupid!

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Silver badge

Re: Yeah But...

"Nearly all Fusion MBs including measly sub-notebooks like my Vaio can address 16G per DIMM slot of non-ECC memory . "

If you have ecc memory you might want to try it. AMD systems tend to support it without documenting that support.

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@Steve Davies 3: your argument seems to fail on its face: yes, ECC RAM is more expensive and less common than the non-ECC variants. But nothing that ARM does or does not do changes that. So comparing an Atom solution with an ARM one you either have to agree (bizarrely) that your data doesn't matter and ECC is therefore unimportant or you have to buy much the same ECC RAM whether you use an ARM or an Atom.

As to the number of DIMM slots, within reason that's often a choice the implementer, not the chipset,

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ECC...

Steve, you would put non-ECC RAM in an Enterprise installation? I don't like that my laptop doesn't have ECC RAM let alone my servers!

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All Ram Aside...That looks like an ad for 2001 A Space Odessy

All that's missing is "Monkey Boy" Ballmer beating on Eric Schmidt with the jawbone of an Ass!

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JDX
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Re: All Ram Aside...That looks like an ad for 2001 A Space Odessy

You win the "stating the obvious" prize...

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Holmes

Re: All Ram Aside...That looks like an ad for 2001 A Space Odessy

icon says all

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Bad Move

If they feel they need such a cringe-worthy advert I can only assume they are aiming it at the PHB not the BOFH

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad Move

" I can only assume they are aiming it at the PHB not the BOFH"

They're aiming their shiny at the investment managers currently keeping Intel afloat.

Outsiders with a clue know that MS have had it, and Intel are not far behind.

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