We already told you about a cluster that consists of Shuttle XPC computers and is dedicated to perform computational astrophysics simulations in the Theoretical Astrophysics group (T-6) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (see this news-story). Although Shuttle itself does not position its barebones as solutions for servers or clusters, it seems that now the company is going to change its policy a bit. As AMDZone web-site claims, Shuttle is about to launch a barebone for AMD Opteron processors.
At CeBIT 2003 Shuttle already showcased a barebone for AMD Athlon 64 processors (see our CeBIT 2003 coverage), so, a move to Socket 940 for Opteron CPUs seems to be a possible one. Since there is an experience of using Shuttle’s computers in cluster for serious tasks, we assume that the reliability of such PCs should be quite high, hence, it is quite reasonable for Shuttle to start making barebones designated for servers with appropriate processors and with higher cost. Since HyperTransport-based systems’ design is fairly simple, it should not be too expensive to make a very small system for Opteron processors.
We do not expect small form factor server systems to be popular for more or less serious servers, but the devices should be perfect for clusters and other solutions of this kind. In addition, provided that these machines are cheap enough, some real AMD fans can grab such barebone and an Opteron processor to build a PC for everyday needs.
Pricing and availability details are not touched upon at this time.