IBM Peddles Baby BladeCenter PS700 Express Blade Box
April 19, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The Power7-based Power Systems 701 and 702 blades, which have eight or 16 activated cores in their base configurations and which we detail in the lead story in this issue, are a bit overkill for a lot of SMB shops. And so IBM has sensibly created a preconfigured BladeCenter PS700 Express configuration with fewer cores activated.
The PS700 Express has the same basic hardware as the PS701 blade, except that it only has four cores that work and only eight DDR3 memory slots instead of 16. The clock speed on the Power7 chip is the same 3 GHz, and there are no optional processor speeds, just like the PS701 and PS702. The blade supports 4 GB and 8 GB memory sticks, and has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two mezzanine cards for I/O expansion. As far as I know, four of the cores on the PS700 Express blade are duds, so you can’t activate more than the four that come with it. If you want to run i 7.1 operating system (or the i 6.1.1 interim release), this blade has to be deployed in a BladeCenter-H (14-blade) or BladeCenter-S (six-blade) chassis. The base PS700 Express blade costs $4,601, plus $100 per core to activate the cores. Memory, disk, and I/O options are the same as on the PS701 and PS702 blades. This server is rated at 21,100 on IBM’s Commercial Workload Performance (CPW) test, a little less than half of the PS701 and a little less than a quarter of the PS702 double-wide blade.
Why this PS700 blade was launched separately from the other two, I dunno. It will be available on June 4.