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February 28, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

On February 23, IBM cut price tags on its RS/6000 SP frames – the black boxes in which customers plug in processor nodes like the new Power3-based Winterhawks – to help better position its high- end Unix servers against competitive products from Hewlett- Packard and Sun Microsystems. The 9076-500 and -50H short frames now cost $15,000, down 20% from $18,700, while the 9076-550 and – 55H tall frames (which have more room for peripheral expansion) cost $25,000, down 50% from $50,000 apiece. The 500 and 550 frames use MicroChannel peripherals, while the 50H and 55H frames use PCI peripherals. The 500 and 50H frames support a maximum of eight processor nodes in a single frame with expansion features, while the 550 and 55H frames support up to 128 processor nodes. To help those customers with MCA-based SP frames who are bumping up against the eight-node limit on the 500 frames, IBM has also cut the price of upgrading from a 500 frame to a 550 frame to $20,000, down from $40,000.

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