New Power6 systems

IBM announced new Power6 based systems today. The p520 Express and the p550 Express. This announcement is somewhat hidden in the PowerVM announcement.Well, now legions of IBM sales reps will go to customers and tell them: “We have Power6 in smaller systems. Not only in p570”. But you have to take this comment with a really large amount of salt. When you look into the data sheets you find some interesting facts. You won´t get 4.7 Ghz p6 with the new systems. The p520 is a 4.2 Ghz only system and the p550 is only available with 3.5 or 4.2 Ghz. So still no mass-rollout of the 4.7 GHz p6 silicon. IBM must still have yield problems with the high-end version. More interesting is the fact, that the p520 doesn´t have the 32 MB L3 Cache of the larger boxes. I wrote about the effect of having less cache on the Power6 chip some weeks ago when the new blade was announced. Like with the blade: You get the p6 proc but not the p6 performance.