The lowdown on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors

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Best of both worlds

What are they? AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors support a new category of servers capable of simultaneously handling both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and applications.

What's the advantage? They can help you save money by retaining legacy applications while moving gradually into 64-bit computing.

If you can afford them, none.

What's next? AMD expects to take the next step toward full 64-bit computing by releasing Opteron x86 dual-core processors in midsummer. The dual-core design, which directly connects the processors, memory controller and I/O to the CPU, helps eliminate the bottlenecks inherent in a front-side bus architecture, according to the company.

Must-know info? By increasing processing speed and allowing access to practically unlimited RAM, 64-bit computing is the logical next step. Opteron and Xeon servers give you a cost-effective entry into this world.

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