Dell shoves Nvidia kit into its blades

Dell has announced that it will offer graphics processing units with a new blade server.

The move, which boosts overall application performance, is part of the vision of the Nvidia, which wants to shove its GPUs into data centres.

Brian Payne, director of server product management at Dell said that the optional graphics cards will be sold with the new PowerEdge M610x blade servers.

GPUs are quicker at executing certain general-purpose and high-performance computing tasks than traditional CPUs and in high-performance computing, GPGPU (general-purpose GPU) usage is offloading what used to be a bank of servers into a single card, he said.

Each blade will have two full-length PCI-Express slots that will be able to accommodate up to two 250-watt graphics cards. Nvidia is not getting it all its own way. the Dell server will support a range of GPUs, as well as Nvidia’s latest Tesla cards.

Tesla however is a good choice. A single M610x with a Nvidia Tesla can provide 400 gigaflops of peak performance to meet demanding workloads.

Each two socket server will be based on Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 quad-core or six-core CPUs and support up to 192GB of memory.

The only downside to Nvidia’s vision is that GPUs chuck out more heat than CPUs. Dell has had to equip its M1000e blade chassis with  new power supplies and cooling fans.

The PowerEdge M610x and M710HD will be available worldwide in July, with prices pricing starting at $2,269 and $2,474.