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SGI Delivers Blistering Performance, Leading Density in Altix XE310 and Altix XE1300 Cluster Featuring New ’Atoka’ Board


SAPAC Among First Customers of New Servers Based on Quad Core Intel Xeon Processor 5300 Series

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (January 8, 2007) — SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) today announced it will deliver its new SGI® Altix® XE310 server and XE1300 cluster this quarter at prices that significantly lower cost of ownership while driving dramatic performance increases over Dual-Core x86-64 processor-based systems.

First unveiled at Supercomputing 2006, the Altix XE310 server features the industry’s first system with the innovative new “Atoka” motherboard design, developed in a collaborative effort between SGI and Intel Corporation. The new Atoka board allows the Altix XE310 server to accommodate up to four Quad Core Intel® Xeon® processor 5300 series into a single 1U chassis. That equates to eight cores per node, or a total of 16 cores per chassis. The Altix XE1300 cluster combines multiple XE310 compute nodes with an Altix XE240 head node in a preconfigured, ultra-dense package for the world’s toughest applications.

“After evaluating solutions from every major system vendor for the South Australian Supercluster, we chose SGI’s Quad-Core Altix XE1300 cluster because it offers the best value on an integrated platform with a world-class, high-bandwidth interconnect,” said Professor Tony Williams, Director, South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC) and professor of physics at the University of Adelaide. SAPAC purchased a 560-core SGI Altix XE1300 cluster to accelerate computational chemistry research in the region. “Even when pushed with our most memory-intensive application codes, the Quad-Core Altix XE1300 platform delivered at least 1.5 times the performance of Dual-Core systems, and even achieved double the performance of Dual-Core servers on some codes. We anticipate significant efficiency gains for SAPAC and its user community.”

SGI expects to begin shipping Altix XE1300 clusters and XE310 servers in March. The new factory-integrated, fully tested Altix XE1300 clusters deliver breakthrough cluster cost efficiencies, optimizing valuable data center real estate, lowering infrastructure expense, and simplifying cluster management. With fewer components, the Altix XE1300 also delivers enhanced reliability across the cluster.

Altix XE1300: Performance plus space- and cost-efficiency
With the powerful, ultra-dense Altix XE1300, customers can do more with less hardware and space, which in turn lowers their TCO. Altix XE1300 clusters and Altix XE310 servers deliver a lower overall net cost per core, extremely high floating-point performance in every rack, superior performance per square foot, and leading power efficiency.

For instance, when it is installed in March, the 540-core SAPAC cluster will generate five times more compute performance than SAPAC’s most powerful existing system. Still, the SGI cluster was still able to meet SAPAC’s strict power consumption and space requirements. “Although it is capable of delivering 6 Teraflops of tightly coupled compute power, this new Altix XE1300 cluster will have only a relatively modest heat load and a small physical footprint,” said Williams of SAPAC, which also purchased an extensive SGI storage and data management solution. “We have a long history of working with SGI, whose world-class technical support helped to create a truly integrated solution that amounts to far more than an array of industry-standard components. This is a unique and powerful resource.”

“If the Altix XE1300 shows anything, it’s that SGI is listening to its customers’ concerns about energy-efficiency, low cost of ownership and minimal physical footprint, and is building solutions that deliver leading HPC-class performance overall, along with the highest performance per watt, per square foot, and per dollar spent,” said Dave Parry, senior vice president and Product general manager, SGI. “The new line of ultra-dense servers and clusters is part of SGI’s long-term vision to reliably and flexibly meet customer needs not just in one department, but across the enterprise, no matter what platforms or workflows are already in place.”

SGI Altix XE runs industry-standard Linux® operating systems, with a choice of Novell® SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®. In addition, the SGI® ProPack™ 5 for Linux® OS option includes resource management tools and enhanced development libraries like Flexible File Input/Output (FFIO) which provides programmers with fine-grained control of I/O transfers to maximize performance. The Altix XE product line supports a broad selection of development tools and applications from Intel, other third parties, and the open source Linux community. When deployed in combination with the SGI Altix family of Intel® Itanium® 2 Processor-based servers, the SGI Altix XE product line provides the industry’s best end-to-end solution for demanding mixed workflow requirements.

Lower TCO throughout the product lifecycle
The Altix XE1300 cluster solution delivers top TCO, powered by ultra-dense HPC-optimized Altix XE310 compute nodes with onboard InfiniBand and/or GigaBit Ethernet for simplified management, and reduced power and cooling costs. The Altix XE310, featuring four Intel Xeon processor sockets per 1U chassis, will be available from less than $3,100. U.S. List for Quad-Core systems. Dual-Core systems are also available.

With a competitive purchase price, deploy-upon-delivery installation, and lower operational costs, the SGI Altix XE1300 line keeps TCO low throughout the lifecycle of every node or rack.

Customers can also order Dual- or Quad-Core configurations of SGI Altix XE1200 clusters and SGI Altix XE210/240 servers. Contact SGI for pricing.

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SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges whether it’s enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Actual results may vary materially.


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