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Itanium vs Intel64


We are going to be upgrading our ESX 3.5 servers to ESX 4. We're also going to be upgrading our hardware. I'd like to know if there is a significant difference in upgrading to Itanium vs Intel64 processors. Can the operating system take full advantage of 64 bit technology in the Intel 64 processors?



1 Reply
New Contributor II

Hi Scott,

You must already be knowing that that Intel Itanium architecture is different from Intel x86 architecture and even though Itanium remains in development and has reached a limited success in the niche of high end computing, it had been hoped to evolve into a replacement for lower end applications of the original x86 architecture.

One more interesting fact is that not every/all applications and OS works on IA-64 (Itanium) architecture and you might as well want to confirm this with VMWare if ESX 4 has been compiled to work on Itanium architecture.

As for the other family of server processors from Intel, the x86 based 64-bit Intel Xeon processors, I personally feel that it would be a lot easier and favorable for you to upgrade your existing hardware to Nehalem based Xeons processors since they not only support 64-Bit technology as their ancestors but also give you significant computing performance along with cut-down on your electricity costs and phenominal performance in virtualizion scenarios.

Most OSs' kernels today have been recompiled to support the latest Intel Nehalem architecture based 64-Bit Server/Desktop/Mobile CPUs and I would suggest that before you upgrade, you might want to scan the compatibility list for the OS.

Here is also a VMWare TCO/ROI Calculator (you might already be aware of it)

Hope this helps. In case of any further queries, you are always welcome to contact us.

Thank you, have a nice day!


Warm Regards,

Javed Lodhi

Intel Go Green, Save The Environment!