IntroductionSince IWill announced the ZMAXdp, a dual Opteron, small form factor 'workstation', interest in it has been tremendous. We scored the very first spy shots early on after the announcement and recently some more pictures and commentary popped up on 2CPU.com, further fuelling the fire.
We've now gone one step further, with testing, evaluation and exclusive access to a fully-working production sample based on IWill's 0.91 revision mainboard. It's not often something like this comes along before a product is officially launched. Free of NDA restrictions and corporate pressure, allowing us to write exactly what we want, as we see it, and take pictures as we please, it's been a pleasure to get some hands-on time with the ZMAXdp since it arrived at Casa Del Rys a day or so ago.
What follows is a preview article on the chassis, hardware, a look at low-power Opteron and some work on the performance. I must stress that IWill still haven't signed off on the hardware for full mass-production yet. They're still tweaking the hardware, the BIOS and the final performance before letting it loose. I still don't know its final pricing, that's still under wraps. So while I'm confident nothing much is going to change between now and full launch, be mindful that it's a preview of late-revision, pre-production hardware.
Before I continue, big thanks to Armari for allowing us a couple of days with the unit. They're a UK launch partner for the hardware and they did a great job setting it up to a base specification we requested, for use in some performance numbers I wanted to run, making it easier for me to work things up.
Without further ado, let's dive right in and see what it's like close up.