IBM System x

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The IBM System x computers form a sub-brand of International Business Machines (IBM's) System brand servers (the other System sub-brands having the names IBM System i, IBM System p, IBM System z and IBM System Storage). In addition IBM System x is the main component of the IBM System Cluster 1350 solution.

The division is in the process of being sold to Lenovo in 2014.[1]


Starting out as IBM PC Server, rebranded Netfinity, then eServer xSeries and now System x, these servers are distinguished by being based on off-the-shelf x86 CPUs; IBM positions them as their "low end" or "entry" offering.

Previously IBM servers based on AMD Opteron CPUs did not share the xSeries brand; instead they fell directly under the eServer umbrella. However, current AMD Opteron-based servers fall under the System x brand.

IBM PC Server[edit]

PC Server range[edit]

  • IBM PC Server 300
  • IBM PC Server 310 (PCI/ISA)
  • IBM PC Server 315 (PCI/ISA)
  • IBM PC Server 320 (PCI/EISA)
  • IBM PC Server 325 (PCI/EISA)
  • IBM PC Server 330 (PCI/EISA)
  • IBM PC Server 500 (MCA)
  • IBM PC Server 520 (PCI/EISA or PCI/MCA)
  • IBM PC Server 704 (PCI/EISA)
  • IBM PC Server 720 (PCI/MCA)

Numbering scheme[edit]

  • 300 range for high-volume, entry level servers
  • 500 range for midrange
  • 700 range for high-end.

IBM Netfinity[edit]

Ibm netfinity.jpg

Not to be confused with a different IBM product with a similar name, NetFinity (notice the capital F).

Netfinity range[edit]

  • IBM Netfinity 1000
  • IBM Netfinity 3000, 3500
  • IBM Netfinity 4000R, 4500R
  • IBM Netfinity 5000, 5100, 5500, 5600
  • IBM Netfinity 6000R
  • IBM Netfinity 7000, 7000-M10, 7100, 7600
  • IBM Netfinity 8500R

Numbering scheme[edit]

The numbering scheme started off similar to that of the IBM PC Servers, but additional ranges were added, like the entry-level 1000 later on. Models ending with an R, are rack-mount.

KVM Cabling scheme[edit]

Some Netfinity servers used IBM's C2T cabling scheme for Keyboard/Video/Mouse.

IBM eServer xSeries[edit]

xSeries range[edit]

  • IBM eServer xSeries 100, 130, 135, 150
  • IBM eServer xSeries 200, 205, 206, 206m, 220, 225, 226, 230, 232, 235, 236, 240, 250, 255, 260
  • IBM eServer xSeries 300, 305, 306, 306m, 330, 335, 336, 340, 342, 345, 346, 350, 360, 365, 366, 370, 380, 382
  • IBM eServer xSeries 440, 445, 450, 455, 460

Numbering scheme[edit]

  • 100 series are entry-level tower servers
  • 200 series are tower servers
  • 300 series are rack-mount servers
  • 400 series are rack-mount scalable servers

KVM Cabling scheme[edit]

Many xSeries servers used IBM's C2T cabling scheme for Keyboard/Video/Mouse.

IBM eServer[edit]

Ibm eserver.jpg

eServer range[edit]

Numbering scheme[edit]

For marketing reasons the AMD processor based e325, e326 and e326m and the BladeCenter which supports non-Intel processor products were not branded xSeries, but were instead placed directly under the eServer brand. The xSeries brand was limited to only Intel-based server products.

From a numbering perspective the AMD servers did fit into the xSeries range, under the similar x335 and x336 Intel processor products. These numbers were not re-used in the xSeries range to prevent confusion.

IBM System x range[edit]

  • IBM System x3105, x3100, x3100 M4, x3100 M5
  • IBM System x3200, x3200 M2, x3200 M3, x3250, x3250 M2, x3250 M3, x3250 M4, x3250 M5
  • IBM System x3300 M4
  • IBM System x3350
  • IBM System x3400, x3400 M2, x3400 M3, x3450, x3455
  • IBM System x3500, x3500 M2, x3500 M3, x3500 M4
  • IBM System x3530 M4
  • IBM System x3550, x3550 M2, x3550 M3, x3550 M4
  • IBM System x3630 M4
  • IBM System x3650, x3650T, x3655, x3650 M2, x3650 M3, x3650 M4, x3650 M4 HD, x3650 M4 BD
  • IBM System x3750 M4
  • IBM System x3755, x3755 M3
  • IBM System x3800, x3850, x3850 M2, x3850 X5, x3850 X6
  • IBM System x3950, x3950 M2, x3950 X5, x3950 X6

Enterprise eX6 architecture[edit]

Executive Overview from IBM PDF - PDF High-end workloads such as Big Data/Analytics, ,,,,large mission-critical virtualization, huge scaleup databases, in-memory databases, SAP HANA, and CRM/ERP, require fast, agile, and resilient servers that will power through the toughest jobs, stay up and running, and provide extreme scalability and the flexibility to handle changes in mission and workload. Mainframes have long provided this sort of capability, but mainframes aren’t right for everyone.

In 1998, recognizing that x86 servers were no longer mere commodities and needed many of the same reliability, serviceability, availability, and performance attributes as mainframes and other advanced servers, IBM introduced x86 servers designed with the IBM® X-Architecture® blueprint. This game-changing design philosophy incorporated x86 industry firsts such as Chipkill™ (advanced ECC) memory protection, light path diagnostics and Predictive Failure Analysis, and helped elevate x86 servers from their previously limited roles to their present status as missioncritical, mainstream enterprise servers.

X-Architecture design combines innovative hardware, software, firmware, energy-saving technologies, storage solutions, proactive management, and services to solve customer challenges today, and it embraces an evolving design approach to address tomorrow’s challenges. IBM takes the best of industry-standard technologies—even helping to shape many of them through participation in standards groups—and combine them with IBM innovations to provide the greatest possible flexibility in x86 servers.

The fundamental premise of the X-Architecture blueprint will not change over time; however, the underlying technologies and how they are delivered will constantly evolve to meet the needs of our customers. Enterprise X-Architecture takes this philosophy even further, by adding the extreme levels of scalability, performance, and resilience required by enterprise-class workloads, where even a small amount of downtime can cost your business big money.

The 5th-generation of enterprise X-Architecture (eX5) 2-, 4-, and 8-socket systems had led the industry in #1 performance benchmarks, resilience, and—not coincidentally—market share—for several years. Now, IBM's newest servers, with 6th-generation enterprise X-Architecture design (X6), continue this trend with levels of processor performance, memory capacity, I/O bandwidth, flexibility, and resiliency previously unseen in x86 servers. The innovative technologies to drive 2X higher performance, 3X more memory capacity, and unsurpassed modular flexibility, help deliver bottom-line benefits for clients by targeting reduction in capital expenditures, optimizing efficiencies in operating costs, and reducing overall total cost of ownership.

Enterprise eX5 architecture[edit]

Enterprise X4 architecture[edit]

EX4 Chipset.png

Numbering scheme[edit]

2nd digit increments to show capability

3rd digit is a 0 for tower models, and 5 for rack-mount

4th digit is a 0 for Intel processors, and 5 for AMD Opteron.

Models with a T at the end are meant for Telco purposes.


An iDataPlex rack in a Portable Modular Data Center.

System x iDataPlex is used by many TOP500 supercomputers, including SuperMUC and Stampede. Other smaller installations include SciNet Consortium's General Purpose Cluster[2][3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kunert, Paul (23 January 2014). "It was inevitable: Lenovo stumps up $2.3bn for IBM System x server biz". The Register. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Toronto team completes Canada's most powerful supercomputer". CBC News. June 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  3. ^ Hall, Joseph (June 18, 2009). "U of T supercomputer probes origins of the universe". The Star. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  4. ^ "University of Toronto's Supercomputer Goes Online Thursday". All Headline News. June 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 

External links[edit]