Hewlett-Packard has launched a server based on Intel’s new Tigerton quad-core Xeon processor, as it seeks to take the fight to IBM in the enterprise hardware space.

HP announced the rack-based ProLiant DL580 G5 and the blade-shaped ProLiant BL680c G5, each using four of Intel’s Xeon 7300-series chips. The machines are thought to be aimed at customers who run data-intensive business applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and virtualisation software.

Compared to HP’s current ProLiant servers with dual-core versions of the Xeon or Advanced Micro Devices’s Opteron chips, both new servers are designed to better support virtualisation, allowing users to handle their applications with a smaller number of servers than they need today, the company said.

The announcement comes less than a week before AMD is expected to launch its own quad-core server chip, called Barcelona. HP, Sun Microsystems and other vendors are expected to use that processor in a range of new platforms for similar markets.

In the meantime, Intel is enjoying increased popularity for its Tigerton chip. IBM also chose the Xeon 7300 chip to upgrade its server line-up, combining the processor with its own X4 chipset instead of Intel’s Clarksboro chipset. IBM announced the System x3950 M2 server, also touting its virtualisation abilities.

HP is selling the DL580 for $9,219 and the BL680c for $9,669. IBM will announce pricing for the System x3950 M2 when it is shipped, in the fourth quarter.