System x
Roadrunner supercomputer x86 nodes
(IBM System x3755 servers)
DeveloperIBM (2006–2014)
Lenovo (2014–2017)
Release date2006 (2006)
Discontinued2017 (2017)
PredecessoreServer xSeries
SuccessorLenovo ThinkSystem
IBM NeXtScale
RelatedLenovo ThinkServer

System x is a line of x86 servers produced by IBM, and later by Lenovo, as a sub-brand of IBM's System brand, alongside IBM Power Systems, IBM System z and IBM System Storage. In addition, IBM System x was the main component of the IBM System Cluster 1350 solution.

In January 2014, IBM announced the sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion, in a sale completed October 1, 2014.[1][2]


Starting out with the PS/2 Server, then the IBM PC Server, rebranded Netfinity, then eServer xSeries and finally System x, these servers are distinguished by being based on off-the-shelf x86 CPUs; IBM positioned them as their "low end" or "entry" offering compared to their POWER and Mainframe products. Previously IBM servers based on AMD Opteron CPUs did not share the xSeries brand; instead they fell directly under the eServer umbrella. However, later[when?] AMD Opteron-based servers did fall under the System x brand.[citation needed]


IBM PS/2 Server

Further information: List of IBM PS/2 models § PS/2 Server

IBM PC Server

PC Server range

Numbering scheme

IBM Netfinity

Logo of Netfinity
Logo of Netfinity

1998–2001 server line; Not to be confused with a software IBM product with a similar name, NetFinity (notice the capital F).

Netfinity range

Numbering scheme

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

KVM cabling scheme

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

IBM eServer

Main article: IBM eServer

eServer logo
eServer logo

IBM eServer range

IBM eServer was a marketing effort to put all of the diverse IBM server platforms under one header. The AS/400 became the IBM eServer iSeries, the RS/6000 became the IBM eServer pSeries, the S/390 mainframe became the IBM eServer zSeries and the Intel processor based IBM Netfinity servers became the IBM eServer xSeries.

A few exceptions were however made

Numbering scheme

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 eServer xSeries

A pair of a IBM rackmount x86 servers (System x3650 and eServer xSeries 346)

While most servers used Intel x86 (IA32) processors, the x380, x382, x450 and x455 used the Intel Itanium (IA64) processor.

xSeries range
Numbering scheme
KVM cabling scheme

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

System x

IBM System x range

The IBM System x3300 M4 with LED lighting

Lenovo System x range

These systems are effectively the same as the previous IBM branded models, but with a Lenovo badge.

Lenovo also had its own ThinkServer family of Intel servers. This family is technically less advanced than System x. At the time of this writing, System x is being discontinued and replaced by the Lenovo ThinkSystem family of Intel servers.

Enterprise eX5 architecture

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (December 2020)

Enterprise X4 architecture

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2020)

Numbering scheme

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.

IBM iDataPlex

System x iDataPlex
An iDataPlex rack in a
Portable Modular Data Center
DeveloperIBM (2008–2014)
TypeHi-density blade server
Release date2008 (2008)
Discontinued2014 (2014)
SuccessorIBM NeXtScale
RelatedIBM Intelligent Cluster
IBM BladeCenter

IBM System x iDataPlex, introduced in 2008, was used by many TOP500 supercomputers (as part of IBM Intelligent Cluster), including SuperMUC, Yellowstone and Stampede. Other smaller installations included SciNet Consortium's General Purpose Cluster[9][10][11]

It is an unusual form-factor in that you have two columns of 19" rack servers side-by-side in a single rack. This rack, unlike traditional racks, however was very shallow which is where the space saving came from for large installations. As such it only supports specially designed shallow servers. It was typically deployed in combination with a Rear Door Heat Exchanger (RDHx) to cool the exhaust heat with water.

It was replaced with IBM NeXtScale in 2014.


iDataPlex could be ordered as preconfigured rack tower (System x iDataPlex Rack with optional Rack management appliance),[12] or as independent nodes.


iDataPlex 100U rack[13][14] — compact dual rack ((1200x600mm footprint — instead of standard 1280x1050 (2x 42U rack))


Chassis also compatible with standard racks (with another rails).


iDataPlex single compute node

1U blade servers.

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (December 2020)

See also


  1. ^ "IBM sells its x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion". CNET. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  2. ^ Chanthadavong, Aimee. "Lenovo finalises acquisition of IBM's x86 server business". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h [bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "IBM PC SERVER 500 AND RELATED OPTIONS". 1994-10-17. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  5. ^ "IBM PC SERVER 520 – NEW 166MHZ SMP MODELS AND FEATURE ENHANCEMENTS". 1996-06-18. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  6. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ "IBM PC Server Selection Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Toronto team completes Canada's most powerful supercomputer". CBC News. June 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  10. ^ Hall, Joseph (June 18, 2009). "U of T supercomputer probes origins of the universe". The Star. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  11. ^ "University of Toronto's Supercomputer Goes Online Thursday". All Headline News. June 18, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  12. ^ "IBM System x iDataPlex – Next-generation data center solution from System x". 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  13. ^ "Lenovo iDataPlex Documentation". Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  14. ^ "System x iDataPlex dx360 M4 Product Guide (withdrawn product) > Lenovo Press". Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  15. ^ "Implementing an IBM System x iDataPlex Solution" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Implementing an IBM System x iDataPlex Solution" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  17. ^ "IBM EMEA Announcement Letter". 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  18. ^ "System x iDataPlex dx360 M4 Product Guide (withdrawn product) > Lenovo Press". Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  19. ^ "IBM System x iDataPlex dx360 M4 server offers increased performance with the latest Intel Xeon processors". 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
Preceded byIBM System x eServer xSeries2000 System x2007 Lenovo System x 2014–2017 Succeeded byLenovo ThinkSystem