I removed Symantec AV from my computer (since it only protects against exploits nobody uses anymore and slows your PC down more than any virus)
I don't personally use Symantec anything but the word is for the 2009 version, they completely rewrote everything from scratch with an emphasis on speed that seems to have worked according to PCmag.
IBM is probably banking on the existence of people who want Cell processors in systems with more than 256megs of RAM. Other IBM value-adds would presumably include rack mountability, support for netbooting and other convenient management stuff, and so forth.
The newest Cell processors from IBM have two major features that customers wanted:
1) Support for normal DDR2 RAM. The original CELL (PS3 version) only supports RAMBUS XDR Memory. There is support for 16GB of DDR vs 256MB of XDR (PS3).
2) Support for pipelined double-precision operations on the SPU's. The original CELL (PS3 version) stalls the SPU's during all double-precision floating point operations and has no support for vectorized double-precision. The pipelining can increase the throughput of common double-precision operations by a factor of 5-8. There is still no support for vectorized double-precision floats.
Cell CPUs also intrigue me a lot....
That's ironic because I have been programming the Cell processor at my job for the last three years. As a professional video game programmer, I do about half my coding on the PS3 Cell Processor
I do most of the rest of my coding on the XBOX 360 which is also multicore but is a bit easier than the Cell to program.
If you want to learn Cell multiprocessor programming though, you can easily pick up a used PS3 for about $250 on Craigslist and set it up to run Linux. You don't get access to the GPU so hardware-accelerated graphics isn't possible but you can do a fair amount of Cell SPU multicore coding without too large an investment. If you plan on remotely targeting the PS3, I suggest setting up a simple VirtualBox VM on your home PC is you run Windows. Also, this site is a pretty good start for PS3 home brew performance optimizing for the Cell processor.
You won't run into any of the false sharing issues (which is a big deal on XBOX 360 performance) since there's only one PPC core and the SPU's are basically "DMA" driven for access to main RAM.
Beware of the Turing Tar-pit in which everything is possible but nothing of interest is easy.