SGI unveils debut NT workstations

Silicon Graphics gave a spellbinding view of its debut NT workstations in Auckland this week. The workstation line features SGI's integrated visual computing architecture, which takes features that usually require add-in cards and integrates them into SGI's Cobalt chipset for graphical performance associated with expensive high-end Unix work-stations.

Silicon Graphics gave a spellbinding view of its debut NT workstations in Auckland this week.

The workstation line features SGI's integrated visual computing architecture, which takes features that usually require add-in cards and integrates them into SGI's Cobalt chipset for graphical performance associated with expensive high-end Unix work-stations.

The result is a technology that SGI describes as a "visual workstation" that runs on Intel processors and employs SGI's Cobalt chipset for high-end visual computing with professional graphics and media capabilities.

SGI New Zealand general manager Peter Vanderbeke expects the two workstations, starting at $8000, to be a winner because of their power and competitive pricing. He is targeting vertical markets, starting with distributor Renaissance, which handles products such as PageMaker, Photoshop and Visio's IntelliCad.

Vanderbecke hopes to add distributors in other vertical markets. Support is being handled through ICL-Fujitsu.

The SGI 320 will run on one or two Pentium II 450MHz processors and include up to 1Gb of ECC SDRAM memory. The workstation will ship with three PCI expansion slots, two storage bays, integrated floppy drive, CD-ROM and a hard drive of up to 14.4Gb.

The SGI 540 is due to ship in the second half of this year and will be configured with up to four Pentium II Xeon 450MHz processors with 512Kb, 1Mb or 2Mb of L2 cache and up to 2Gb of ECC SDRAM memory. The 540 will ship with six PCI expansion slots, three storage bays, an integrated floppy drive, CD-ROM and a 9Gb 7200 RPM Ultra2 SCSI disk drive.

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