Compaq Computer Corp has launched its promised new professional workstation 5100, aiming to take market share away from the establsihed Risc workstation vendors, especially in its targeted market areas of finance, computer-aided design, digital content creation and electronics design automation. Compaq also announced it has cut prices on its existing 5000, 6000 and 8000 workstations – not long on the market – by up to 19 per cent. The Houston, Texas-based PC manufacturer only announced its workstation division last August, and shipped its first products in November (CI No 3,032). Sun Microsystems Inc looks to be its main target. The 5100 model uses Compaq’s parallel system architecture, a high-bandwidth subsystem which uses dual memory controllers and dual-peer PCI buses. The reworked architectureaims to increase I/O bus capacity and memory access to ensure that the system can take full advantage of its dual 300MHz Pentium processors. Compaq added a new 21 inch, 19.8 inch viewable, P110 Trinitron monitor and a 24 inch, 22.5 inch viewable, P1610 monitor for use with the newly unveiled workstations. The P110 supports resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200 at a refresh rate of 85Hz while the P1610 allows users to view two A4 pages side by side and has an additional 1920 x 1200 at 76Hz mode. The Compaq professional workstation 5100 with one 300MHz Pentium II processor, 256MB RAM and Elsa Gloria-XL graphics card, with 21-inch monitor, costs $9,754; Compaq says that compares to $38,295 for a 300MHz Ultrasparc Sun Ultra2 model 2300 system with 256MB RAM, 2.1GB hard drive, Creator 3D graphics and 20-inch monitor.
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