A fairly minor announcement, involving two new colour graphics VAXstation 2000s with price cuts on the mono versions is all that is expected from DEC today, but before the summer is out, the company is forecast to meet the accelerating competition from the likes of Sun and Apollo with MicroVAX III, VAXstation III and VAX 8400 systems. All will use versions of a new CMOS chip set, the C-VAX, developed at DEC’s Hudson, New Hampshire chip shop. According to Digital Review magazine, the basic CPU is rated at 2 MIPS against 1.1 MIPS for the MicroVAX II set, but will be enhanced to deliver 3 MIPS in the VAX 8400, lining it up against IBM’s top 9370, the 9377 Model 90. The new MicroVAX III – Q-bus-based where the 8400 will use the new BI bus – is expected to offer twice the performance of the 8250 but to come in at a lower price – around $65,000. Today’s announcements are expected to include two and four plane colour graphics versions of the current VAXstation, the version with a 19 CR290 screen coming in at $14,000, while the one with a 15 1,024 by 824 pixel colour screen is expected to be about the same price – $10,000 – as the mono version is now; the mono is expected to be cut to $8,000. Last week, DEC announced upgrade packages for the MicroPDP-11/23, /23 Plus, /73 and /83 at $10,200 to $11,750 to bring performance of any of the models up to that of the fastest PDP-11 processor. There are also kits to upgrade the MicroVAX I to the II at $13,400 to $22,400 according to configuration; DEC has to install the new processor boards and memories.
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