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May 1, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:52pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Next week Digital Equipment Corp is to put Unix on its new line of Alpha Universal Personal Workstations. The workstations, based on its new low-cost 21164PC RISC chipset, are targeted at the technical application market currently dominated by expensive Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Silicon Graphics Inc equipment. DEC claims the systems will offer twice the application performance at half the price of competitive offerings and is especially keen to attract users that are snapping-up Sun’s high-margin Ultra 2 boxes in droves. DEC’s existing Personal Workstations run only Windows NT, on Intel Corp-based i-Series systems or other Alpha-based a-Series machines. The three models run at 433MHz, 500MHz and 600MHz 21164PC, Pyxis Chipset, parts in 433au, 500au and 600au configurations. They come with 96Kb L2 cache, up to 2Mb L3 cache, 1.5Gb RAM, two PCI and three shared slots and PowerStorm graphics in the same enclosure as the i and a series models. With 64Mb RAM, 2.1Gb disk, 2Mb L3 cache, PowerStorm 3D30T graphics and a 17 screen the 433au is priced at $15,650. With 128Mb RAM, 4D40T graphics and a 21 screen the price rises to $16,500. A similarly configured 500au is $23,000 while a 600au will cost around $28,000. DEC expects to pick up business for these machines from users heading for NT, as these workstations can be migrated to and will eventually be offered natively with NT. The company says it is seeing a 7% to 8% growth in the RISC Unix workstations market but 35% to 40% for Intel and Alpha NT workstations. The Unix boxes are being optimized for MCAD/EDA, content creation, geographic information systems, financial trading and software development. At the same time DEC is slashing prices on its existing Unix-based AlphaStations by up to 35% – but only in the US.

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