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April 11, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Until independent benchmarking figures become available, it’s hard to compare the performance of the rash of graphics supercomputers from their manufacturers’ figures, as each tends to use slightly different methods of measurement. Only Apollo Computer has not yet launched its graphics configuration of the Series 10000 and so cannot be compared at all. Ardent’s Titan, which incorporates 52 image planes and parallel pixel processors for graphics code says that images can be displayed at 200,000 full-colour 3D shaded polygons per second; Stellar’s GS1000, on the other hand, boasts 150,000 Gourand-shaded, Z buffered polygons per second graphics performance, while Silicon Graphics claims 120,000 connected three sided polygons (including Gouraud shading and Z buffering) for the Iris 4D70GT. What is clearly more important than raw performance is software availability, as all three companies are chasing similar, rather specific market areas, such as complex CAD/CAM/CAE applications, fluid dynamics, molecular modelling, animation, geophysical analysis and image processing. Silicon Graphics says it already has a portfolio of real-time three-dimensional graphics applications, while Ardent has launched an application alliance programme, including licensed software, joint marketing agreements, public domain software, and Ardent’s in-house software developments. And at the Stellar GS1000 launch the company also claimed to have agreements with a number of software developers in the target application areas.

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