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April 6, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday made its biggest single processor announcement since launch of the Precision Architecture RISCs, announcing a total of seven new models in its HP3000 MPE V and HP9000 HP-UX Unix families – and has priced them to undercut similar systems from IBM, DEC and others. The new models comprise the mid-range HP3000 Series 925, 925LX and 935 systems at $80,000, $50,000 and $150,000 respectively; the high-end HP3000 Series 955 at $390,000; the mid-range HP9000 Model 835S and 835SE at $45,000 and $99,000; and high-end HP9000 Model 855S, $320,000. The company also added entry-level 16-bit HP3000s based on its original architecture, the Micro 3000LX and Micro 3000GX at $10,950 and $15,950. The company claims that the gains it expected from its gamble on RISC are paying off, with each new system a performance leader in its class but at a substantially lower cost. Each of the new RISC systems uses a single-chip CPU in proprietary NMOS III technology, and the HP3000-955 and 9000 855S are the most powerful machines yet from Hewlett. The 3000 955 is claimed to offer 50% more performance than the 950, which remains in the line, and can support more than 400 users, the Series 955 is stacked against high-end IBM 4381 systems and large DEC VAXes at half the price. A processor swap-out is needed to upgrade from a 950. The 925 supports up to 152 users and is lined up against the DEC VAX 8530 at one-third the price, and outperforms the IBM 9375-60 at some half the price, says Hewlett. The Series 925LX is a slimmer version with the same CPU for up to 32 users. The 935 takes up to 240 users, and provides 85% of the 950 performance or about twice the 925, as well as outperforming the DEC VAX 8550 at one-third the price, and the IBM 9377-90 at half the price. It replaces the original 930, giving 30% more power at 17% lower price. On the Unix machines, Hewlett says the 835S is for comp ute-intensive tasks or systems for up to 30 users while the 835SE is for up to 70 users in software development and office workgroups: Hewlett reckons the S is 75% faster than the Sparc-based Sun-4/260 at the same price, and the 835SE out performs the VAX 8550 and 8700 at a third the price. The 855S is the new Unix flagship, but has not yet been benchmarked and is not due until next year: others are on 12 weeks delivery. A new HP-FL fibre-optic disk interface transfers data at 5Mbytes-per-second and disks can be up to 1,500 feet from the CPU.

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