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  1. Technology
August 26, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

NeTPower may have beaten it to market (CI No 2,972), but Hewlett-Packard Co has now made good its promise (CI No 2,918) to enter the high-end Intel/Windows NT workstation market with the HP Vectra XW, launched today. With single or dual 200MHz Pentium Pro processors, AccelPro 3D TX 2500 graphics accelerator, 256Kb or 512Kb level 2 cache, 64Mb or 128Mb memory and 2Gb disk, XW prices begin at around $8,300 – considerably undercutting the company’s own RISC/Unix workstation line. The AccelPro graphics accelerator, based on Glint boards from 3DLabs Inc, is said to run the Viewperf 3D benchmark for OpenGL between three and six times faster than Pentium Pro-based PCs that use business 3D graphics cards such as the Matrox Millenium, and provides 24-bit color in 1,024 x 768 resolution, or 16-bit color in 1,280 x 1,024 resolution. There is an integrated Ultra SCSI controller embedded on the system motherboard, providing 20Mb/s throughput and supporting existing SCSI peripherals, and an integrated SoundBlaster 16 compatible audio processor. A coupon for free upgrade to Windows NT 4.0 is included with the current NT 3.51 operating system. HP is aiming the station primarily at mechanical engineers working on three-dimensional designs in applications such as Pro/Engineer, I-DEAS and Unigraphics, as well as animators working with Autodesk 3D Studio and Softimage 3D products. But it’s also encouraging its Unix independent software vendors to move their applications over to the new line with a seed program to fund testing, certification and demonstration. Now closely wedded to Intel Corp for its future chip designs, HP nevertheless maintains that Unix and NT environments will co-exist for several years into the future. Compaq Computer Corp has also announced its intension to compete in the NT 4.0 workstation market, with systems due out by year-end (CI No 2,971).

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