Using its own graphics accelerator and architecture, Silicon Graphics Inc. has ventured
into the Intel-powered PC market with 2-D and 3-D graphics-oriented systems running
Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0.
The dual- and quad-processor 320 and 540 systems can handle four streams of
uncompressed video, said Cliff Apsey, director of product marketing. They transfer up to
3.2G of graphics and video data per second, he said.
The company claims a performance boost over standard PCs from its proprietary
Integrated Visual Computing architecture and Cobalt chip set.
Apsey said the 320 and 540 have 10 times the input/output bandwidth of the 32-bit PCI
bus, six times the memory bandwidth of the Accelerated Graphics Port and lower latency
than the Intel 440BX bus.
The systems are ready for the Fahrenheit application programming interface, which
Microsoft Corp. and SGI are developing as a hybrid of Microsofts DirectX and the
OpenGL industry standard. The systems can run DirectX, Fast Geometry, Apple Quick- Time,
and texturing and imaging APIs.
Agencies can buy the 320 and 540 from reseller EdgeMark Systems Inc. of Silver Spring,
Md., and from SGIs General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule
A minitower 320 base model starts at $3,292 with one 350-MHz Pentium II processor, 512K
cache, 128M of error-correcting code synchronous dynamic RAM and a 6.4G Ultra ATA hard
A full tower, quad-processor-ready 540 starts at $5,813 with a single 450-MHz Pentium
II Xeon processor, 512K cache, 128M of ECC SDRAM and a 9.1G Ultra SCSI 2 hard drive. Both
PCs support 10/100-Mbps Ethernet connections.
Neither price includes a monitor. SGIs new $2,495, 17.3-inch 1600SW flat-panel
monitor has 1,600- by 1,024-dot-per-inch resolution and is compatible with other
makers PCs and workstations.
The 320 and 540 come ready to run Windows 2000 Professional, Apsey said.
Bundled software includes Hummingbird Communications NFS Maestro Solo and InetD,
a telnet server for exchanging files among Macintosh, PC and Unix systems, plus Intel
LANDesk Client Manager. A three-year limited warranty provides the first year of service
Contact SGI Federal at 301-572-1980.