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Workstations get double Pentium II dose

Digital Equipment, Intergraph, and Netpower announce dual-processor Pentium II personal workstation systems.

Digital Equipment (DEC), Intergraph (INGR), and Netpower all introduced today dual-processor Pentium II personal workstation systems, seeking to move the next-generation Intel chip quickly into the high-end PC workstation market.

The new Pentium II is expected to eventually become the mainstay chip for personal workstations and carry the Microsoft-Intel camp further into the market for high-performance workstations once populated solely by Unix offerings from companies such as Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics.

The new dual Pentium II systems introduced today will use the 266-MHz processor, with Intergraph and Netpower shipping a 300-MHz version sometime later in 1997. Intergraph did demonstrate its TDZ-425 3D Graphics Workstation with a 300-MHz processor at the rollout of the new processor in New York, but Intel has not yet shipped a 300-MHz Pentium II in volume quantities.

A personal workstation is commonly defined as a high-powered system based on Intel's Pentium Pro processor or the Pentium II. These systems come with high-end 3D graphics chips and are aimed for use in engineering, science, and financial services. These new machines compete with the Unix workstations that typically use RISC processors such as Sun's UltraSparc II.

Digital unveiled the 266i2, which has two 266-MHz Pentium II processors, a 2GB hard disk drive, and Windows NT. A number of graphics accelerators are available, including Digital's PowerStorm 4DT. The 266i2 is priced starting at $6,600. No announcement was made about system availability.

Intergraph's dual 266-MHz Pentium II system comes with a 2GB hard disk drive and Intergraph's Realizm 3D graphics accelerator. It is priced starting at $9,995. The company says that the system is currently available. Details about the dual 300-MHz model were not announced, and no availability date was given.

Netpower, a Sunnyvale, California-based workstation vendor, announced that it is now shipping its Symetra2 line of personal workstations. The Symetra2 is available with dual 266-MHz Pentium II processors, a 4GB hard disk drive, 128MB of memory, and Netpower's TrueFX Pro graphics accelerator card for a list price of $11,315. A Symetra II with dual 300-MHz Pentium II processors, 256MB of memory, a 4GB hard disk drive, and UltraFX graphics card might be priced at around $18,535, the company said.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.