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IBM workstation portends server change

Big Blue is set to announce a new dual-processor Unix workstation on Tuesday that could foreshadow a faster server as well.

SOMERS, N.Y.--IBM will announce a new dual-processor Unix workstation Tuesday that could foreshadow a faster server as well.

The IntelliStation Power 275 workstation is related to the company's bottom-end p615 Unix server, released in May, but it uses a faster, 1.45GHz processor, as opposed to the p615's 1.2GHz Power4+ chip.

Jim McGaughan, director of IBM's server strategy, indicated in an interview that the faster processor could be brought to the p615, but didn't share details. The four-processor p630 was upgraded with the 1.45GHz chip in February.

Unix workstations are gradually losing ground to those running Windows, McGaughan said, but there still are many people using Unix systems, such as car engineers using Dassault Systemes' Catia software. IBM's new system triples Big Blue's processing power and could help the company catch up to market leader Sun Microsystems.

The IntelliStation Power 275 with two 1.45GHz chips, a 20-inch flat-panel display and 4GB of memory, will go on sale July 25 for $19,995. A single-processor version with a 1GHz processor and 1GB of memory will also be available, for $7,995.

Both versions include the GXT4500P graphics card, a lower-end model. But McGaughan said that on the new workstations the card's performance is "almost as good" as that of a higher-end GXT6500P card, because the workstation processor has enough power to take over some of the high-speed drawing duties.