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500-MHz Carrera is Porsche of chips

Catering to insatiable appetites for application processing power, Carrera Computers announces it will make workstations and servers using dual 500-MHz Alpha RISC processors from Digital Equipment.

Catering to Internet, scientific, and multimedia applications and their insatiable appetites for processing power, Carrera Computers announced today it will make workstations and servers using dual 500-MHz Alpha RISC processors from Digital Equipment.

The company's 64-bit Alpha processors boast some of the highest performance numbers of any processor on the market today. At 500 MHz, the Digital 21164 offers the highest clock speed of any processor platform for Microsoft Windows NT. Digital also plans to bring out next-generation 21264 processors in 1997, which achieve processing speeds in excess of 500 MHz.

Carrera's new systems, called Cobra II, will ship with a minimum of 32MB of RAM and can be configured with up to 2GB of RAM. Disk storage supported includes SCSI-2, Ultra SCSI, and Fibre Channel, and the system will ship with Windows NT 4.0. Carrera says the system will be available in the first quarter of 1997, with a base system priced at under $15,000.

Carrera's systems will use a motherboard from Aspen Systems of Wheatridge, Colorado, which offers 2MB or 4MB of cache per processor, two 64-bit PCI slots, five 32-bit PCI slots, and a shared ISA slot.

Carrera also announced they are shipping their Cobra 500 line of servers and workstations. Capitalizing on price reductions on Alpha RISC processors, the company is now offering a 500-MHz system with a 1MB synchronous pipeline cache, 64MB of 256-bit RAM, a 12X CD-ROM, and a 2GB hard drive for $4,995.

Systems running Digital's Alpha processors can also run native Intel-compatible x86 applications using Digital's FX!32 software. The Alpha x86 binary translator provides transparent execution of x86 Win32 software on Windows NT 4.0 Alpha. Users can load a 32-bit x86 application on Alpha, double-click on its icon, and the Digital software will run it at speeds equivalent to a Pentium system, according to Digital.