HP to use new graphics hardware

Graphics card maker Evans and Sutherland has secured another major customer in the burgeoning Intel-based workstation market.

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Stephen Shankland
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Graphics card maker Evans and Sutherland has secured another major customer, Hewlett-Packard, in the burgeoning Intel-based workstation market.

HP will add E&S AccelGalaxy cards to the low- and mid-range models of its Kayak workstations. The Kayak series uses Intel chips and the Microsoft Windows NT operating system.

Last month, E&S also won a place on Dell workstations.

A spokesman for HP said the AccelGalaxy cards won't knock any other graphics cards off the availability list for the workstations.

AccelGalaxy cards, introduced in November, are the top-of-the-line offering from E&S. They come with 31MB of RAM and support the OpenGL system for three-dimensional modeling and visualization tasks.

An HP Kayak XA workstation with a 450 MHz-Pentium II, the AccelGalaxy graphics system, and 128MB of RAM costs about $4,200. A higher-end XU, with a faster hard drive and support for two 450-MHz Pentium II chips, costs an estimated $5,980 with the AccelGalaxy card.

HP offers higher-performance graphics on its fastest workstation, the Kayak XW. That machine is available with HP's Visualize FX-4 and FX-6 cards, which feature graphics accelerated by four or six of HP's PA-RISC chips, respectively.

HP migrated its FX-4 and FX-6 cards from its Unix workstations to its Windows NT workstations.

The FX-6 offers about twice the performance of the AccelGalaxy card.

Unix systems with RISC chips once were dominant in the workstation market, but less expensive Intel/Windows NT workstations have been elbowing in on that territory.

Analysts have said there are more graphics card suppliers in the lucrative workstation market than the market will support.

In addition, mainstream manufacturers such as 3DLabs, ATI, and Nvidia are pushing up into the higher end.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, publisher of News.com.