Panda uses 500-MHz Alpha chip

Panda Project is offering computers with Digital Equipment's super-fast Alpha processor.

Panda Project (PN DA) is now offering new high-performance desktop and server computers that use a faster version of Digital's (DEC) Alpha processor.

Panda Project will sell Windows NT workstations in its Archistrat line with the 500-MHz Alpha processor, while current customers can upgrade to the new processor as well. Workstations are used in high-end applications such as computer animation, mechanical design, and physical modeling.

Digital's Alpha processor is one of the fastest processors in the world for a workstation class system.

Windows NT workstations that use Intel Pentium II processors currently top out at 300-MHz. Though the "clock" speed of the processor is not the only yardstick for performance, it usually provides a reasonable benchmark for a processor's overall performance.

Panda Project says that it has developed a connector technology which will allow higher performance by increasing the amount of information that can flow between the processor and other system components.

The connector technology, called Compass, also allows a user to upgrade processors quickly and easily. Panda Project claims that this technology will allow systems to perform better than other vendor's systems that use the same 500-MHz processor.

The company says that its 5w graphics workstation will offer the 500-MHz processor, 64MB of memory, a 3GB hard disk drive, a CD-ROM drive, and 100MB Zip drive for $6,499.

The 5r and 5s rack mounted server comes with redundant power supplies, hot-swappable disk drive and integrated RAID (redundant array of independent disks) support. No pricing on the servers was announced.