The two new workstations step into the high end of HP's Kayak series. Both systems come with 128MB of memory, a high-performance 9.1GB hard disk, and the Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 operating system. Both systems also support the addition of a second Xeon processor.
The Kayak XW workstation, with an estimated street price of $8,266, is set up for 3D designers, said Lisa Hahn, a spokeswoman for HP. It comes with HP's high-powered Visualize fx6 video subsystem, which supports OpenGL 3-D graphics and has six dedicated processors for floating point calculations. This type of calculation is used for specialized number-crunching in high-end workstations.
The Kayak XU has an estimated street price of $4,450 and comes with the ELSA Gloria Synergy+ graphics card. It's designed to be a fast 2-D workstation for software development, financial analysis, electrical design, or mechanical design, Hahn said.
Compared to an ordinary Pentium II, the Xeon chip has more "secondary cache," a high-speed memory chip that boosts a computer's performance. In addition, the cache runs faster in a Pentium II Xeon than in an ordinary Pentium II.
Intel is aiming the Xeon workstations at the market currently occupied by workstations running the Unix operating system.