Intergraph unveils Windows NT-based graphics machine

Intergraph Computer Systems one of the biggest proponents of "Wintel" technical computing last week unveiled a Microsoft Corp. Windows NT-based 3-D graphics workstation that targets visual simulation and other applications.

The TDZ 2000 does not replace an existing Intergraph product but establishes a new high end for its 3-D graphics workstations product line said Steve Pesto executive director of the Workstation Product Division at Intergraph.

With its new entry Intergraph intends to go head-to-head for high-end graphical applications with such vendors as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Silicon Graphics Inc. which build platforms based on reduced instruction-set computing chips and the Unix operating system.

The first major market segments to move from Unix to Windows NT were mechanical computer-aided design and animation/creation Pesto said. "I really view the third as the visual-simulation market " he said.

With a starting price of $10 495 the TDZ 2000 "has one-and-a-half times the performance for a quarter of the price" of a similar SGI configuration Pesto said.

That price includes 64M of memory and a 4G high-speed hard disk drive. The tower unit comes with eight expansion slots and seven drive bays expandable to 13 slots and 11 bays with an expansion unit.

"Intergraph has demonstrated tremendous expertise with Windows NT as a platform " said Michael Gartenberg a research director at Gartner Group a Stamford Conn. research and consulting firm. "NT for many years was not up to speed in terms of competing with Unix workstations. But that gap is rapidly shrinking and Intergraph is showing some real leadership " Gartenberg said.

The TDZ 2000 features Intergraph's new RealiZm II 3-D graphics subsystem a graphics add-in card and single or dual 300 MHz Pentium II processors the high end of Intel's latest line of chips. Much of the improvements in the graphics subsystem come from a new Intergraph-developed technology called DirectBurst which reduces the reliance on the Pentium II's main memory cache freeing up processing power for other operations according to Intergraph.

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