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SGI unveils new Windows NT workstations (1999)

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Boston (January 11, 1999) -- Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) is entering the Windows NT workstation market, announcing today the first two machines in a new line designed for creative and technical visual workers.

The "visual workstations," as SGI calls them, will run on Intel Corp. processors and allow high-end visual computing with professional graphics and media capabilities, the company said today in a written announcement.

The SGI 320 will start at US$3,395 and is expected to ship next month. It will run on one or two Pentium II 450MHz processors and include up to 1G-byte of ECC SDRAM memory, depending on the configuration. The workstation will ship with three PCI expansion slots, two storage bays, integrated floppy drive, CD-ROM and a hard drive of up to 14.4G bytes.

The SGI 540 will start at $5,995 and is due to ship in the second half of this year. It will be configured with up to four Pentium II Xeon 450MHz processors with 512K-bytes, 1M-byte or 2M-bytes of L2 cache and up to 2G-bytes of ECC SDRAM memory. The 540 will ship with six PCI expansion slots, three storage bays, an integrated floppy drive, CD ROM and a 9G-byte 7,200 RPM Ultra2 SCSI disk drive, upgradeable to 10,000 RPM in either 9G bytes or 18G bytes.

The workstation line features SGI's Integrated Visual Computing architecture, which takes features that usually require add-in cards and integrates them into the Cobalt Graphics chipset, the company said.

Besides announcing the workstations, SGI also said that it is providing improved sales and support for its workstations. The company has expanded sales channels by adding VARS (value-added resellers) and is selling its Windows NT products on the Internet.