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IBM Unveils AMD Opteron-Based Workstation
Posted Fri March 19, 2004 @09:21AM
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Hardware IBM has announced the IntelliStation® A Pro workstation -- the first workstation from a major, worldwide vendor to be powered by AMD Opteron™ processor technology. Designed to meet the increased memory and graphics requirements of next-generation applications, the A Pro delivers the scalability of 64-bit computing without sacrificing compatibility and performance for existing 32-bit applications. The IntelliStation A Pro expands IBM's industry-leading portfolio of workstation and server products and offers customers a seamless transition from 32-bit to 64-bit computing.

The IntelliStation A Pro has exceptional price/performance for both 32- and 64-bit applications, especially critical for customers now hitting memory limitations on current hardware systems.

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"The 64-bit transition has started, and the IntelliStation A Pro is a revolutionary evolution in the 64-bit space," said Jeff Benck, vice president of IBM eServer systems. "Our customers are demanding a versatile solution that can adapt and evolve with their changing needs. IBM has delivered with a flexible system that can run both 32- and 64-bit applications with leading performance."

IBM IntelliStation workstations are small, powerful computers that have rapidly become a key tool for industries that run graphics and floating point-intensive applications such as computer aided design (CAD), computer aided engineering (CAE), petroleum exploration and production, drug discovery, digital content creation and financial analysis.

"The oil and gas industry demands tools that enable rapid, accurate prospect generation integrated with a full suite of geoscience applications on a single cost effective platform," said Murray Roth, executive vice president, Systems and Marketing, Landmark. "By partnering with IBM in a unique co-development process for the A Pro workstations, we have been able to bring a single, high-performance desktop solution to market that leverages the strength of the A Pro workstation and the reliability of 64-bit Linux, combined with Landmark's integrated suite of 32- and 64-bit applications. Furthermore, this platform is ideal for our volume interpretation and visualization solutions such as GeoProbe, where the ability to analyze large data volumes in real time is critical."

IBM has led the industry in introducing servers based on the AMD Opteron processor, including being the first top-tier vendor to offer a server powered by the technology, the eServer 325, which was introduced in July 2003.

"Enterprise customers continue to demand the performance, power and reliability of the AMD Opteron processor," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager, Microprocessor Business Unit, AMD. "IBM delivers, giving customers new performance levels with AMD Opteron processors in a range of systems to meet their needs from supercomputers to workstations."

A Powerful Graphics Tool
The new IntelliStation A Pro expands IBM's product line introducing the AMD Opteron processor as well as high-memory addressability for deep datasets and HyperTransport™ technology high-speed architecture that supports 8X AGP graphics and PCI-X. Companies such as Threshold Digital Research Labs are utilizing IntelliStation systems to enhance the reality of today's digital movie effects and animation.

"The IBM IntelliStation is a key tool that helps the Threshold Digital team to create full 3-D animation on high-definition screens," said George Johnsen, chief technology and animation officer at Threshold Digital Research Labs in Santa Monica, Calif. "The A Pro adds new power to IBM's broad portfolio of 64-bit workstations, which lead the industry in meeting the demands of digital animation."

Critical for digital customers is the A Pro's expanded graphics capability. In addition to dual capable AMD Opteron Model 248 (2.2 GHz) with PC 3200 memory, the IntelliStation offers industry leading 2D to extreme 3Dgraphics cards from NVIDIA.

"NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics solutions deliver industry-leading performance, precision, and programmability to professionals in fields ranging from automobile and aerospace design to feature film production," said Jeff Brown, general manager of professional graphics at NVIDIA. "By combining the quality and innovation of NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics with a breakthrough operating platform, this Opteron-based A Pro IntelliStation delivers maximum horsepower to professionals."

As a convenience to those customers who choose to run Linux, IBM will offer the A Pro preloaded with Red Hat Enterprise Workstation 3.0 for 32- and 64-bits. The A Pro will also run SUSE LINUX at 32- and 64-bits as well as Microsoft Windows XP Professional 32-bit with planned support for 64-bit performance, when available from Microsoft.

The IntelliStation A Pro is available in May 2004, with pricing starting at $2,619.

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