SGI Workstation Has Higher 'Octane'

Silicon Graphics Inc. unveils today its Octane2 visual workstation, which offers up to three times the price performance of it predecessors, and it is the first computer to include the company's VPro graphics architecture.

The VPro graphics deliver more visualization power than any other Unix desktop, which is especially useful for defense and satellite imaging, said Tim Gordon, Octane2 product manager. VPro has 128M of graphics memory capacity and OpenGL on a chip for volume rendering and imaging extensions.

"For simulation applications, [Octane2 has] the pixel performance and additional texture in real time, which is useful for things like combat simulations," Gordon said.

Many agencies use the previous Octane product, including the Defense Department, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Octane2 V6 with 32M of graphics memory, a 400 MHz CPU and 256M of system memory starts at US$19,995 and offers three times the price performance of the previous version, Gordon said. The Octane2 V8 has 128M of graphics memory with identical features, offering double the performance at a price of $US24,995, which is 40 percent less than before.

The VPro graphics are available for Microsoft Corp. Windows, Linux and SGI's own Irix operating system. The company is working on getting the new Octane on the GSA schedule, said Dixie Fisher, Octane2 product marketing manager.

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