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First Look: IBM IntelliStation A Pro
Back in the mid 1990s, there was a company called Digital Equipment Corp. that churned out a microprocessor called the DEC Alpha. That CPU was a 64-bit RISC processor. By many accounts from animators and artists who used the Alpha, it was by far the fastest CPU out there, and it helped to create a cottage industry of animation facilities that harnessed the power of the Alpha along with a 3D program called LightWave. Companies rose out of nothing to build workstations around the Alpha. But then the silicon for the 64-bit processor known as the Alpha was quashed. DEC was acquired by Compaq Computer Corp. in June 1998 for close to $10 billion, and the Alpha became a stepchild to Compaq's grand plans, which was hinged on Intel's CPU roadmap.
Today, the digital media industry is again at the 64-bit crossroad. Apple Computer released its Power Mac G5, a 64-bit PowerPC RISC processor built by IBM. BOXX Technologies has shipped a 64-bit media workstation based on the AMD Opteron 64-bit processors, and now, IBM is preparing to ship its IntelliStation A Pro running dual AMD Opteron 64-bit processors. While Microsoft's 64-bit Windows is still in beta, Red Hat's 64-bit Linux WS 3 is available. The pieces are beginning to take shape. The creative content industry is moving to a new platform that will be 64-bit. While our colleague Charlie White has taken a look at the BOXX offering , we'll preview here the newest from IBM, the IntelliStation A Pro.
The IntelliStation A Pro series, powered by the AMD Opteron processors, is targeted at the heart of the DCC industry, those who are doing visual effects, digital video editing, and animation. It is also ideal for the CAD professional who must have the most power available to really push the complex CAD applications they use daily. The system is designed for the widest range of power user without sacrificing flexibility. It supports up to 16GB of RAM, 584GB of disk space, and for expandability, a 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X slot and four 64-bit 100MHz PCI-X slots. The system also ships with an onboard HostRAID Level 0 and 1 compliant subsystem, so for those of us who absolutely need mission critical speed, the capability is there.
The Technical Specifications
|The A Pro's hard drive cage|
Related Keywords:AMD Opteron 64-bit CPUs, IntelliStation A Pro