Computer Business Review

MPOWER MULTIMEDIA SOFTWARE ACCOMPANIES NEW HP 9000 700s

by CBR Staff Writer| 09 November 1992

Hewlett-Packard Co today enhances its HP Apollo 9000 Series 700 workstation family with three new low-end machines, the 715/33, 715/50 and 725/50; and two new high-end machines, the 735 and 755 - all based on the 7100 Precision Architecture RISC chip. It has also developed a new MPower collaborative multimedia software environment for workstation users. The 715/33 and 715/50 are entry-level, upgradable workstations recommended for fast X Window applications such as electronic and mechanical design; software engineering, desk top publishing or for providing customer and financial services. They deliver 46 and 69 SPECmarks, 41 and 62 MIPS, and 8.6 and 13 MFLOPS respectively. The 715/33 has 8Mb to 192Mb memory, the 715/50 16Mb to 256Mb. Both have 69Gb of disk, with up to 2Gb internal storage and a slot for one optional CD-ROM, Digital Audio Tape drive or 3.5 floppy. Two- and three-dimensional graphics are included on the board with optional 24 plane two- and three-dimensional buffered modelling and visualisation offered on the 715/50. Input-output interfaces include a 32-bit EISA slot; SCSI-2 port; two RS232 serial ports; bi-directional Centronics port and built-in Ethernet adaptor.

Text, images, graphics and audio

Both run under HP-UX 9.0 Unix with the HP Vue 3.0 user interface and come with 17 grey scale or colour monitors; 19 screens are also available for the 715/33. The 715/33 16Mb, 64Kb data and 64Kb instruction cache with 15 colour and no disk is ?4,327; a 16Mb 715/50 with 525Mb disk is ?9,170. The 725/50 delivers 69 SPECmarks, 62 MIPS and 13 MFLOPS with a choice of 24- or 48-plane two- and three-dimensional graphics. It has 32Mb to 256Mb RAM, 239Gb hard disk, up two 2Gb internal capacity and optional slot for either a CD-ROM, DAT or 3.5 floppy. It also has four EISA slots in addition to the input-ouput and net-working interfaces used in the 715/33 and 50 models and comes with 19 col-our or grey scale monitor. Sample price for a 32Mb RAM 19 grey scale model with 525Mb disk is ?13,840; the colour version is ?2,000 more. At the high end is the new Series 700 Model 735, offered as an enhancement to the exist-ing 720/730 models with which it is board-upgradable. It offers a performance of 147 SPECmarks, 124 MIPS and 40 MFLOPS. It has 32Mb to 400Mb RAM, over 125Gb disk space with up to 2Gb internal storage, with optional floppy disk, optical disk, tape and CD drives. It has an integrated input-output system - with an IEEE and optional FDDI interface, 20Mbps SCSI II, EISA slot, two RS232 and a Centronix interface. Integrated graphics options are 8- and 24-plane greyscale or colour; and 24-plane accelerated colour and accelerated double buffered colour which can be used for solids modelling, rendering and visualisation. Sample price for a greyscale version with 32Mb is ?28,500; a colour version is ?2,000 extra. In addition there is the Model 755 that offers similar performance and uses the same input-output system but offers 64Mb to 768Mb RAM with up to 4Gb internal storage, over 297Gb hard disk and two removables - either floppy, CD or DAT and has four EISA slots. It is recommended for demanding graphics applications such as three-dimensional modelling and visualisation. It is board-upgradable from the existing Model 750; Hewlett-Packard reckons it takes only 30 minutes to complete the swap and get the new system running. Sample price for a 64Mb RAM colour version with 2Gb disk is ?48,090. The new multimedia MPower software, which runs under HP-UX 9.0, provides multiple users with shared access to image scanners and displays, audio, whiteboard, facsimile, print and mailing facilities. The imaging facilities for shared image libraries support the TIFF, GIF, JPEG, Starbase and X drawable formats; the audio facilities provide 16-bit CD stereo with full record, playback and editing; the video functions include an EISA interface, real time video in a window, three to five frames per second frame grab; the scanner supports 24-bit col-our and grey scale 800dpi images with scaling, brightness and contrast ad-justments an

d high speed SCSI II interface; the print facility supports multiple print paths, adheres to a number of industry standard file formats, helps manage the flow of print jobs across a network; the shared X Window and whiteboard environment, running under the X11 protocol, enables users to annotate and edit each other's screens; the fax facility which supports a wide range of standard formats, provides networked receive and transmit to public fax networks, manages the routing of fax documents; the shared Unix mailer handles text, images, graphics and audio. It costs around ?1,200 for the server version, ?300 to ?350 for the client version. Hewlett-Packard has yet to decide whether to offer the system as a collection of optional modules; a single package; or indeed as an extension to the Vue interface.

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