IBM unveils line of Intel-, Power 4-based workstations

IBM Corp. on Monday unwrapped a new series of Intel- and Power 4-based workstations aimed at engineering and other technical markets that will be bundled with systems management technology and services.

Trying to eliminate some of the costs associated with downtime and maintenance, the latest members of the IntelliStation workstation family feature diagnostic LEDs to direct administrators to faulty components, an integrated RAID mirroring storage capability, Error Checking and Correcting (ECC) memory, and hard drives capable of predicting failure and taking the appropriate preventative measures.

IBM officials said they have borrowed technical elements from the company’s servers and incorporated them into the new desktop systems to improve their overall reliability and performance.

“By leveraging our eServer technology and incorporating it into this [IntelliStation workstation] line, we can better provide our more technical customers with open solutions for graphics- and compute-intensive applications at much lower prices,” said John Holz, vice-president of IBM IntelliStation workstations.

The midrange IntelliStation M Pro 6219, specifically tuned for handling complex graphics can work with optional 2-D and 3-D graphics accelerators from Matrox, contains up to 4GB of dual-channel DDR memory. It also features front-mounted ports that support the USB 2.0 standard and IEEE 1394 connections.

The system is based around the Pentium 4, ranging in speeds up to 3.06 GHz, and has a 533MHz front-side bus, integrated gigabit Ethernet, and a number of IBM systems management tools. Prices for the system start at US$2,335.

The higher-end IntelliStation Z Pro 6221, designed to multitask and multithread applications, is powered by Intel’s Xeon processors with speeds up to 2.8GHz and can handle up to 8GB of memory. Optionally, users can choose between advanced and extreme AGP 3-D accelerator from Nvidia and 3D Labs. Prices for the system start at US$3,189.

IBM also rolled out its 64-bit IntelliStation Power p630, which will be aimed at the users conducting scientific analysis and computer-aided design and engineering. The first workstation to use IBM’s Power 4 processor in a single or dual configuration and offers advanced texturing and lighting of the IBM GXT4500 or GXT6500 graphics accelerators.

Capable of running either the AIX or Linux operating system, the Power p630 price starts at US$12,495 without a graphics card.

All three workstations are available with the high-resolution 22.2-inch diagonal IBM T221 TFT/LCD monitor, which is best suited for applications such as automotive design, satellite imagery, and digital content creation.

In a separate announcement on Monday, IBM also introduced a new two-way Intel-based server aimed at medium-sized companies to control a number of file, print, e-mail, and Web applications. Pricing for the eServer x225 starts at US$1,529.