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New HP Workstations Expand 3D Visualization Capacity

HP announced a new line of personal workstations- the xw4200, xw6200 and xw8200 -- that are engineered to offer customers increased power, reliability and support, which is good news for 3D animation and vfx.

The workstations have a convenient tool-less chassis design, utilize the latest processor technology from Intel as well as best-in-class PCI Express graphics and boast the power that can meet the demands of mechanical computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering (MCAD/CAE), digital content creation (DCC), financial services and geographic information systems (GIS).

Offered directly from HP and through its broad network of distribution partners, the new HP Workstation xw4200, xw6200 and xw8200 support Windows¨ XP Professional as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3.0 operating systems. The xw6200 and xw8200 are available June 28 and start at $1,399 and $1,799, respectively. The HP xw4200 is expected to be available in July starting at $849.

"HP is committed to offering customers industry-leading technologies that deliver the best price/performance combination available," said Jim Zafarana, vp and worldwide marketing manager, Workstation Global Business Unit, HP. "The new personal workstation line is designed to integrate and enhance today's leading-edge, industry-standard technologies and management solutions to provide customers a platform that is simple to use and maintain, and easily adapts to changing information technology needs."

Josh Peterson, Product Marketing manager, Personal Workstations, told VFXWorld that improved acoustics, for example, were a direct result of customer feedback. In addition, the new workstations will help make 64-bit computing easier, since there has been much confusion among artists and mechanical engineers who want to know why applications don't run well with models.

The dual-processor HP Workstation xw6200 and xw8200 offer customers standards-based 64-bit computing by using the new Intel¨ Extended Memory 64 Technology (Intel EM64T). Both also use the new Intel E7525 chipset and next-generation Intel Xeon processors. This new technology represents a natural evolution of the x86 architecture and allows customers to leverage the broadest set of industry-standard solutions by being able to run current 32-bit and 64-bit applications on the same Xeon-based workstation.

Intel's EM64T expands addressable memory space up to 256 terabytes (TB), aiding in the design and manipulation of large data sets or models. Customers will now be able to run 32-bit applications at full performance on Xeon-based HP Workstations and also support 64-bit operating systems and applications. HP's 10-plus years of experience designing and integrating 64- and 32-bit technology solutions provides investment protection and greater agility today, while allowing customers to transition to 64-bit computing in the future.

The HP Workstation xw4200, based on an Intel 925X Express Chipset and Intel Pentium¨ 4 processor with Intel EM64T, will also have Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology Support when available from Intel.

The midrange, dual-processor HP Workstation xw6200 is a scalable, expandable workstation in the smallest package in the industry. Designed for the demanding numerical applications of space-constrained financial analysts, traders, engineers and scientists, the HP xw6200 can easily analyze massive amounts of real-time data and execute fast transactions while providing the capability of viewing up to eight monitors simultaneously.

By adding up to 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM (when two GB DIMMS are available) and 1.5 TB of internal storage, the high-performance, dual-processing HP Workstation xw8200 can scale to take on the toughest jobs - whether they challenge the memory subsystem, the processor, the graphics cards, system storage or a combination of components. The HP Workstation xw8200 delivers much improved dual-processing performance, large computational and visualization capacity and expandability.

The newest HP Workstations provide an x16 PCI-Express graphics port providing up to four times the bandwidth available with today's AGP 8x graphics connection. This enables customers to use the highest performing graphics technology available today, providing excellent visualization capability. Both dual-processor workstations offer a 50% faster system bus and DDR-2 400 ECC registered memory for greater performance and lower power requirements, along with an added level of data integrity and system uptime.

The HP Workstation xw6200 and xw8200 support higher performance processors with double the amount of L2 cache as previous generation Xeon processors. This provides customers with immediate performance gains by increasing the complexity of their models and designs to provide the next level of visual and computational realism.

The HP Workstation xw4200 is ideal for engineers, artists, designers, scientists and other high-performance users that have intense application demands, require large, complex models or data sets and have multi-tasking requirements or extensive graphic needs.

The HP Workstation xw4200 features Intel's new high-performance 925X Express chipset and the latest Pentium 4 processors with Hyper-Threading technology at speeds up to 3.6 gigahertz with an 800-megahertz front side bus. The new chipset paves the way to performance advances, such as the new PCI-Express graphics and input/output interface, DDR-2 memory architecture, integrated Serial ATA RAID controller and, when available, support for future EM64T processors from Intel.

A broad range of new 2D and 3D PCI-Express graphics solutions will be available to provide excellent 3D application performance and expansive 2D screen real estate (including ATI's Fire GL V5100 and NVIDIA's Quadro FX 3400, according to HP specs). Using next-generation DDR-2 memory technology running at 533 MHz, the HP Workstation xw4200 touts 33% greater memory bandwidth than HP's previous entry workstation. The integrated four-channel Serial ATA RAID controller enables high-reliability redundant (mirrored) hard drive arrays or high-performance striped hard arrays.

HP ( is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing.