HP Introduces AMD Opteron Workstation

In response to customer demand, HP today introduced its first workstation to include AMD Opteron processors and support for NVIDIA Quadro SLI dual PCI Express graphics. The 64-bit HP xw9300 Workstation promises dramatically increased graphics and computing performance for customers working in such fields as computer-aided engineering, scientific research, software development and 3D animation.

Representing the top of the line of HP workstations the HP xw9300 supports two AMD Opteron 200 series processors, up to 16 gigabytes of memory, IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 ports in the front and back, five internal hard drives for up to 1.5 terabytes of storage and support for Windows XP Professional and Red Hat Linux WS3.0 (64-bit) operating systems.

The enhanced graphics performance of the HP xw9300 Workstation is made possible by the NVIDIA nForce Professional chipset enabling dual PCI Express x16 graphic slots. With dual PCI Express graphics, customers can run large models and display complex graphics with detail and speed. The HP xw9300 is the first workstation to be certified by NVIDIA to support SLI for NVIDIA Quadro.

Jeff Wood, director of marketing for HP’s Global Workstation Business unit, tells Animation Magazine Online, "Now, with the SLI solution, you effectively have access to a full gigabyte of frame buffer and texture memory for a single display with [NVIDIA’s] new scalable link interface. That, with the load balancing of the two GPUs on board, you’ll have some pretty stellar performance and full visualization features for better realism at the end display."

Wood says the HP xw9300 shares the same chassis as the xw8200 and offers similar expandability, adding "Now we’re unique in the industry with the ability to support two fully accelerated 3D graphics cards. Intel can’t do that today and there’s no other Opteron-based system that can do it either."

HP says customers who plan to migrate to a 64-bit environment will appreciate the AMD Opteron processor, with its ability to simultaneously run 32- and 64-bit applications. The AMD Opteron processor features the unique Direct Connect Architecture that reduces memory and other system bottlenecks while increasing bandwidth.

According to wood, people working in the 3D animation segment will be particularly well served by the HP xw9300. "They’re just waiting with baited breath to get their hands on this box because they’re finding that when they’re running Maya or Quake or any of the other 3D animation applications, the performance is upwards of 20% to 30% better than the Intel-based architecture," he says.

HP workstations are found in the animation studios at DreamWorks and Pixar. The HP xw9300 is available now and starts at an estimated U.S. street price of $1,899. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.