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PCs & Workstations

PCs & Workstations

THEY DELETE TO COMPETE

Sun Blade 1500 Workstation. This 64-bit workstation sports the same 1 GHZ UltraSPARC IIIi processor found in Sun's higher-end mission-critical servers. To keep costs down, engineers cut the number of components by integrating the memory controller and 1Mbyte L2 cache onto the CPU, and incorporated Double Data Rate (DDR) memory instead of SDRAM, and Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) drives. "There is some trade-off concerning cache size," says Sun Workstation Manager Brian Healy. But he adds by integrating the cache onto the die, engineers reduced memory latencies by up to four times, maintaining performance while reducing cost and complexity. In addition, this architecture has low power consumption-350W maximum vs. 670W for a Sun Blade 2000. (www.sun.com) Enter 582

DO IT YOURSELF

IBM ThinkCentre S50, M50, and A50p. Using a design for assembly and disassembly approach, IBM engineers developed an easy-access, tool-free chassis design for these products. That means users can easily remove the hard disk and memory for upgrading or servicing. Among design strategies: Cable routing is bundled out of the way for easy access to components and cable ends, and user "touch points" are colored blue for easy identification. There's also a "caddy" that surrounds the hard disk drive, locking it into place without the use of tools or screws. (www.ibm.com) Enter 583

BIG HEART

Apple Power Mac(R) G5. This personal computer has a big heart-specifically, a 64-bit processor, which Apple claims is a first for a PC. It beat out Xeon and Pentium 4 processors in a SPEC CPU 2000 benchmark test. And, it will still run 32-bit applications. The guts also include dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1 GHz front-side bus. The electronics can build up a lot of heat, so Apple designed a proprietary computer-controlled cooling system to get rid of it. The thermal management design includes four discrete thermal zones to compartmentalize primary heat-producing components. Fans run at low speeds to keep the machine quiet. (www.apple.com) Enter 584

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