Digital ships latest workstation for 3-D pros

Digital Equipment Corp. last week rolled out the Creation Studio 3D, a new version of its Windows NT-based workstation.

Digital Equipment Corp. last week rolled out the Creation Studio 3D, a new version of its Windows NT-based workstation.

Meanwhile, at Las Vegas' National Association of Broadcasters show, the company said several digital video vendors will add support for its Alpha-based platform.

Users can choose between a 500-MHz Alpha or 333-MHz Intel Pentium II processor for the Digital Creation Studio 3D. Each $6,995 system comes with 128 Mbytes of RAM, a 4-Gbyte drive and a 20-inch display. The system also includes the company's PowerStorm 4D51T graphics card with 16 Mbytes of RAM.

The company said the package's software bundle is aimed at multimedia authoring, including Parable Corp.'s ThingMaker and NetObject Inc.'s Fusion 3.0.

"It's a value/platform proposition," said Reese Gautschi, product marketing manager, citing recent support for Digital's platform from software vendors and value-added resellers. "We have support opportunities and hand-holding experience to integrate current Mac environments with Windows NT."

Gautschi said Digital will release a new generation of Creation Studio systems in the fall. Some models will run a forthcoming Alpha processor that provides four times the current floating-point performance and will support real-time MPEG encoding. The models will offer onboard FireWire ports.

Meanwhile, Gautschi said, several multimedia and Internet companies, including Media 100 Inc. and NetObjects, are expected to climb on the Alpha processor's bandwagon. In addition, Truevision Inc. is expected to announce an Alpha-based version of its Targa video-editing package.

Digital lowered the prices and changed configurations for its basic Creation Studio package. Now priced at $4,995, the system comes with either a 333-MHz Pentium II or 500-MHz Alpha chip, 64 Mbytes of RAM, a 4-Gbyte Wide Ultra SCSI-3 drive, an Iomega Zip mechanism and a 19-inch display. It also includes a PowerStorm 4D10 graphics card and a 2-Mbyte Level 3 cache.

Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Mass., is at (800) 344-4825; http://www.workstation.digital.com.