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New Deskside Silicon Graphics Prism System Offers Double the Memory of IBM and HP Systems

Starting Under $8,500, New Visualization System Arms Linux Users with Twice the Data Size to Tackle Today's Complex Problems

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (April 26, 2005)—Answering mounting demand for more visualization capability in the hands of Linux® system users struggling with big data problems, Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) today extended its acclaimed family of Silicon Graphics Prism™ visualization systems with a new deskside model. Featuring a starting price under $8,500, the Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system packs up to 24GB of memory and two full bandwidth graphics pipelines.

The new deskside model drives the power and scalability of Silicon Graphics Prism systems to the lowest price point ever, and allows more users to leverage the product family's breakthrough visualization capabilities for tackling problems that generate massive data sets, such as weather modeling and drug design.
  • For oil and gas research, the Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system enables seismic analysts to view 20GB of data in a single session. Ideal for multiple-attribute tasks, the new system enables faster and more quantitative analysis of potential reservoirs, and speeds memory-intensive tasks like core tracing.
  • For scientific research, the new deskside visualization platform allows researchers to interactively study large data sets - such as molecules, cosmology models and simulated drug interactions - all at once, rather than working with segmented data sets, thereby reducing the time to discovery.
  • Computer-aided engineering (CAE) environments can enhance productivity with the new system, which enables engineers to view and analyze more time steps in a fully interactive workspace. For more granular analysis, two graphics pipelines give the new deskside system the ability to support dual projection and stereo viewing.

"The new Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system puts many of the advantages of our rackmount Silicon Graphics Prism system into a deployable package that we can easily take on the road," said David Neill of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth Science Centre, which is building an SGI® Reality Center® visualization facility as a cornerstone of a new Centre of Excellence for Visualization in Wales, a 37,000-square-foot facility designed to accelerate innovation and technology transfer. "We collaborate constantly with academic and scientific teams on high-end computational problems that require realistic, interactive visualization. This high-bandwidth, memory-rich deskside system will allow us to literally create a flexible, portable and fully interactive environment no matter where we are. Such a feat would be impossible to achieve with typical Linux visualization systems based on graphics cluster technology with limited memory and sluggish I/O."

Dedicated system for power users
With its deskside form factor and low entry price, the new Silicon Graphics Prism system offers dramatic performance advantages as a dedicated system for power users with the most demanding visualization needs. Engineers and researchers also can drive displays with up to 10 million combined pixels, as the system's dual ATI® FireGL graphics processors offer the ability to simultaneously serve four full bandwidth channels. Leveraging single or dual Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, the new system allows complex calculations to be handled locally, thus easing the burden placed on compute servers.

Larger workgroups also benefit from the new system, which they can use in a visual area network (VAN) environment to share data and resources for faster, more efficient collaboration. Additionally, the Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system is an ideal engine for low-cost SGI Reality Center implementations, delivering a fully interactive visualization solution offering high resolution with no compromises.

"Traditional PC architectures have long been a problem for power users, throwing up barriers that stymie productivity and slow the kind of insights that lead to new medicines, safer aircraft and automobiles, and breakthroughs in environmental science," said Shawn Underwood, director, Visual Systems Group, SGI. "The new Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system tears down those barriers with record-setting capabilities that allow engineers and scientists to see more and do more with today's immense data sets. This new system not only delivers what power users need today, but it offers them a cost-effective entry point to solutions that have the speed, throughput and sheer scalability to handle tomorrow's visualization challenges."

Application acceleration for IRIX users
Users with investments in IRIX® applications have a double win with Silicon Graphics Prism, which can run IRIX applications with significant performance improvements over prior systems. Through QuickTransit™ software, IRIX applications can run concurrently with Linux applications, enabling users to have the best of all worlds leveraging the rich IRIX application heritage alongside the emerging breadth of Linux applications.

QuickTransit is a hardware virtualization technology from Transitive Corporation, which provides a dramatic improvement in price/performance without the need for recompiling applications. The Silicon Graphics Prism system uses QuickTransit to provide instant access to more than 140 key IRIX utilities bringing a rich and powerful extension to the standard Linux user environment.

Entry point to SGI visualization ecosystem
The new deskside model provides an affordable entry point to the flexible SGI visualization ecosystem - or an easily deployable yet powerful addition to an existing SGI installation. Capable of scaling up to 16 graphics pipelines, 6.1TB of memory and 256 processors, the Silicon Graphics Prism family offers many times the visualization capability of any other computing system available.

Pricing and Availability
The new Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system is available today from SGI starting at under $8,500. For more information, visit

For the Silicon Graphics Prism deskside system Virtual Press Kit, please go to

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI), is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, Reality Center, IRIX, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks, and Silicon Graphics Prism, NUMAflex and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. QuickTransit™ is a trademark of Transitive Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Intel and Itanium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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