Products - 8/04 - Part 1
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 8 (August 2004)

Products - 8/04 - Part 1

Dell has amended its workstation line with the addition of two new desktop products, the Precision 470 and 670. Through the incorporation of Intel's Xeon processors with Extended Memory 64-bit Technology (EM64T), the Dell Precision 470 and 670 are capable of powering 64-bit computing, as well as running 32-bit applications. These dual processor-capable systems, designed for increased performance and future scalability, boast DDR2 memory and the PCI Express bus architecture.

The Dell Precision 670 is designed for the professional who requires high-end graphics, storage, and peripherals expansion. Well suited to environments with limited space, the Dell Precision 470 is housed in a rack-mountable chassis that is smaller than that of the 670. Both models sport SCSI and SATA interfaces and support for RAID storage. Available with Microsoft Windows XP Pro (32-bit) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (32-bit and 64-bit), the Dell Precision 470 and 670 are available now, starting at $1399 and $1699, respectively. —CEH

Kaydara has announced its plan to unveil MotionBuilder 6—an updated version of its 3D character animation software for games, film, the Web, and broadcast—during SIGGRAPH.

Version 6 incorporates interchangeable character setups with support for props, constraints, and custom properties. Enhanced IK and FK keyframe capabilities, new tools for managing motion-curve dynamics, and a customizable user interface further contribute to the upgraded version.

Kaydara's MotionBuilder 6 is offered in two versions, now available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Mac OS X 10.2 and higher. MotionBuilder.Standard is priced at $995, whereas the Pro edition carries a $4195 price tag. —CEH

At SIGGRAPH, Avid is introducing the latest version of its DS Nitris non-linear video editing solutions, as well as its new Avid Xpress Studio system.

Version 7.5 of Avid DS Nitris and Avid DS Nitris Editor finishing systems are designed for use with standard-definition, high-definition, and digital intermediate 2k/4k projects. The upgrade also provides support for Avid DNxHD 10-bit HD encoding technology.

Avid Xpress Studio, an all-in-one content creation suite for video professionals, incorporates five of the company's popular video tools—Avid Xpress Pro, Avid Pro Tools LE, Avid 3D, Avid FX, and Avid DVD by Sonic—and such hardware options as Digidesign Mbox, the eight-fader Digi 002 controller, and the Avid Mojo Digital Non-linear Accelerator (DNA).

Avid is offering its Xpress Studio in two configurations: Essentials and Complete. Avid Xpress Studio Essentials, priced at $3995, includes the Digidesign Mbox, a two-channel, USB audio peripheral. For $6995, Avid Xpress Studio Complete ships with the Digi 002 and Avid Mojo.

Avid also is providing SIGGRAPH attendees with introductory, hands-on training sessions for Softimage|XSI 4.0, Alienbrain Studio, and Avid Xpress Studio. —CEH

While at SIGGRAPH, Nvidia is demonstrating its latest graphics accelerators, including four additions to its Quadro family of professional graphics solutions. The Quadro FX 3400, FX 1300, and FX 330 are based on PCI Express, whereas the Quadro NVS 280 is designed for professional 2D graphics and digital media applications.

Nvidia's flagship PCI Express offering, the Quadro FX 3400 features 256mb of G-DDR3 frame buffer memory, a 256-bit interface, and three-pin stereo support. Dual DVI display connectors and a memory bandwidth of 28.8gb/second round out the high-end Nvidia Quadro FX 3400, which will be offered in professional workstations from Dell, HP, and Fujitsu-Siemens. Like the 3400, the FX 1300 sports a 256-bit memory interface, three-pin stereo support, and dual DVI display connectors. It differs in its 128mb of DDR frame buffer memory and 17.6gb/second memory bandwidth. The entry-level FX 330 includes 64mb of DDR1 frame buffer memory, 3.2gb/second memory bandwidth, and a 64-bit interface. Last, users of the new Quadro NVS 280 benefit from PCI Express, PCI, and AGP bus architectures. The four offerings share support for Nvidia Scalable Link Interface (SLI) hardware and software, and true 128-bit floating-point precision. The PCI Express-based Nvidia Quadro FX 3400, FX 1300, and FX 330 are available from PNY Technologies ( in the US and Europe. —CEH