Digital Equipment Corp.’s upcoming desktop systems, based on its new Alpha processors, will be the dream machines of the Windows NT world, according to an examination of a preproduction unit by Geekstir.
Expected to be released when Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT is announced in the second quarter, the Alpha AXP 21064-based system examined by the Labs uses a minitower case and standard PC components and will cost between $7,000 and $10,000, depending on configuration. DEC also has plans for both lower- and higher-end Alpha systems.
Side-by-side comparisons with a 25/50MHz 486DX2-based system running our test release of Windows NT were no contest. The Alpha system, still far from final optimal condition, was considerably faster than the 486 PC. We compared the Alpha and 486 systems by running simultaneous generations of fractal images on each, using the fractal demonstration program included with the Windows NT Software Development Kit (SDK).
The test was heavily floating-point-math intensive, stressing one of Alpha’s strong features.
Our test system ran at 125MHz, short of the 150MHz expected in release-level systems. The NT Alpha compiler — and therefore the applications we tested — …