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Diamond Multimedia's Fire GL1 Accelerator Brings Revolutionary Price-Performance Graphics to NT Workstations.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 1999--

Delivers the First 256-Bit Engine to the NT Workstation Market

Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:DIMD), a leader in PC multimedia and Internet connectivity, today announced the latest addition to its award-winning Fire GL professional graphics accelerator line - the Diamond Fire GL1. Featuring IBM's first graphics chipset for the Windows NT platform, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator brings revolutionary price-performance graphics to NT workstations and delivers the first 256-bit engine to the NT workstation market. The new Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator, priced at only $995 MSRP, is optimized for multi-processor systems with multi-threaded OpenGL drivers and supports Intel's new Pentium(R) III Streaming SIMD Extensions.

"In today's market, entry-level professional graphics accelerators are priced at approximately $200 and the next-level solution carries a price of about $1500," said Ian Cartwright, vice president and general manager of Diamond Multimedia's Professional Graphics Division. "We recognized the need for a new price/performance solution and designed a product to fill the gap between the existing price points. With the introduction of the Fire GL1 accelerator, we are able to offer a mid-range product that provides outstanding 2D and 3D graphics acceleration at a cost-effective price. The Fire GL1 product is targeted at the broad professional digital content creation market, including 3D animators, CAD engineers and Web content creators. "

"Diamond Multimedia has redefined the starting price point of mid-range workstation-class add-in boards," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of the market research firm Jon Peddie Associates based in Tiburon, Calif. "Our research indicates this segment is poised for rapid growth in the next couple of years."

Balanced 2D and 3D Graphics Performance

With its 256-bit graphics engine, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator delivers up to 15 million anti-aliased vectors per second sustained and processes 200 million pixels per second fill rate. The new Diamond Fire GL accelerator included in a single processor system posts a CDRS-04 score of 116. By utilizing the power of the second CPU, the score jumps by more than 37 percent to yield a score of 160.(1) In addition to providing outstanding 3D rendering, the new Fire GL accelerator features optimal 2D performance under Windows NT 4.0. Under WinBench 99, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator yields a score of 154 in Business Graphics and 299 in High-End Graphics.(2)

Superior Hardware Design

Featuring the IBM 256-Bit Graphics Rasterizer, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator provides twice the bandwidth of standard 128-bit engines to deliver faster 2D and 3D graphics performance. With an integrated 250MHz RAMDAC, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator supports True Color screen resolutions up to 1920x1200 with double buffering and a 24-bit Z-buffer. The new Fire GL1 accelerator also provides multi-screen support and can simultaneously handle the display of up to four monitors running under Windows NT 4.0.

Optimized for New Technologies

The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator offers "true" multi-threading by offloading geometry functions onto the second processor of a dual processor workstation. The multi-threaded OpenGL drivers divide the geometry functions of transform, clipping and lighting tasks into multiple threads. Each task is further divided into two threads (one for each CPU) and then processed in parallel to increase throughput, resulting in advanced performance. In addition, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator is fully optimized for Intel's Streaming SIMD Extensions which boost the performance of the Pentium III in the 3D geometry pipeline.

Advanced Software and Drivers

The Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator includes advanced software drivers that are optimized for the top 3D graphics applications in the areas of CAD/CAM, digital content creation and animation, and visualization. The new accelerator features specialized application settings for individual ISV applications which allow 3D professionals to customize and tune applications to meet their specific requirements. Also included are Plug-and-Play drivers for Windows NT 4.0.

Pricing and Availability

With an MSRP of $995, the Diamond Fire GL1 accelerator comes with 32MB of memory and is available in both PCI and AGP configurations. Product shipments are expected to begin in April 1999. The new Fire GL1 graphics accelerator will be showcased at CeBIT '99 in Hannover, Germany from March 18 through March 24, at the Diamond Multimedia booth No. A47 in Hall 21.

About Diamond Multimedia

Diamond Multimedia is a leader in PC multimedia and Internet connectivity, providing advanced products that enable desktop computer users to create, access and experience compelling new media content from their PC's and through the Internet. Products include the Rio series of Internet audio appliances, the Stealth and Viper(R) series of video accelerators, the Monster series of 3D gaming accelerators, the Fire series of professional graphics accelerators, the Supra(R) series of modems, and the HomeFree line of home networking products. Diamond's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol DIMD, and its web site address is http://www.diamondmm.com. The Company's Internet music portal site is at http://www.RioPort.com.

How to Contact Diamond Multimedia

There are many ways to reach Diamond for sales support, technical assistance, driver updates and general information:

Internet Web Sites: http://www.diamondmm.com and http://www.RioPort.com Diamond Multimedia's Headquarters and Multimedia Division: 408-325-7000; Fax: 408-325-7070 Communications Division (Supra brand modems) Main Phone Number: 360-604-1400; Fax: 360-604-1401 European Division (Germany): +49-8151-266-0; (UK):+44-1189-444400; (France) +33-1-55381600 Korean Office (Seoul): +82-2-551-2700; Fax: +82-2-551-2710 Japanese Office (Tokyo): +81-3-5695-8401; Fax: +81-3-5695-8403 ASEAN Office (Singapore): +65-353-9511; Fax: +65-353-9510 Hong Kong Office: +852-2262-9518; Fax: +852-2262-9555 Australian Office (Sydney): +61-2-9460-2355; Fax +61-2-9460-2360 Swedish Office: +46-417-40060; Fax +46-417-40054 Latin America Office (Miami): 305-593-8777; Fax: 305-593-2779 Mexico Office (Guadalajara):523-110-1144; Fax: 523-110-0744 Product Support (Voice), United States: 541-967-2450; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-330; Europe (UK) +44-1189-444444; Europe (France) +33-1-55381616; TDD/TTY Support 541-967-2451 Product Support (Fax), United States: 541-967-2401; Europe (Germany) +49-8151-266-331; Europe (UK): +44-1189-444445; (France) +33-1-55381601 Pre-sales Information: 1-800-468-5846 24-Hour Fax-On-Demand Service: 1-800-380-0030 Investor Relations: 408-325-7476; 1-888-474-3463 (U.S. and Canada) FTP site: ftp.diamondmm.com BBS: Europe (Germany) BBS at +49-8151-266333 (to 28.8 Kbps) or +49-8151-266334 (ISDN); Europe (UK) at +44-1189-444415 (to 33.6 Kbps)

Note:(1) Benchmark scores based on in-house testing using CDRS on a Dual 450 MHz ZPRO IBM Intellistation with 512MB RAM, 9 GB hard drive, 1280x1024x24-bit resolution at 60 Hz, under Windows NT 4.0.

Note:(2) Benchmark scores based on in-house testing using the Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation's Winbench on a Dual 450 MHz ZPRO IBM Intellistation with 512MB RAM, 9 GB hard drive, 1280x1024x24-bit resolution at 75 Hz, under Windows NT 4.0.

HomeFree, Monster 3D, Rio, Shotgun, SpeedStar and SupraSonic are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. Monster(R) is a registered trademark of Monster Cable. Viper(R) is a registered trademark of Directed Electronics, Inc., Used under License. All other trademarks referenced are the service mark, trademark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers. This announcement relates to products whose introductions are in North America. The product name, contents, prices and availability may differ elsewhere in the world according to local factors and requirements.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, such as statements relating to the Company's ability to successfully exploit technological and market developments, the timing and success of new product introductions by the Company and its competitors, and the Company's ability to invest in new technologies and to enhance its existing systems are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the impact of competitive products and pricing and alternative technological advances, the timely and successful development and market acceptance of new products and upgrades to existing products, and other risks as detailed from time to time in Diamond Multimedia's SEC filings, including its most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q.
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Date:Mar 1, 1999
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