IBM INTRODUCES INDUSTRY'S FASTEST 386SX SYSTEMS;
EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY KEEPS PS/2 AHEAD OF THE PACK
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 25 -- Speed. Power. Performance.
IBM raised the technology bar again today by introducing the industry's fastest 386SX personal computers, powered by IBM's 386SLC microprocessor.
The 20 megahertz (MHz) PCs -- Personal System/2(A) Models 56 SLC and 57 SLC -- blaze through popular programs, such as Lotus 1-2-3(B) or AutoCAD for OS/2(B), up to 88 percent faster than the most popular 386SX competition.
IBM further strengthened its product line by replacing its best- selling PS/2(A) Model 55 SX with the Model 56 SX, which offers significantly faster processing, greater storage and processor upgradeability.
"IBM technology delivers performance unsurpassed in the 386SX marketplace," said Paul C. Mugge, vice president, systems and technology, for IBM's Entry Systems Technology group.
Both the Models 56 and 57 are designed to utilize the Cached Processor Option card, which allows customers to upgrade their processor. This option card, which installs easily in the math coprocessor socket on the system board, utilizes the 386SLC. In the future, IBM intends to provide additional processor upgrades for these models.
The powerful 386SLC chip, designed and manufactured in IBM's Burlington, Vt., semiconductor facility, features 8 kilobytes (KB) of internal cache and an internal cache controller. IBM's design boosts performance by accessing data from the high speed internal cache rather than system memory, whenever possible, and by optimizing commonly used instructions. The result is that SLC customers will see performance faster than most 386DX-25 MHz systems.
The 386SLC, developed by IBM under a long-standing agreement with Intel, has the same 32-bit internal, 16-bit external design as the Intel 386SX and is fully compatible with the Intel 386 architecture. Intel participated in testing the 386SLC and has determined it is 100 percent compatible with Intel 386 architecture.
"These new systems demonstrate our commitment to respond to customers who count on us to provide quality products today, designed to take advantage of future technology," said Sam M. Inman III, president, IBM's National Distribution Division.
Both systems combine the Micro Channel architecture with many of the same expandability and usability features of the PS/2 Models 90 and 95, such as fast hard files and Small Computer System Interface (SCSI).
The design of the Micro Channel bus allows customers to expand their system as their computing needs increase through incorporation of busmasters. Busmasters are intelligent adapters that allow sophisticated tasks, such as graphics or network management, to be carried out independent of the main processor.
SCSI allows seven peripherals to be attached through a single expansion connector, which the new models incorporate on the system board.
The new systems feature a 2.88 megabyte (MB) diskette drive, which is fully compatible with 1.44 MB diskettes. The 2.88 MB diskettes can handle up to twice as much information as 1.44 MB diskettes and four times as much as older 720 kilobyte (KB) diskettes. (In addition, the new diskette drive has media sense compatibility for full read-write support of 1 MB, 2 MB and 4 MB diskettes).
The Model 57 SLC, with five expansion slots and four storage bays, and the Models 56 SX and 56 SLC, with three expansion slots and two storage bays, help customers in highly connected environments keep pace with emerging technologies, such as multimedia, by giving them ample room to expand their systems.
All models feature 4 megabytes (MB) of high-speed memory, expandable to 16 MB, on the system board and include 16-bit Video Graphics Array (VGA).
The storage bays can house both 3-1/2- and 5-1/4-inch devices, allowing customers to use a variety of options, such as CD-ROM and tape backup, on the same system. The new models can be used on the a desktop or as a floor unit, using an optional vertical stand.
The Model 57 SLC is configured with either an 80 MB SCSI hard drive (Model 57 SLC-055) or a 160 MB SCSI hard drive (Model 57 SLC-059).
The Model 56 SLC is configured with either an 80 MB SCSI hard drive (Model 56 SLC-055) or a 160 MB hard drive (Model 56 SLC-059). There are two medialess versions, Token-Ring (Model 56 SLC LS-25X) and Ethernet (Model 56 SLC LS-15X), which provide excellent client solutions in networked environments.
The Model 56 SX is configured with a 40 MB SCSI hard drive (Model 56 SX-043) or an 80 MB SCSI hard drive (Model 56 SX-045). The medialess Model 56 LS comes in both Token-Ring (Model 56 LS-24X) and twisted-pair Ethernet (Model 56 LS-14X) versions.
The Model 56 also supports Japanese language applications, with seamless switching to English applications, using an optional Japanese keyboard and PS/2 Japanese Display adapter. With IBM OS/2 1.32J operating systems for Japanese Double Byte Character Set (DBCS) support, IBM provides exclusive new worldwide application capability on the desktop.
-- Model 56 SX-043 $2,745;
-- Model 56 SX-045 $3,030;
-- Model 56 LS-24X $2,890;
-- Model 56 LS-14X $2,445;
-- Model 56 SLC-055 $3,560;
-- Model 56 SLC-059 $4,030;
-- Model 56 SLC LS-25X $3,420;
-- Model 56 SLC LS-15X $2,980;
-- Model 57 SLC-055 $3,995;
-- Model 57 SLC-059 $4,465.
Manufacturer's suggested retail prices; dealer prices may vary.)
IBM offers a variety of PS/2 keyboards from which a customer can specify: the Space Saving Keyboard (84/85 keys); the Enhanced Keyboard (101/102 keys); the Host Connected Keyboard (122 keys); and the Japanese keyboard Type 2 (Model 56 SX only). The Host Connected Keyboard provides 3270 terminal users with a smooth migration path to PS/2s.
3270 Host Emulation Features
The new systems offer many host emulation features that, when coupled with IBM's 3270 emulation programs, make them ideal for users migrating from fixed-function terminals to intelligent workstations. The new systems' 16-bit VGA supports the wide screen 132-column data display, with outstanding resolution, familiar to terminal users. Also, customers of the new systems will be able to use the familiar 122-key Host Connected Keyboard.
The new systems are supported by IBM Operating System/2 Standard and Extended Editions, Refresh Level 1.30.1, OS/2 2.0, as well as Disk Operating System (DOS) 5.0.
Prices have been reduced for the Model 57 SX from 4 to 6 percent. The Model 57 SX-045, configured with an 80 MB SCSI hard drive, is $3,465. The Model 57 SX-049, configured with a 160 MB hard drive, is $3,935. Dealer prices may vary.
IBM also announced the withdrawal from marketing, effective May 25, the PS/2 Model 55 SX-041 and -081, the PS/2 Model 55 LS-LTO and -LEO.
All products announced today are available through Authorized Advanced Product Dealers (APDs), Industry Remarketers and directly from IBM.
(A) IBM, Personal System/2, PS/2, Operating System/2, OS/2, and Micro Channel are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
(B) Intel is a trademark of Intel Corporation.
AutoCAD is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc.
Lotus 1-2-3 is a trademark of Lotus Development Corporation.
/CONTACT: Michael Reiter of IBM, 914-642-5368
(IBM) CO: International Business Machines Corporation ST: New York IN: CPR SU: PDT SM -- NY011 -- 2180 02/25/92 08:28 EST