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New Intel Chips Have Vendors in Desktop Frenzy

The New Year's hangover didn't last long for Intel Corp., as they released two new processors in their Celeron line. Now available, and falling in line with drowning chip prices, the 400 MHz and 366 MHz versions come splashing into the market today. Getting wet so far are Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Toshiba America Inc.

Compaq announced 400 MHz Celeron PCs available in its Deskpro EN and EP series. The desktops are available immediately and right now Compaq is asking for $1,089 a pop. More info can be found at www.compaq.com/products/desktops. Compaq also has the new Celerons available in its Prosignia desktop line. Those start at $1,299 each and customers can configure those on Compaq's DirectPlus Web site at www.directplus.compaq.com.

Dell expanded its OptiPlex and Dimension desktop PC lines to include the new Celerons as well. Both the OptiPlex G1 corporate desktop and the Dimension V series desktop for home and small business customers are available immediately with the Intel 400 MHz Celeron processor. The OptiPlex G1 with the 400 MHz processor starts at $1,049. The Dimension V series starts at $1,299 each and comes with a 15-inch monitor. More information on the OptiPlex and Dimension lines can be found at www.dell.com/products/optiplex/index.htm and www.dell.com/products/dim/index.htm respectively.

HP intends to integrate the latest chips into its Vectra VE line for corporations and into the Brio PCs for small- and medium-sized businesses. Expected to start shipping this week is the Brio with 366 MHz Celeron at $842 each, the Brio with 400 MHz at $1,139 each and the Vectra VE with 366 MHz starting at $1,199 a pop. Find out more at www.hp.com.

Not to be outdone, Toshiba upped its Equium 7100 commercial desktop series to include the new Celerons as well. Pricing for the 366 MHz and 400 MHz PCs will have single unit prices of $999 and $1,069 respectively. The 366 MHz version is immediately available while the 400 MHz Equium will be available next month. More information is available at www.toshiba.com.

Gateway 2000 Inc. and NEC Corp. also have plans to incorporate the new chips. Gateway's business model with monitor starts at $1,299, while NEC has a monitorless version expected to roll out next month starting at $900 per machine. All of the choices from the different vendors come with several different configurations.

Intel Celerons are now offered at 400, 366, 333 and 300 MHz speeds, all with 128 KB of integrated cache on the processor core. In 1,000 unit quantities, the Intel Celeron processor at 400 MHz in Plastic Pin Grid Array packaging is $158 and the Single Edge Processor Package version is $166. Get more performance information www.intel.com/procs/perf. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.