2-GHz PCs ready for launch

AUGUST 28--Nearly every major PC manufacturer will release new models sporting Pentium 4 chips running at 2 GHz and 1.9 GHz, according to several sources. The chips will appear in high-end consumer PCs as well as in corporate desktops and workstations.

AUGUST 28--Nearly every major PC manufacturer will release new models sporting Pentium 4 chips running at 2 GHz and 1.9 GHz, according to several sources. The chips will appear in high-end consumer PCs as well as in corporate desktops and workstations. While the new PCs will increase the performance standards for desktop computers, they also will be fairly cheap, the result of a slow market for computers.

Compaq Computer, for instance, will offer a Presario 7000T desktop for $1499. The computer will come with a 2-GHz Pentium 4 processor, 128 Mbytes of RDRAM, a 20-Gbyte hard drive, a CD-ROM, and a 17-in. monitor.

Dell Computer's 2-GHz Dimension for the business market will start around $1800, sources said. A basic configuration is expected to include a 2-GHz chip, 128 Mbytes of RDRAM, a 40-Gbyte hard drive, a CD-RW drive, and a 17-in. monitor.

At the luxury end of the spectrum, Gateway will release the Performance 2000XL, a $2999 PC that will come with a 17-in. flat-panel monitor, an Nvidia GeForce3 graphics chip, surround speakers, and software packages for CD-burning and photo-editing. The company will also sell a scaled-down version with a 19-in. CRT monitor for $1999.

Hewlett-Packard and IBM are expected to come out with similar PCs at roughly the same price levels. All companies will also offer consumers coupons for upgrading to Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system at a discount. Gateway, for example, will give out coupons that will let customers upgrade to Windows XP for $15.

The new chips will invariably prompt fresh comparisons between the Pentium 4 and the Athlon from rival Advanced Micro Devices. Since late last year, benchmark testers and reviewers have jousted over which chip provides superior performance.

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