PC makers announced new desktop and workstation PCs following
Intel's launch of its "Conroe" Core 2 Duo processor.
Intel plans an "extremely fast production ramp" of the new chip design, taking
just seven weeks to ship 1 million chips, Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul
Otellini told reporters during a press conference in Santa Clara, California.
Intel took one year to ship that many Pentium chips, he said. The quick launch
will allow vendors to ship desktops to stores by early August and notebooks by
late August. A few products are already available now.
"Today's a big day for us; it's like our birthday and wedding wrapped up in
one," he said, standing under a big white tent during a California heat wave.
"This is the best microprocessor we've ever designed. It's our first premium
brand since we introduced the Pentium 13 years ago."
America's three biggest PC makers: Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway -- announced they would replace Intel's Pentium D with the new chip.
The upgrade will allow users to handle digital photos and music 35 percent
faster and play games 47 percent faster on desktops like the XPS 410 and
Dimension 9200, according to Dell.
Dell will use the similar Core 2 Extreme chip in its Precision 390 workstation,
improving graphics performance by 88 percent for computer-aided design or
digital content creation.
The Precision 390 is on sale Thursday for US$1,050. The new XPS and Dimension
models will be available by late August for $1,595 and $1,674. Dell also plans
to use the mobile version of the Core 2 Duo, "Merom," in its Precision,
Latitude, Inspiron and XPS notebook lines by the end of August.
Likewise, HP announced it would use the Core 2 Duo to replace Pentium 4 and
Pentium D chips, as it upgrades its xw4300 line to the new xw4400 workstation.
"Power users" from engineers to video editors will see both a large jump in
performance and a drop in electricity needs, said Jim Zafarana, vice president
of HP's workstation global business unit. The xw4400 will be available in early
August for prices starting below $1,000.
Video gamers are one of the largest markets being targeting by vendors.
Gateway will use the Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme in its FX510 desktop. The
computer is available now for prices ranging from $1,300 to $4,200.
Other vendors selling Core 2 Duo-based computers include high-end gaming system
makers Voodoo PC and Alienware, now owned by Dell.
Voodoo will sell its OMEN i:121 Extreme desktop PC, while Alienware offers the
Area-51 7500 and Area-51 ALX desktops. Alienware also plans to support the Core
2 Duo mobile chip in its Area-51 m5750 and Area-51 m5550 notebooks later in the
third quarter. Neither vendor has listed prices yet.