New cheaper Pentium 4 systems on the horizon

PC manufacturers will push the Pentium 4 toward wide circulation on Monday with new computers that for the first time wed the chip with standard memory, rather than Rambus memory.

Virtually every major computer company will unveil budget-class Pentium 4 computers for the business market at the beginning of next week. Hewlett-Packard, for instance, will release the Vectra VL 420, which will contain a 1.6GHz Pentium 4, 128MB of memory and a 20GB hard drive for $899. Gateway, Dell, IBM and others have similar plans.

All of these computers will share key characteristics. For one thing, they will cost approximately $100 less than existing, similarly configured models, according to sources, because they will contain SDRAM, the most common form of memory on the market today, rather than RDRAM, the memory based on designs from Rambus.

Most of the PCs will sell for around $899 and save business buyers around $100 or more. The basic configuration of Gateway's upcoming E-6000 desktop, for example, will feature a 1.5GHz Pentium 4, a 20GB hard drive, and 128MB of SDRAM for $1,139. A similar computer with RDRAM would be priced $100 higher, said sources close to the company.

Dell's Dimension 4300 will feature a similar configuration and cost about the same. Compared to other, similar Dell desktops, the Dimension 4300 will cost anywhere from $90 to $220 less, depending on the configuration and the amount of memory used.

News source: CNet News

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