Springdale Gives Dell New Dimensions

Dell is rolling out desktops based on Intel's new "Springdale" chip set.

Dell Computer Corp. is taking advantage of a new Intel Corp. chip set to roll out new desktops.

The 865G chip set—code-named Springdale and released on Wednesday—supports Intels Hyper-Threading technology, which boosts performance some 30 percent by enabling one processor to work as two virtual chips. It also features an 800MHz front-side bus, which speeds the transfer of data between the chip and the memory; dual-channel DDR (double-data-rate) memory; and Communication Streaming Architecture for faster throughput.

Dell is joining Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Gateway Inc., Acer America Corp. and MPC Computers LLC in rolling out new desktops based on the chip set.

In addition, Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, on Wednesday is rolling out a Precision workstation that includes the 875P chip set, which Intel introduced last month, and two new OptiPlex desktops armed with Intels Pentium 4 chip, which includes Hyper-Threading technology designed to increase application performance.

The new Dimension PCs—the 4600 and the smaller 4600C—are designed to increase performance in small-form-factor desktops and include Pentium 4 chips at up to 3.06GHz and the 865G chip set. Aimed at consumers and small businesses, the 13-inch-tall 4600C includes eight USB 2.0 ports. For a starting price of $999, the desktop includes a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 256MB of DDR 333 memory and a 30GB hard drive.

The 4600—a minitower form factor that is 60 percent larger than the 4600C and also features a compact chassis—for a price of $1,129 includes a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 and 512MB of DDR 333. It also comes with the eight USB 2.0 ports, Ultra ATA-100 hard drives of up to 200GB and integrated 10/100 Ethernet connectivity.

Two new OptiPlex desktops from Dell can be built with either Intels Celeron processor, with a 400MHz front-side bus, or with the Pentium 4 chip, with Hyper-Threading and an 800MHz or 533MHz front-side bus. The two PCs, the GX270 and SX270, also introduce Serial ATA hard drives to the OptiPlex product line. Dell officials said the Serial ATAs offer a faster data transfer rate than Parallel ATA drives. They also include smaller cables, which improve the air cooling capabilities in the desktops.

Another option is the support of S3 "sleep state," which reduces energy consumption after a preset time. This feature enabled the desktops to be designated an Energy Star by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Other environmentally friendly features include the use of recyclable plastics and a reduction in the amount of certain chemicals.

The GX270 with a 2GHz Celeron chip, 128MB of DDR-SDRAM memory, integrated audio and Intel Extreme Graphics, and Microsoft Corp.s Window XP Home starts at $599. The SX270 with all that but a smaller hard drive starts at $579. Both are available immediately.

The one-way Precision Workstation 360 comes with Intels 875P chip set, a Pentium 4 chip up to 3GHz, and AGP 8X and 8X Pro50 graphics options. Storage options include an integrated dual-channel Serial ATA hard drive with RAID support or SCSI hard drives with optional RAID configurations. The workstation also includes Intels Pro/1000 MT Gigabit Ethernet controller for connectivity.

For $899, the Precision 360 includes a 2.26GHz Pentium 4 chip with a 533MHz front-side bus, 256MB of DDR-SDRAM memory, a 40GB hard drive and an nVidia Quadro NVS 280 graphics card.

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