Five years ago: IBM touts MMX PC, warns of low volumes

IBM will tomorrow blaze the MMX trail by announcing two system lines which use Intel's new multimedia processor technology, but said sales are likely to be slow at first

First published 7 January, 1997

The IBM PC 330 and PC 350 can be configured with Intel Pentium MMX-enhanced 166MHz and 200MHz Pentiums. A 166MHz MMX Pentium-based PC 330 with 16Mb RAM, 2.5Gb hard drive and Windows 95 or 3.11 will cost £1,600 + VAT. At the high-end, a 200MHz MMX Pentium-based PC 350 with 32Mb RAM, 2.5Gb hard drive and Windows 95 or 3.11 will cost £1,940 + VAT.

The systems will be available from January 21 but IBM warned against expectations of a flood of MMX machines.

"We're not expecting to sell large volumes [of MMX-based machines], because we are not getting a large volume [of chips] from Intel," said Richard Chapman, IBM's desktop marketing manager. Chapman said most corprate customers were happy with Pentium Pro systems running Windows NT, and predicted MMX adoption will come from first-time buyers looking for Windows 95 machines. A lot of people think MMX is a games idea and don't realise business applications can also gain in speed by up to 20 per cent."

He maintained it was too early to assess potential demand: "A lot of other companies are just waiting to see what will happen."

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