As previously reported by CNET News.com, the chipmaker is trumpeting the availability of 1.8GHz and 1.6GHz Pentium 4 processors. Intel is also slated to launch a 2GHz Pentium 4 chip in a few months.
Analysts have said that PC makers will use the new chips to differentiate their systems from one another or from PCs using Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon chip. Still, some critics have said that the extra speed in the latest chips may not do much to boost Pentium 4 sales, which have been sluggish overall.
A Gateway representative said the 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 is being used in the company's Performance desktop series. The model 1800, with the speedy chip, 128MB of RDRAM, 60GB hard drive, DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives and a 19-inch monitor sells for $2,199.
Representatives at Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer were not immediately available for comment.
Slowdowns in both the consumer and corporate PC markets are likely to be a drag on Intel's sales, according to a recent study by Mercury Research. The study found that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel shipped about 1 million Pentium 4 chips in the first quarter of 2001. The researcher expects Intel to ship about 2 million in the second quarter, which puts the chip giant well below its forecast of 20 million Pentium 4 chips to be sold this year.
The Pentium 4 chip is used in conjunction with the company's i850 chipset. The 1.8GHz version is priced at $562. The 1.6GHz version is priced at $294.