Intel's Pentium III smorgasbord (Part 2)

Pentium III 'classics'

Making things somewhat more confusing are the existing 533MHz and 600MHz Pentium III chips, which support either a 100MHz or 133MHz bus. They, however, include a 512KB Level 2 cache, which is the best way for customers to recognize them. Some PC makers refer to these chips as "Pentium III classic."

The new Pentium III design, code-named Coppermine, is based on a 0.18 micron manufacturing process, from which Intel derives the faster clockspeeds, as compared to the 0.25 micron classic Pentium III chips, and the ability to integrate the cache. Intel distinguishes Pentium III Coppermine chips by assigning E and EB designations to them, when they offer the same clock speed or bus speeds as classic Pentium III chips. ("E" or enhanced means that the chip is based on Intel's Coppermine technology as all of Monday's new chips are. "B" designates the chips as having a 133MHz bus.) Most PC makers announcing desktops Monday have picked specific chip sets for the new systems, which limits the number of chips a customer must choose between. This should help cut down on confusion among their customers.

Dell's OptiPlex goes with 810E

Dell Computer, for example, chose to go with the 810E for its recently introduced OptiPlex GX110 desktop. The desktop, which takes advantage of the low-cost 810E chip set from Intel will offers the 533MHz and 600MHz "EB" Pentium III chips along with 667MHz and 733MHz Pentium IIIs. With a 533EBMHz Pentium III, 64MB of RAM, a 6.4GB hard drive and a 15-inch monitor, the desktop will start at $1,199. A model with the 667MHz Pentium III, 64MB of RAM, a 13.6GB hard drive and a 17-inch monitor will cost about $2,110, Dell officials said.

Dell's Dimension desktop PCs will be offered with the new 600EMHz, 650MHz, 700MHz Pentium IIIs and the 440BX chip set, but not the 810E. Dell will also offer other 820-based models once that chip set becomes available and will continue to sell its GX1 desktops with classic Pentium III processors, but will not update the nearly two year old line with the Pentium III Coppermine chips.

Part 3