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Gateway Heavy On Media Center For Summer Line

While most students are just starting to settle into their summer routine and refuse to even think about school, Gateway is hitting consumers in the next two weeks with one of its larger desktop computer introductions for the back-to-school selling season.

The new series utilize the Intel-developed BTX chassis that is designed for better air circulation and cooling, and the higher-end 840GM, 835G and 831GM models all have the Windows Media Center Edition 2005 operating system along with an Intel dual core 64-bit processor. Gateway claims the BTX system makes components 82 percent more reliable because they operate at lower temperatures.

These models comprise the company’s offerings for third-party retailers, while the FX400 line will sell only direct from Gateway.

The 840GM is powered by the Intel Pentium D 830 chipset, rated at 3GHZ, and comes with a TV tuner card. The unit has 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM, and for the first time Gateway is including Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 950, which is expected to improve gaming, video and multimedia playback. Onboard drives include a 16x dual-format, double-layer DVD burner and a DVD-ROM drive and a 250GB hard drive. The unit hit stores on July 10 with a $1,049 suggested retail price.

The 835GM shipped the same day as the 840GM with a $849 suggested retail price. It is similar to the 840GM except it has a slightly slower Pentium D 820 chipset, running at 2.8GHz, and it lacks the TV tuner.

The 831GM, which hit stores July 3 with a $699 suggested price tag, features a Pentium 4 630 processor with HyperThreading technology, 512MB of memory and the same optical and hard drives as the previous units.

Depending upon configuration, the FX400 models, which are available today, will cost between $1,099 and $1,299. A basic configuration would include a Pentium 4 820 processor, 512MB of memory, 200GB hard drive, dual-format DVD burner, 15-inch LCD, the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Windows XP Home. At the upper price range, the processor is bumped up to a Pentium 4 830 with 1GB of memory, 250GB hard drive, a dual-format DVD burner and nVidia 6800 Ultra graphics card with 256MB of memory. It will include a 19-inch LCD monitor.