Intel in late May released three new chipsets with integrated USB 2.0 capability enabling PCs to be ready "out of the box" for the new data interface.
The new chipsets are the 845G, 845E and 845GL. USB 2.0 is forty times faster than USB 1.1 enabling external CD burners and hard drives to operate much more efficiently.
The 845G is designed for the higher-end Pentium 4 processors and will sell for $46 each in sets of 1,000. The 845E, $41 in 1,000 unit quantities, is for the lower speed P4 chips and the 845GL is for Celeron processors and cost $33 when bought in 1,000 unit lots.
In addition, all of the chipsets enable surround sound and 20-bit audio.
Gateway and Dell were the first PC vendors to upgrade some of their PC models with Intel's new 845 chipset family.
Gateway reported today that is has integrated Intel's new USB 2.0 ready chipsets into five PC models. Starting immediately the Gateway 300LS, 300S, 300X, 500L and 500SE will have USB 2.0. The PCs range in price from $649 to $1,099.
Dell's offering are the Dimension 4500 and 4500s PCs, which utilize Intel's new 845-chipset family for USB 2.0.
The Dimension 4500, has a basic feature load of an Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz and faster processor, 1GB of shared SDRAM, six USB 2.0 ports, hard drives of 20GB, 40GB, 80GB and 120GB. There are several optical drive options including a DVD+RW/CD-RW combo and a DVD+RW/+R. It also has greater expansion capability compared to the 4500S and can take a variety of audio and graphics cards. Suggested retail pricing starts at $849, but will change depending upon how the consumer configures their model.
The step-up 4500S is limited to four CPU choices, Pentium 4 1.7GHz, 1.8GHz ad 1.9GHz or a Celeron 1.7GHz, but otherwise is equipped with the same features as the 4500. Its suggested retail price starts at $749.
On the service side of the industry, Dell has the new Home PC Installation Program. For a $119 charge Dell will send a technician to the consumer's home to professionally install the new computer. For the charge the customer also receives an orientation and overview of all the systems components and basic computer operation.