Intel claims its new line of desktop chipsets and processors will provide the building blocks for a new generation of consumer PCs catering for the digital home.
The hardware manufacturer has launched two new chipset lines, the 915 and 925, as well as six new desktop processors, in a bid to bring a new line of Hi-Fi PCs to the market.
The chipsets, formerly known as Grantsdale and Alderwood, brought several technical features to the mainstream desktop PC market which had previously been restricted to higher-end or specialist systems, Intel said.
These include 6.1 or 7.1 integrated surround sound capability, double data rate (DDR2) memory and PCI Express interconnect technology.
PCI Express allows data to travel at faster rates throughout the chipset than permitted by the current PCI standard.
It will help improve overall system performance and pave the way for future expansion cards such as high-definition television tuners or advanced graphics technology, according to Intel.
Three chipset models will be available from PC vendors. The 915G includes the integrated graphics chip, while the 915P is designed for use with standalone graphics cards. The 925X is considered a high-performance chipset for advanced users. Along with the new chipsets, Intel has launched a high-end Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor at 3.4GHz and five new Prescott Pentium 4 processors. These have been categorised using Intel’s new processor numbering system. The fastest chip is the Pentium 4 560 at 3.6GHz, followed by the 550 at 3.4GHz, the 540 at 3.2GHz, the 530 at 3GHz, and the 520 at 2.8GHz.
Speaking at the Sydney launch of the new chipsets and related processors, Intel national marketing manager, Phillip Dows, said Intel’s new line of hardware would allow OEMs to capitalise on the convergence of IT and consumer electronic products.
Dows said Intel was working closely with local PC assemblers, including Optima and Altech, to bring products based on its new chipset architecture to market.
“Our solutions are driven by what OEMs are selling and building,” he said.
Intel had not experienced any challenges deploying its new architecture into locally produced systems, he said.
“In comparison, with the launch of Centrino 18 months ago, there was no real local assembly market for laptops,” Dows said.
International vendors including Dell, HP and IBM have also begun releasing products based on the new architecture.
In the US, HP has announced a new Media Centre PC, the m1000 series Photosmart PC, and will release variations in the next couple of months offering different configurations with the new P4 processors.
IBM’s new ThinkCentre A51p also utilises the new 915G chipset and the 520 P4 processor.
Dell has unveiled two new Dimension PC models and one XPS PC based on the new chipset technology.
The Dimension 4700 uses the improved integrated graphics on the 915G chipset. The 8400 and XPS systems feature the 925X chipset.