Intel bridged the gap between its high-end 1GHz and 800MHz chips last week with the release of two new Pentium III desktop PC processors running at 866MHz and 850MHz.
The new processors, designed to provide a rich user experience for both business and home users, are available immediately in systems from several PC vendors, according to Intel officials.
To date, the speediest Intel processors, including both the 800MHz version introduced late last year and the newly launched 1GHz Pentium III, have been in short supply.
Dell Computer, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, for example, were the only three vendors to announce systems based on the 1GHz processor when it was launched earlier this month.
The 850MHz and 866MHz Pentium IIIs are priced at $US765 and $US776, respectively, in 1000-unit quantities, Intel said.
Featuring on-chip, performance-enhancing, level-two cache memory, the chips are available in both SECC2 (single edge contact cartridge 2) and FC-PGA (flip-chip pin grid array) packaging.