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Desktop Systems
The old maxim still applies--lots of power, low price.

More power at a lower price. Since the introduction of the PC, that's been the story of desktop systems. The current Win 100 shows that's still the case.

Intel's new MMX-enabled P55C chip--with 57 new instructions to speed the execution of multimedia tasks--has been the major technological advancement since our last Win 100. The paucity of MMX-enabled apps so far means the main benefit the new chip provides to most users is the 15-percent performance boost afforded by its larger 32KB level 1 cache.

Prices have plunged dramatically for the mainstream systems just as likely to turn up in home, SOHO, small-business or corporate environments. By the end of 1996, you could buy a fully equipped 200MHz Pentium system for around $2,000, and 200MHz Pentium Pros cost less than $3,000.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has been the order of the day in the corporate market. Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other vendors have introduced new features to reduce management and inventory-control issues, such as Desktop Management Interface (DMI)-compliant software for remote management, and designs that facilitate easy setup and component replacement.

Expect more revolutionary changes in the coming months. A raft of new processors scheduled to come on line will provide access to the 57 new multimedia instructions. This category includes AMD's K6, Cyrix's M2, and Intel's Pentium II and a chip code-named Deschutes scheduled for late-year release. Microsoft's new PC97 initiative will turn desktop computers into sealed "pizza boxes" with peripherals connected through Universal Serial Bus (USB) or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectors. These developments might change desktop computers more in one year than during the previous five. And Intel's Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) promises an enormous boost in video throughput, particularly for 3D graphics.


Desktop Systems: The Winners

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.