PCs based on the first of Intel's dual-core Pentium 4 processors are being launched this week.
The machines feature chips with twin processing units, which can deal with more information simultaneously, for optimised software applications.
The chips will be used in Intel's new Professional Business Platform, which features Active Management Technology (AMT) to help IT managers install and monitor security patches. AMT can diagnose problems for all AMT-enabled PCs on the network, even if they are turned off or have a failed hard drive or operating system.
The platform also pulls together existing Intel security, management and collaboration technologies.
The Professional Business Platform is based on the Intel 945G Express Chipset, Pro/1000 PM network adapter and Stable Image Platform Program.
The Stable Image Platform Program ensures that the hardware and driver image of the platform will not change for at least 12 months from the start date of the programme.
The aim is to make it easier for IT managers to manage their PCs, and lower the cost and complexity of maintaining desktop systems.
Martin Reynolds, vice-president at analyst firm Gartner Dataquest, said, "Dual-core processors will deliver the greatest advance in performance since the introduction of the 386, but developers and users must test and tune their software to receive the full benefit of this performance boost.
"Prepare to test applications on dual-core platforms. There should be no major compatibility problems."