Gateway will offer Intel's new 845GL chipset and six USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 connections with seven machines in its Gateway 300 series and Gateway 500 series.
Dell introduced the OptiPlex GX260, which features an Intel Pro/1000 MT Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet controller, which will allow users to take advantage of Gigabit Ethernet technology - a networking technology that allows data to flow at 1Gbps (bits per second), a significant improvement over existing 100Mbps technology.
Gigabit Ethernet has dropped in price, and the cost of moving up to it would not have been too much for Dell. At present, it is still mainly a server-to-server technology used by companies with high-bandwidth applications.
Dell is also including the OpenManage Client Administrator, a management tool for system administrators designed to facilitate software deployment, system migration, and inventory of hardware and software. The application was developed in a partnership with Altiris Software.
An entry-level version of the GX260, with a 1.7GHz Intel Celeron processor, 128Mbytes of Dual Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM and a 20Gbyte hard drive is priced at $749 (£514). A configuration with a 1.8 Intel Pentium 4 processor, 128Mbytes of DDR SDRAM, and a 20Gbyte hard drive starts at $849 (£583).
Gateway is targeting the home user, looking to increase interest in its lower-cost 300 series and mid-level 500 series.
Users will be able to choose between the standard Intel 845G or 845GL chipset on the following models: the Gateway 300LS, the Gateway 300S, the Gateway 300X, the Gateway 500L, the Gateway 500SE, the Gateway 500S, and the Gateway 500X. The systems range in price from $649 (£445) to $1,499 (£1,028), and are available immediately.
The Intel Extreme Graphics feature allows users to view more graphics-intensive video and games, including 3D rendering, on their home PCs. The six USB 2.0 ports also cater to the entertainment-conscious user by providing connections for peripherals like digital cameras or audio players, and permitting faster downloads.