Gateway, Dell and a host of smaller manufacturers are
introducing desktops that contain Intel’s Extreme Edition Pentium 4 for the
gaming market on Monday, the latest salvo in the war for supremacy in desktop
performance. These new PCs are aimed largely at the enthusiast and gamer market.
Gateway’s new 700GX Gaming PC, for instance, costs $ 3,299 and features a 160GB
hard drive, a 3.2GHz Extreme Pentium 4 and 512MB of memory. Although the market
is small in terms of units, the profit margins on gamer PCs can be large.

The Extreme Edition Pentium 4, which Intel added to its
product plans during the summer, runs at 3.2GHz, as fast as an existing version
of the Pentium 4, but it contains 2MB of cache, four times as much the existing
version of the Pentium 4. The chip, though, isn’t exactly an original bit of
engineering. It’s virtually identical to a Xeon chip for servers that Intel has
been selling for months. Intel repackaged the Xeon for desktops to better
compete against the AMD Athlon FX-51 that released in September. More Extreme
Edition chips will likely come out even after the arrival of Prescott. In
general, adding cache is a fairly inexpensive and rapid way to boost
performance. The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition sells for $ 925 in quantities of 1,000
or more.