For a company that mostly lagged behind competitors in adopting new technology, IBM has got the time-to-market concept down pat.
The PC giant in June will unveil new high-performance Aptivas equipped with the latest 3D technology and new 200-MHz Intel Pentium processors. The combination of high-end 3D horsepower and Intel's upcoming super-fast Pentium should make the new Aptivas formidable multimedia machines geared for the consumer market.
The Aptivas will integrate ATI Technologies' new "Rage" 3D chip, one of the hottest 3D graphics processors on the market. Current "special edition" Aptivas have 3D technology, but these are priced close to $4,000, said a source familiar with IBM's Aptiva line.
The new ATI-equipped Aptivas will move 3D capabilities into the mainstream price range of $2,000 to $3,000, said sources--and this may drop even further later in the year.
The IBM boxes will also be one of the first to use Intel's planned 200-MHz Pentium processor. The fastest Pentium machines on the market now run at 166-MHz. Intel has not yet announced the 200-MHz Pentium but is expected to announce it in late spring or early summer.
The Aptivas will also come with a new software bundle including 3D entertainment software and pack fast 6X and 8X CD-ROM drives, sources said.