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Micro Center sells $399 Intel PC

The new system includes the original 300-MHz Celeron processor (with no secondary cache memory) and joins a growing list of sub-$500 PCs.

Micro Center, a major computer retailer and notebook PC company, has begun selling a PC for $399 with rebate.

Micro Center, which has computer superstores throughout the U.S. and whose parent company sells the popular WinBook notebook PC line, has begun offering the Intel-based PC with rebate.

The PowerSpec Model 4300 includes the original 300-MHz Intel Celeron processor (with no secondary cache memory), a 3GB hard drive, 24MB of memory, a 56-kbps modem, and CD-ROM drive. The monitor is sold separately.

A flood of sub-$500 PCs have hit the market this year from companies such as Microworkz, Emachines, and Packard-Bell-NEC, while start-ups such as Gobi have been offering "free" PCs as part of monthly Internet service package.

The Micro Center system also includes a graphics subsystem from SiS. In order to shave costs, the SiS graphics chip uses 8MB of the main system memory, a Micro Center representative said. In other words, though the system comes with a total of 32MB of memory, 8 megabytes is dedicated to the graphics chip.

The system also includes Windows 98, Microsoft Money, and Microsoft Bookshelf.

Micro Center was one of the first to offer a $399 PC back in November of last year. That earlier system had a 233-MHz MediaGX processor from National Semiconductor, a 2.1GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive.