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Compaq upgrades low-cost servers

Compaq incorporates Intel's 300-MHz Pentium II processor into two low-cost server computers.

Compaq Computer (CPQ) incorporated Intel's 300-MHz Pentium II processor into two low-cost server computers, buffing out its family of inexpensive servers based on the Windows NT operating system.

Compaq's ProLiant 1600 and the ProSignia 200 servers have been upgraded from top speeds of 266 MHz and 233 MHz, respectively, to 300 MHz, the second-fastest clock speed of Pentium IIs on the market. Intel's quickest Pentium II chip runs at 333 MHz.

The upgrades follows deep Intel price cuts last month accompanying the introduction of the 333-MHz Pentium II. The 300-MHz version fell nearly 30 percent, to $530 from $738, or about the old price of a 266-MHz chip.

The ProLiant 1600 features Compaq's "hot plug" technology, which allows users to swap out drives, power supplies, and other parts while the server is still live. The ProLiant also comes with Compaq's "Highly Parallel System Architecture" technology, intended to help eliminates data traffic jams that occur between components like the hard drive and the processor. The server is used for workgroups and remote offices.

The ProSignia 200, a less expensive model, is Compaq's entry-level server designed for small businesses. It comes bundled with Microsoft's Back Office Small Business Server software.

Compaq did not reveal details of availability.