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IBM consumer PC boasts new AMD chip

IBM unveils a full-featured consumer PC with a high-speed chip from AMD, stepping up a small-business campaign and going head-to-head with Compaq.

IBM announced a full-featured consumer PC with a new high-speed chip from Advanced Micro Devices as it steps up a campaign aimed at small businesses and goes head-to-head with Compaq.

IBM's new Aptiva 530 model will pack an Advanced Micro Devices 475-MHz K6-2 processor, a 13GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and an Iomega Zip drive for about $1,300.

IBM, which sells PC systems at retailers such as OfficeMax and CompUSA, is targeting this model at small businesses, said Mike Braun, general manager at IBM's consumer division.

AMD said IBM is the first to offer a system with the company's newest processor at retail outlets.

By comparison, CompUSA advertises a Compaq 5284 Presario system with a K6-2 running at 450 MHz, a 19GB hard drive, an Ethernet networking chip, and DVD-ROM drive for about $1,400.

IBM, like other manufacturers, is turning to small businesses to drive sales and OfficeMax is one nationwide chain where IBM appears to be concentrating its efforts.

OfficeMax announced in March that it would only carry IBM and Compaq computers and has instituted a trial with IBM for a store-within-a-store concept similar to Apple Computer's arrangement with CompUSA.

OfficeMax is also converting some stores to IBM only, according to the earlier report from Reuters.

IBM and Compaq, two of the most recognizable PC brands, have been skirmishing over shelf space over the last few years. Compaq won an important victory when Radio Shack selected Compaq as its exclusive brand and ousted IBM at its outlets nationwide.