The first signs that Intel could be fighting a protest from PC vendors will appear on Thursday, when Compaq announces a range of multimedia computers based on a Cyrix GX chip.
Although Compaq has used non-Intel chips before, notably from AMD, the machines will offer a processor type that includes sound and graphics capabilities. That will mean Compaq can offer a machine at a far lower price than any of its competitors, which still rely on a range of peripherals such as sound cards and graphics boards, which push up the price of a PC.
Although Compaq has confirmed it will announce the machines on Thursday, it declined to give details of pricing. However, in the US at least, the machines are expected to cost far less than most multimedia machines, such as those based on the Intel P120, which cost #999 in the UK.
As revealed previously here, Cyrix GX chips were designed by Tom Brightman and the rest of his team in Boulder, Colorado, specifically to fight off Intel?s domination of the consumer market. Although the GX chips do not appear to include the MMX extensions Brightman?s team developed independently of Intel, their appearance in Compaq?s consumer range is bound to create jitters in the Intel camp.
Cyrix officials refused to comment on whether Compaq will release the machines this Thursday.
Next week, Compaq is also prepared to show its commitment to Intel?s MMX Pentium technology when it introduces Deskpros based on that platform.
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