The first entertainment PCs to use Intel's dual-core Pentium D processor go on sale today.
The systems will be designed around the 945 Express chipset and have Dolby sound built in. Intel claims that the new designs will increase the speed of functions like file transfer by up to 45 per cent.
Gordon Graylish, Intel's director of marketing for Europe, said: "Is the PC dead? If you are just thinking about the beige box type of PC then it is. We are moving to entertainment PCs, high-end games machines and lifestyle computers."
The new entertainment PCs will be heavily geared towards online services, according to Graylish. He predicted that IP video would be worth nearly £2bn by 2008, and that online gaming revenues would outstrip that figure.
A number of UK manufacturers, including Evesham and Elonex, are already producing entertainment PCs in traditional consumer electronics designs.
Other designers have also been brought in to "sex up" the new systems, such as award winning designer Ryan McElhinney. His 'E-Shell' is inspired by 1960s designer Eero Aarnio's bubble and ball chairs.
"The E-Shell does not apologise for its presence or try to hide under the TV," said McElhinney. "It is proud to stand alone as a piece of furniture in its own right."
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