Dell Unveils New Ivy Bridge-based Systems

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Dell has unveiled a number of new systems that are powered by the latest Intel third-generation chips

Dell has unveiled more computer systems powered by Intel’s latest third-generation Core Ivy Bridge processors, with the announcement of new Vostro, XPS and Inspiron systems featuring the new chips.

Dell officials on 2 May said they are offering the Vostro 470 for business users and the XPS 8500 for multimedia professionals in the United States, and the Inspiron Special Edition 14R and 15R in certain countries in Asia. They will be offered in other countries over the next few weeks, the company said.

Third Generation Chips

The new systems were announced two days after Dell said its Alienware unit was rolling out three new Ivy Bridge-based PCs for gamers, the M14x, M17x and M18x systems. The new systems are aimed at other markets, according to Sam Burd, vice president and general manager of product development for Dell.

“Creatives and businesses can now choose Dell desktops available with Intel’s third-generation quad-core processors, delivering the performance they crave to pursue their professional passions,” Burd said in a statement. “At the same time, we’re enhancing our Inspiron lineup to give multimedia buffs optimized audio and more features for an improved entertainment experience.”

The new systems come less than two weeks after Intel unveiled the first of its much-anticipated Ivy Bridge chips, 22-nanometer processors that officials with the giant chip maker said will offer better performance with significantly improved graphics and power efficiency.

A key to the processors is Intel’s three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistor architecture, which essentially moves away from the flat “planar” circuitry of previous designs and to a three-dimensional structure that enables Intel to offer better performance and power efficiency.

The Tri-Gate architecture will give Intel a significant head start over rivals, according to Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates.

“Tri-gate transistors offer significant performance and/or power improvements that allow Intel to tune the chips for specific market requirements (e.g., low power portable devices, high performance desktops/servers or blended capability),” Gold wrote in a research note when the Ivy Bridge chips were launched. “While others claim to be able to duplicate the technology, we don’t expect to see such capability in production volumes for at least two years, giving Intel a major competitive advantage.”

Dell Models

Intel in April released 13 quad-core versions of the chip aimed at desktop PCs and high-end laptops. Dual-core versions and chips for mobile devices will be available later, according to company officials.

Dell’s XPS 8500 desktop offers the option for third-generation Core i5 and i7 chips, as well as graphics products from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices. It features USB 3.0, mSATA solid-state-drive options for fast load and boot times, and up to 3TB hard drives and options for up to 16GB memory.

The Vostro 470 also offers Ivy Bridge i5 and i7 and discrete graphics options, and up to 2TB of storage and 12GB of memory. Business-class features include Intel’s Smart Response Technology for fast access to applications, and support service options from Dell like ProSupport and DataSafe Online Backup.

The Inspiron laptops are aimed at families that are looking for high-level immersive entertainment and multimedia capabilities, with the option of having them run on third-generation Core i7 chips.

All are available immediately, with the XPS 8500 starting at $749 (£462) and the Vostro 470 at $549 (£339).

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