Intel Corporation on Tuesday announced the immediately availability of its fastest microprocessor ever, the 450 MHz Pentium II Xeon, which comes with a choice of three L2 cache sizes: 512 Kb, 1 MB or 2 MB. The Pentium II Xeon is designed for multiprocessing servers and workstations using four or more processors.

"The challenges faced in the enterprise are never-ending, as the needs for greater performance, scalability and flexibility increase daily," said John Miner, who runs Intel's Enterprise Server Group. "Pentium II Xeon processor-based servers meet these needs by offering industry-leading performance for four-way and greater systems. This performance, offered at a tremendous value to the customer, has made the Pentium II Xeon processor the fastest selling server processor in Intel's history."

Pentium II Xeons come with a hefty price tag compared to Celeron and normal Pentium II microprocessors: the 512 Kb model is $824, the 1 MB model is $1980, and the 2 MB version comes in at $3692.

Single processor Pentium II Xeon systems will run in the $7000-20,000 price range, while multi-processor systems will hit mortgage pricing. Every major PC maker, including Dell, Compaq, IBM, HP, NEC, Micron, Toshiba, and more have announced new systems based around the new microprocessor