Intel Corporation seized the PC performance crown back from AMD's powerful Athlon microprocessor Monday when it unveiled two new chips of its own, new members of the Pentium III family that run at 750 and 800 MHz. They join existing 700 and 733 MHz versions, which were slightly out-powered by the 700 and 750 MHz Athlon chips. Intel's latest chips are built using a new 0.18 micron technology, which is thinner, lighter, and quicker than the older 0.25 micron technology previously used. The company had originally planned on introducing these chips in early 2000.

As usual, a wide range of PC makers have rallied around the new chips, including stalwarts Dell and Gateway. The 750 MHz Pentium III will sell for approximately $800 in quantity, while the 800 MHz version will cost $850. However, quantities of the 800 MHz chip and its supporting chipset are expected to be limited for a few weeks. Dell Computer, for example, is warning that orders placed now for its new Dimension B series of computers, which sports the 800 MHz Pentium III, will be shipped within 20-30 days, not immediately as usual. This is due to component availability, says Dell spokesperson Ted Druart.

The Pentium III family of microprocessors is targeted at workstations and high-end home machines, such as those used by game players, programmers, and other "power users.