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Alienware, a maker of high-performance PCs, on Thursday announced a breed of desktop and workstation computers with Intel’s forthcoming dual-core microprocessors. Surprisingly, the company positions its computers with dual-core chips for gaming.

“The Alienware Area-51 5500 desktop, Area-51 ALX desktop, and MJ-12 5500 workstation will come loaded with the highly advanced power of two execution cores on a single chip to deliver breakthrough performance for gaming, digital content, and other demanding applications,” the company said in a statement.

Alienware’s Area-51 and ALX desktop series are generally designed for hardcore gamers and professionals, especially designers, who create various digital content. Previously Alienware supplied its ALX-series computers with overclocked processors and with premium configuration that included top-of-the-range graphics cards, fast HDDs and a lot of memory.

The MJ-12 5500 workstations from Alienware come equipped with professional graphics cards from 3Dlabs, ATI Technologies or NVIDIA Corp., professional displays from Viewsonic as well as Intel Pentium 4, Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors.

Having two processing engines instead of one Intel Pentium D and Intel Pentium Extreme Edition processors will be capable of running many applications at the same time more efficiently than the Pentium 4, but the latter is likely to have advantage over the former in single-threaded apps, primarily games, because of higher clock-speeds, as the first dual-core microprocessors from Intel Corp. will work at 2.80 – 3.20GHz speeds, much lower compared to 3.80GHz of single-core processors. Digital content creation (DCC), primarily 3D rendering, software is likely to get the most significant performance increase because of dual-core chips over single-core chips.

Intel’s first dual-core processor that is expected to be formally introduced shortly and become available in May is Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 which runs at 3.20GHz, features the Hyper-Threading technology, which allows it to execute up to 4 threads in parallel, uses 800MHz processor system bus, integrate 2MB (1MB per core) L2 cache and utilizes LGA775 form-factor. Later during the year Intel Corp. will introduce dual-core Intel Pentium D processors that operate at 2.80GHz, 3.00GHz and 3.20GHz and do not feature Hyper-Threading capability. All desktop dual-core chips are expected to sport EM64T, Virtualization, XD bit as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technologies. The volume of Intel's dual-core chips will not, according to a company's official, be significant in 2005, but is expected to be enough to meet the demand.

Precise date of dual-core processors-based computers from Alienware and their pricing is unclear.

Dell and Velocity Micro also proclaimed plans to ship systems with dual-core processors.

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