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Sources revealed prices and specifications of both Compaq and HP boxes aimed at the retail market, confirming a battle royal in the sector. As we reported 10 days ago, Compaq will introduce two machines based on Pentium III Coppermine processors -- the 7598, using a 600MHz chip, and the 7599, using a 700MHz processor. Both of these models, which will be aimed at the retail PC market, include built in 56K modems, a 40GB hard drive, CDRW, a 40-speed CD ROM, 128MB of memory and a so-called Quick Cam system. The former machine will cost $1,500 retail while the latter, which substitutes a DVD device, will cost $1,700. But Compaq will not have its own way in the retail sector, as long-time rival Hewlett-Packard readies its own offerings. HP will introduce a total of four machines, one of which uses the recently released 566MHz Celeron, while the top of the range model uses an Athlon 850 MHz. The specifications and prices of the HP boxes are as follows. The 6645C will come with 64MB memory, a 15GB hard drive, CDRW, a built in 56K modem, and will cost $850. The 8655C uses a Pentium III 533MHz processor, again comes with 64MB of memory, has a 30GB hard drive, a 40x CD ROM, CDRW, a built in 56K modem and will cost $1050. HP's 8665C uses a 600MHz Coppermine Pentium III, comes with 128MB memory, a 30GB hard drive, a 40x CD ROM, CDRW, a 56K modem and costs $1,399. The Athlon machine in its line-up, the 9695C, uses a 850MHz AMD chip, comes with 128MB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, DVD, CDRW, DSL, a network interface card (NIC), and a 56K modem. It will cost nearly $2,300. This last machine is also likely to be bundled with a TNT2 card. While these machines will be available in the US very shortly, we have no information as to when they will cross the pond. ®

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