Dell ups performance of low-cost Dimension

Dell Computer has increased the performance of its lowest-cost Dimension model while trimming the price, the company announced Tuesday.

The new Dimension 2300 will replace the Dimension 2200, which has only been on the market since March. It will come in several configuration options, with a base price of US$629.

A base configuration for $629 comes with Intel Corp.'s 1.7GHz Celeron processor, 128M bytes of SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 20G-byte hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, and a 15-inch monitor. The Dimension 2200 used a 1.3GHz Celeron processor, and sold for a base price of $649 on Dell's site last week. The machine uses Intel's 845G chipset, which features integrated graphics, eliminating the need for a graphics card. However, users interested in graphics-intensive 3D gaming generally need more powerful graphics processors than the 845G provides.

This machine is targeted at entry-level users, who mainly need a PC to surf the Internet, create word processing documents, or do basic digital photography. Users can connect peripherals such as digital cameras or MP3 players into two USB (universal serial bus) 2.0 ports directly on the front of the machine, with four more USB 2.0 ports in the rear of the machine.

The Dimension 2300 is one of Dell's build-to-order models, and users can add DVD-recordable drives, up to 1G byte of SDRAM, or up to an 80G-byte hard drive when purchasing the PC through Dell's Web site.

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