Compaq set a new performance standard for 386-based PCs when it introduced the Deskpro 386/25, a machine capable of 25 MHz—as compared with 20 MHz for most 386-based machines and 12.5 MHz for most 286-based machines. However, the $11,000 price put off many potential buyers. Two lower cost competitors now offer the same performance.
Northgate Computer of Plymouth, Minnesota, plans to ship by the end of the year a 25-MHz 80386-based system that will come with a 130-megabyte SCSI hard drive and DOS 4.01. The machine will also feature a multisynchronous 14-inch VGA monitor with 800-by-600 resolution, a 16-bit VGA card, 4 megabytes of RAM, and 256K of read/write cache memory on the motherboard.
It will be possible to configure the system with up to 20 megabytes of RAM by adding two 8-megabyte cards in proprietary 32-bit memory slots. Memory installed in the slots functions at processor speed, not bus speed. The configuration will have six 16-bit and AT-bus slots. It also will have space for five half-height devices such as disk drives. The system will feature a 250-watt power supply.
The basic system with the VGA monitor will cost $8,995, while an optional monochrome system will cost $7,995. Both will come equipped with MS-DOS 4.01 and GW Basic 3.23.
Dell Computer Corporation of Austin, Texas, has introduced an Intel-based 25-MHz 386 PC using Enhanced MS-DOS 4.0. The Dell System 325 comes standard with 1 or 4 megabytes of RAM, expandable to 16 megabytes using 1-megabyte SIMM kits and either a 1.2 megabyte 5 1/4-inch or a 1.44 megabyte 3 1/2-inch disk drive. It has an Intel 82385 cache memory controller and eight full—size expansion slots. Options are a 150-megabyte or 322-megabyte ESDI hard disk drive and a VGA monochrome or VGA Color Plus monitor.
The Dell System 325 with 150— megabyte drive, 1 megabyte of RAM, and a monochrome VGA monitor is $6,999. It is available immediately and is compatible with the Dell Enhanced MS-OS/2 at $324.95 or MS—DOS 4.0 at $119.95