Gateway Says Two Hard Drives Better Than One

While the rest of the industry scrambles to sell cheaper, slimmed down models, Gateway Monday released a $3,499 multimedia PC it says is “optimized for digital media hobbies.”

The 700XL is the company’s most expensive desktop offering and the first Gateway PC that uses RAID technology — two hard drives acting as one — as well as Intel’s new 875P-based system chipset.

The towers are debuting with the latest 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 processors with Hyper-Threading technology and 400GB storage (two 200GB Hard Drives). As of May 16, the 700XL will be offered with two 250GB Serial ATA hard drives in RAID configuration for a monstrous 500GB Serial ATA RAID storage capacity. The Gateway 700XL also features 1024MB 400MHz DDR SDRAM Memory and a 18-inch LCD Analog/Digital flat panel display. The PCs include ATI’s 128MB RADEON 9800G PRO AGP Graphics Accelerator with TV-out and DVI connector.

The computers also include IEEE 1394 FireWire, eight USB 2.0 Ports (two in the front, and six in the back), integrated Intel 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, five PCI slots, DVD and CD burners, and Movie Creator VCD/DVD software.

Beginning April 25, Gateway said the machines will come with one 160GB Serial ATA hard drive starting at $1999 with the option to upgrade to an additional 160GB SATA hard drive for 320GB capacity.

The Poway, Calif.-based computer maker says two hard drives are good for multitaskers that might want to burn a CD while playing an online game. Gateway says the system is also ideal for small businesses or sole practitioners such as graphic artists and designers that specialize in digital video, photography or photography editing, and need to store large files.

“The Gateway 700XL delivers an unprecedented combination of technology to meet gaming and digital media enthusiasts’ desires for the ultimate PC performance,” Gateway vice president and general manager John Engle said in a statement. “And although RAID sounds complex, the benefit is simple our customers will enjoy better performance for storage, gaming, and digital video or photography editing.”

One notable is that Gateway is not relying on its usual Rambus RDRAM configuration. Instead the 700XL supports Intel’s 800MHz front side bus and dual channel DDR 3200 (400MHz) memory. The PC is also the first to incorporate Intel’s new Performance Acceleration Technology, which speeds access between the processor and memory.

“Intel is excited to see Gateway leading the industry with this new high-performance desktop platform,” said Intel vice president Randy Wilhelm. “By taking full advantage of every performance feature of the Intel 875P chipset, including Serial ATA with Intel RAID Technology, the Gateway 700XL raises the performance standard for desktop PC’s to a new level.”

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