Dell is set to enhance its product range for small and medium-size businesses with new servers and the announcement of new switches.

The company is expected to release the PowerEdge 700 tower server and the 750 rack server with support for the latest Pentium 4 processors from Intel. The new processors are based on Intel's 90 nanometer Prescott core with double the amount of cache of previous Pentium 4 chips, and a faster front-side bus.

The two servers are designed for basic tasks such as file and print serving or Web applications, but come with a number of features usually found on more expensive enterprise-class servers, said Russ Ray, senior product manager with Dell's enterprise group.

For example, the servers support Dell's remote management services that allow them to be configured across the Internet. They also come with multiple hard drives with support for RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology that allows users to remove and install hard drives without having to reboot the machine.

Base configurations of the servers include Intel's Celeron processor, but users can upgrade to the newest Pentium 4 processors. The 700 starts at US$699 with a 2.4GHz Celeron, 256MB of PC3200 (400MHz) DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a single 40GB Serial ATA (advanced technology attachment) hard drive, five PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots and a CD-ROM drive. The 1U (1.75 inches) high 750 rack server starts at $969 with the same components but only two PCI slots.

The base configuration of each server ships without an operating system.

A midrange configuration of the 700 comes with a 2.8GHz Prescott Pentium 4 processor, 1GB of PC3200 DDR SDRAM, three 40GB Serial ATA hard drives, a RAID controller, and a CD-ROM drive for $1,824. The 750 costs $3,024 with the 2.8GHz Pentium 4, 1G byte of PC3200 DDR SDRAM, two 80GB Serial ATA hard drives, a RAID controller, a CD-ROM drive and the Windows 2000 operating system.

Pricing and availability for the new PowerConnect switches will be announced in the second quarter, Ray said. The PowerConnect 2216 and 2224 are 16-port and 24-port Ethernet switches, respectively. The other switch, the 2324, comes with two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports for connecting servers.

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