Pentium III Processor Found Faulty

A glitch that causes Intel's fastest Pentium III processor to fail has also caused IBM and Dell Computer to stop taking orders for the 1.13GHz Intel chip, according to officials for both computer makers.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell had been taking orders for the processor, which is shipping in Dell's Dimension XPS B desktop PC line, since the launch of the 1.13GHz Pentium III processor on July 31, said Dell spokesman Tom Kehoe. But Monday, Dell stopped taking orders for units that would house the bad chip and began contacting customers, offering them the slower, 1GH Intel Pentium III processor as a substitute.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM also removed the faulty processor from its ShopIBM Web site, according to IBM spokesman Ray Gorman.

With few details, Intel spokesman George Alfs said that the processor fails when it "hits a certain speed at a certain temperature while running certain code in certain units."

Apparently, the problem was discovered by either Tom's Hardware Guide or HardOCP.com. Intel had provided motherboards of the faulty chip to both hardware testing companies for review, said Alfs.

Some of the faulty motherboards also shipped to equipment manufacturers, such as IBM and Dell.

IBM is in the process of contacting customers who have computers with the faulty chip in them and is working with Intel to replace them, said Gorman.

No Dell customers received units with the faulty processor, according to Kehoe.

"We'll pull these [processors] back and fix the problem and ship new parts out in couple of months," said Alfs.

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