Intel today announced its latest addition to the Pentium III line, a 1.13-GHz model that makes it - for now -the fastest CPU available for desktop PCs.

Initially, the new chips will be available only to select manufacturers, with wider availability over the next few months.

Intel expects the high-end chips to appeal to PC enthusiasts and those who need top processing power for advanced applications such as video editing, complex scientific computation, and power gaming.

Intel says the new processor demonstrates a 5 percent performance gain over its 1-GHz model and puts the ball firmly back into AMD’s court, as the two rivals continue their cat and mouse performance game.

The new processor will fit Slot 1 motherboards only, which means that initially it will be coupled with an 820 or 840 chip set, a 133-MHz system bus, and Rambus memory. (Intel's new 815 and 815E chip sets, which support PC-133 SDRAM, fit Socket 370 instead of Slot 1.)

Third-party motherboard makers may offer other configurations.