Hell Freezing Over

Though not quite as big as when Steve Jobs said Hell froze over just because iTunes got ported over to Windows, it’s still pretty big news. Not that it’s rather new news, it’s actually somewhat old. I’m not sure if it was because I was in spring break or just really wanted it to be spring break, but in the past month Intel announced that they were going to move to a numbering system for their processors and I didn’t say anything about it. Well, I’m about to now.

It’s about freaken time! I know most computer users don’t understand GHz from MHz from MBytes and GBytes, but purely on the technical level I’m sure intel has always known that comparing processors purely by their speed isn’t acurate. Sure it made sense in the day when intel was the only game in town and when MHz did mean something, but when even they are playing fun with architecture just to get the “new and faster” stuff to actually be faster then the older stuff there’s definately a problem.

While I was in Disney, the TechReport had a little news report about some industry rumors about how intel may be looking to removing NetBurst architecture from future intel processors. It’s an interesting little sidenote really, though if any of it is true, there certainly is a major shift in thinking happening in intel. So far in the first quarter this year they decided to support AMD’s x86-64 extensions to the IA32 architecture in IA32e - that in itself looks like it will only hurt the Itanium (IA64) line of processors, Intels bet on 64 bit. At least they have something else to replace it with: Pentium-M.

Either way, AMD did some good things with x86-64 - forced some good competitive action on Intel and any competitive action is usually very good for cosumers. Wonder if AMD will get any more market share from this.

March 29, 2004 11:56 AM Gadgets and Hardware


Comments left behind by readers like you

The only way for this to work will be if Intel completely drops the clockspeed from advertisements, product listings, etc. They'll probably have to keep it in the official technical specs, but they don't have to make it obvious. Otherwise, consumers everywhere will just look at the clockspeed and ignore the new ratings: after all, the market has been trained to think clockspeed==performance.

I can see the next Apple commercial: "Intel's latest chip sucks so bad that they're embarrassed to tell you how fast it is. Don't you want a PowerPC?"

Posted by: Eddie Williams | March 30, 2004 07:34 AM

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