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1-GHz Pentium III Due This Month 248

ReviewSeek writes "According to this News.Com article, consumers will be able to buy Pentium III computers running at 1 GHz from Hewlett-Packard and IBM later this month. Volume production and sales aren't expected until third quarter though. " It's strange to me that for some reason that "One Ghz" thing seems important. But ya gotta love fast.
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1-GHz Pentium III Due This Month

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  • Beyond making Seti@home run faster, I fail to see the point of upgrading my system to a processor that fast.

    Were I to make a purchase to speed up my home computing, a good AGP 3D graphics card would probably be a better purchase.

    But cool in theory, I suppose.

  • CPUs may be getting faster, but I can still only type 35 words a minute (on a good day).
  • but Intel kinda needs to get those 800/850 chips out before worrying about 1Ghz
  • How much faster will this really be? If these guys don't quite with Mhz... sorry, Ghz = faster pretty quick I'm gonna go berserk. When was the last time intel significantly reworked their chipset? So far as I'm aware, these are still rather similar to the 500-600 Mhz P3 chips except at 1 Ghz... *grumble, rant, rave, etc*

    -Elendale (is fed up)

  • This announcement begs the question: is Intel really releasing a 1GHz processor?--or are they just fabbing a few of them so they can make the first-to-1GHz-fame claim.

    Here's an article [] at The Register that explains it nicely.
    And there's a stable 1.1GHz Athlon that was shown at CeBIT. Tom's Hardware has more. []

    IMHO, the question of when the consumer can buy this chip and what quantities they'll be available in will determine who really was the first to release a 1GHz chip.

  • I'm sorry but I can't think WTF I would need 1 GHz for. I'm currently managing with a P133 which, although a little too slow for comfort, still just about manages to cope with my demands. And even if I did want a 1 GHz processor to show off to my mates I'd wait for the 1 GHz Athlon to come out rather than buy a chip based on an outmoded and inefficient design.

    And with Intel's recent track record in supplying their processors I think you'll be lucky to get one of the dozen systems that'll be available in the next year :)

  • like the year 2000. They don't really mean anything (besides faster chips and slight Y2K computer problems) but it's a nice round number with lots of zeros for people to latch onto. Everyone needs a buzzword to feel cool.

  • It's strange to me that for some reason that "One Ghz" thing seems important.

    What about the year 2000? Does it seem strange to you that it should be so important? Apart from the Y2k bug, which didn't happen, it's just another year...

    Actually, come to think of it, if the year 2001 is the Millenium, then would the 1GHz processer be clocked at 1001MHz ???

  • by riggwelter ( 84180 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:40AM (#1230907) Homepage Journal
    The 1Ghz figure is important to the computing community for the same reason that the year 2000 was important to society as a whole.

    We humans have an irrational interest in what we consider to be 'round numbers' whereby we feel that a year with a 'round number' or, in this case, a processor clocked at one will in some way be extra-better as it were over previous incarnations than if it did not have that round number in it's name.

    There is also the psychological effect that canging the name of the unit has. Once we are able to rate processors in GHz rather than MHz, people will subconciously expect them to run significantly faster (the difference between 900 & 1000 MHz is not that big, but the difference between 900MHz and 1GHz sounds like a lot more), so the manufacturer who can hit that 'magic number' first will have a bit of a head-start in shifting increased numbers of units.

    And of course, the people who buy those processors expecting increased performance gains, will then brag about them, even if they're not noticable, because otherwise they may look foolish.

    What very few people will ask is "do I need this". Personally, I have a P166MMX at home, and it does everything I need. I can run Linux, Star Office and Nyetscrape without difficulty. 1GHz would be nice, but frankly, I don't need it.

  • To speed up gaming, 3D card would do it, but there are people who actually need a lot of (cheap) processing power at their home pc:s. Anyway, getting to 1G has a lot more to do with marketing than anything else. There are many people out there, who still think that higher number=faster=better.
  • Of course there is nothing magically significant about 1GHz in any technical sense. Clearly it's only because it sounds cool to quote your processor speed in GHz rather than MHz - unless you really have a need to get the fastest processor you can buy (and who really needs that?) it's just about showing off...

    The thing is that people gagging to get faster and faster clocks, freezing their CPUs to overclock them etc. are probably running distinctly suboptimal systems anyway, because there are usually a whole load of things you can do to a machine to get the best performance out of it beyond bumping up clock speeds.

    A while back when the processor and memory clocks were more closely related, you used to run more slowly with a higher processor clock under certain conditions! A lot of P120 systems ran slower than P100 systems for most applications because they ran the system bus slightly slower. Does anyone know if this is still an issue - is there still any kind of relationship between headline processor speed and the bus speed? If not, when did that get decoupled?

  • by VultureMN ( 116540 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:44AM (#1230912)
    I thought Intel was having production problems, yet they keep announcing higher clock speeds.

    So, what, are they going to have a lottery to decide who gets the few precious chips they can turn out?

    Oh! I got it. I bet they'll have competitions as to who gets the chips.

    First round elimination: Stupid Bunny Suit dancing competition. Points for garish colors and imaginative dance moves.

    Second round elimination: Chili cookoffs, using old P60's as the burner. Is that smoke from the food or the chip? Who cares! It burns, baby!

    The PIII Superbowl: The person who actually gets the chip is the person who can come up with the least-stupid-sounding reason why the general public needs to drop 1k on a 1Gz CPU so they can check out porn sites and forward the same retarded joke (headers and all!) to a bazillion people.

  • by kwsNI ( 133721 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:44AM (#1230913) Homepage
    I understand how this can be useful in a business/technology environment running CAD or other calculation intensive programs, but really, I don't see a whole lot of use for this in the consumer market.

    They're going to be really expensive and what's the point? So you get an extra 10 FPS in Q3Arena, honestly, I can't tell a difference between my 450 and 550 computers in Q3. One gets about 10 FPS more but it's not visible, they both look about the same. Apps will load a little faster but is that worth the price? I don't see programs coming out that have system requirements for 1 GHz for quite a while so I think I'll stick with my 550 for a while.


  • You all might want to have a look at The Register [] and Tom's Hardware [] to get better information about this story. Both sites have been publishing some interesting stories (specifically The Register) concerning this chip race that we all love watching. They seem to do a good job of getting the dirt on both AMD and Intel, and although they do seem to play favorites with AMD (as I'm sure most of you do as well), they have posted relatively unbiased articles about both companies. When I say unbiased, you have to look at all of their storys, as both sites have taken to Intel bashing as of late, and for good reason.

    Intel is still having production problems with their 800Mhz PIII, whether they will confirm that is another matter. The Register contacted a German distributor and he said that he isn't getting the 800Mhz chips, let alone something running at 1Ghz. Also, a story on The Register a couple of days ago said that Intel had told manufacturers to expect 866Mhz's by the end of February. That obviously hasn't happened.

    I find it hard to believe that Chipzilla is going to be able to jump 200Mhz in one month. Maybe they'll take a prototype, tape an ice-cube to it and ship it to Dell so they can say they did. You may see these chips in volume by June, but I sure wouldn't believe this information coming out of Chipzilla now...

  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:45AM (#1230915)
    How about some 1GHz Athlons [] instead. They'll be available in full volume production too... unlike the P3. Cheaper too.
  • It's funny, but this is exactly the sort of thing predicted in Van Smith's article [] article about how Intel is losing their grasp on the market.

    I've always been one to buy Intel, but I'm thinking my next box will probably have an AMD chip. I expect AMD will have matching or faster chips within a month or two.

  • The only issue I see here is to make games perform better. My AMD233 is just fine for applications, coding, internet. The misconception I think the average user here is that they think a faster CPU will give them faster internet. Long live Broadband!!!
  • Well considering the Anti-Intel sentiment at this site, all one can say is let the bashing begin, I mean after all AMD is so much better, right.

    Really though its quite sad how anti-Intel everyone is, I mean the reason why Intel became Intel was because of its reliability and performance, this is not to say that today Intel doesn't sing a different tune, but still everytime I read about something that Intel is doing to push the enevelope in CPU technology people just bash it away as if its already been done or there is something better coming around the corner, which is always true, but regardless if the industry didn't have Intel who knows what could of happened, some would argue that another manufacturer would of just taken control of the market and, rightly so, but the history of Intel is very impressive and their ability to stay as one of the top manufacturers of chips is rather astounding, and yes I would like to recognize the fact that they have used some Microsoftesque tatics to stay in that lead, but the credit that has been given to them is rather pathetic people will critique Intel for anything that they do, the point I am trying to make is that I am sick of the same post of people just flaming Intel, if your going to flame them I suppose make it original ok ;), not ohh well AMD is blah blah, or ohh big deal I did that yesterday crap that I keep on reading repetively by people. Think Original, Think Spam, as in the actual Spam.

  • You know, it would be interesting to see if the marketing boys (and girls) market these new generation of ~1 GHz CPU's as "1000 MHz" blazing speed processors. After all--1000 is larger than one--so a 1000Mhz machine 'sounds' sexier.

    Most people don't know what MHz or GHz means anyways--to them it might as well be a model number.
    You're still using Windows?

  • Release first, get bragging rights.

    Intel wants to be able to have the bragging right over AMD... a little bit of marketing savvy.
    Press releases to the media can proclaim they relased the faster chip.
    Mailing to the stockholders can announce breaking the 1 gig mark.

    Personal I still won't buy one, but I can understand why they would move to put the chip out prior to being able to mass produce it.

    A little AC who finally choose a nick.

  • by theSheep ( 112925 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:49AM (#1230921)
    OK, Whenever there's an article about a new fast processor, there are always the people that say "why would anybody need it?!" I think one already posted and I'm sure more is on the way.

    Here are a couple of reasons why I could use all the processing power I could get:

    If I am working on a project, my code-compile-debug (whatever it's called) cycle is approx 5-10 min plus the time it takes to compile. If in that time I change a .h file, I must recompile most of the project, which takes a few minutes. If my cycle time goes from 10 min to 5 because of a processor that compiles faster, I just doubled my productivity!

    As another example, A year ago I was doing some research involving Mandelbrot/Julia sets. Rendering those in large quantities at high quality can take forever even on a fast machine.

    I won't even talk about tons of applications in the scientific world--they should be obvious. So if you post that you don't need no faster processor, all that means is you're not a coder.

  • Normal FUD. They can only deliver a couple of them but at least it's "official" and Intel has reached the 1 Ghz barrier. Well done.

  • Talk about science fiction! I'm in my mid-30's and remember having conversations with friends where we marvelled at having 64K RAM and a 4MHz processor.

    Now Joe or Jane Consumer can easily go out and buy a supercomputer for their family. Yet, in the long run are they doing anything more with their home computer than they were doing 10 years ago (other than surfing the web)? It just seems that all that computing power hasn't really changed what most people do with their PC's -- which is pretty much use it as a glorified electric typewriter, surfing the web and e-mail.

    Despite what Intel and Microsoft might say, a 1GHz Pentium III is not necessary, nor does it even enhance the experience of web browsing. It certainly isn't needed for the dreaded paperclip living inside Word.

    Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but I just don't see where all this computing power is of any practical benefit to the average user.
  • by Enoch Root ( 57473 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @06:54AM (#1230926)
    Well, obviously, rationally, going from, say, 200 MHz to 400 MHz, and from 500 MHz to 1 GHz is pretty much the same leap. (In the sense that in both cases it doubles your speed; people notice that more than a net increase in cycle speed.) But the 1 GHz barrier is still important. Why?

    Simply, because it's a benchmark! I don't understand why people don't understand that. It's the same thing with 2000, or with turning 30. It's a round number, and our human nature is to like round numbers.

    Personally, I do think, in all irrationality, that 950 MHz doesn't have the same ring as 1 GHz.

    As a side-note, to all the people who say, 'Now, what the hell am I gonna do with 1 GHz??' Gimme a break. I heard people say that when the 100 MHz Pentium came out, and when the 1 GB drives came out. but I bet they didn't count on bloatware and games becoming more and more demanding on a system.

    Now, you're gonna tell me most games today only require a killer video card. Sure. And what do you think powers the AI's?

  • a little bit my processer may be running a 4.77 again - at least Ghz not Mhz, however when they get there, the current windows release may make it feel like Mhz.

    And I remember replacing my 8088 with a NEC V20 because it was just a tiny bit faster (4.79 or so).
  • This may outperform the crusoe chips released so far but the point is that the clock speed is pretty immaterial when judging processor performance, much less system performance. We need to see a benchmark figure for processor performance. I expect I could design a processor that does almost nothing but has a clock speed of 2Ghz, we need to establish how much work this thing can accomplish in a given time.
  • And there's a stable 1.1GHz Athlon that was shown at CeBIT.

    And not just any old Athlon. a 'Thunderbird' (AMD code name) with 256kB full-speed on-die cache.

    Where I live (sweden), it is hard enough to get ANY coppermine (P3 'E')... but athlons abound. I'll belive in a 1Ghz P3 when it is marked as 'In stock' at my fave webstore.

  • I don't know about you, but I'm anti-stupidity. Intel has recently been stupid and deserving of my derision. If somehow they turn around and manage to salvage a seemingly unsalvagable situation then they will deserve my respect.

    I'm a geek, I don't give a damn who makes the friggin chip, so long as it's fast, cheap, and I can get my hands on one.

    Stupidity deserves derision. I would be just as quick to flame AMD if they were suffering from cranial-rectal inversion as well. And yes, RIGHT NOW AMD is better. That will inevitably change at some point in the future, whether it be due to Intel or some lesser known company.
  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @07:03AM (#1230932)
    Well, maybe not vaporware, but the announcement is pretty hokey. Think about it: They "announce" that they have a 1 GHz CPU, but then quietly say that they won't have actual systems out until the third quarter. So why not "announce" their CPU when people can actually buy the damn things?!?

    The reason is that Intel is scared shitless of AMD. Intel knows that AMD can best them in the MHz (GHz?) race at any time, and they know that AMD has 1GHz chips. They also know that the Athlon beats the pants off the old 686 core of the Pentium III (which is really only a Pentium Pro that went uptown).

    The fact of the matter is that Intel is scrambling to keep its mindshare, so it makes big news about things that will happen six months from now. People that trade stocks and make PCs now have it in their heads that Intel actually has a 1GHz system, and that they were the first ones to break the GHz barrier. Those people forget about AMD and the K7. That's the really Intel's strategy: keep announcing things that aren't here yet so the spotlight never strays too far, even though the PIII is inferior. Make people forget about that "other" chip company.

    But don't take my word for it, no. Go try and buy an 800 or even 750 MHz PIII system. Then go shop around for an 850 MHz Athlon system. AMD announces things when they happen, like a company should. Intel is the hardware equivalent of Microsoft and I hope their subterfuge and bully tactics (look through Tom's Hardware [] for articles about Intel and K7 motherboard manufacturers for a little info about friendly old Intel) come back to bite them in the ass.


  • My Pentium 200Mhx MMX Windows machine with a good PCI graphics card gives me an acceptable game of Quake III, while my K6-2 3DNow 450 Mhx Linux box with a crappy video card is too slow to play. I suspect that a lot of money is spent on useless "upgrades" for new chips.

    I've been building my own PCs since 1988, and I've found that it almost never pays to buy the hot new processor. Software (except, perhaps, for Windows OSes) is usually designed with last year's machines in mind, so you get perfectly acceptable performance at the mid to low range for a fraction of the cost. I remember a friend buying a 486 machine for $10 grand when they came out. 18 months later, I bought a slightly faster one for $1500. Is it really worth it to have "the fastest"? Not for me, at least.

    The other thing I find interesting is that while Microsoft seems driven to drive Intel's stock up, making slower and slower software to require faster and faster chips, most other modern OSes make the CPU less important. X isn't getting any slower (thank god) so one can assume that the 2005 version will be as responsive on a given machine as the 1995 version. With that being the case, I think that CPU speed will just become less and less important to the average user. I think they are starting to figure this out, as more and more people refuse to ugrade just because the hot new OS/chip is out. I think they've realized that it's something of a suckers game in the Wintel world. You need to "upgrade" every year or two to continue to do what you've done all along. Really, if you are not a gamer, but just doing word processing, finances, e-mail, browsing, etc., a 1995 era machine would be perfectly adequate.

  • Yes, there is still a relation. The Front Side Bus speed is multiplied by a fixed number to get the core speed. Thus, for a 1Ghz P3 EB it would be 133Mhz * 7.5 = 997Mhz (heh... false marketing... its 3 Mhz too slow! ;-)

    Intel's Celerons run 66Mhz FSB. Their cores are not slower than a P2, but the slower memory bus will hamper them in memory-intensive tasks. (Trust me, I have one...)

  • I agree, however AMD is and has been just as stupid as Intel, everyone seems to forget the problems AMD has had and is having with the manufacturering of their chips too, its as if people are saying "ohhh its ok AMD we understand, Intel you suck you can't even produce a chip you said you were."

    on a second note just look at the last 30 replies on this topic, all have been Intel sucks, AMD is the best, or some reply along those lines, what kind of mentality is that? Regardless of what anyone wants to believe having bragging rights is a big deal, remember the US vs Russia space race, it just sickens me to see so many people/sheep following a company like AMD who is just as "stupid" as Intel.

  • What do I do with this $800-$1000 if I already have a good 3d card? I could buy a Gigahertz CPU but would probably start building another Athlon with my money. I am still looking at the 800 so I guess you can't call me a serious hardcore gamer.

    Right now I need more speed on my internet connection. I'm using both phone lines @44k each (real world) trying to frag all you Slashdotters out there. We don't have cable or xDSL here. I do have an ISP that wants to experiment with wireless but still want over $1000.00 to get it started. I guess this is what I would do with the money. More power to all of you who already have fast connections and can get 1Ghz CPU. I will be joining you as soon as I can.

  • What good is a faster chip if it is waiting for: bus, ram, and disk?
    AMD will have 200mhz bus with their 1ghz, and Intel will have 133mhz, which one will be faster? the AMD one, Intel needs to get their act together.
  • You went through all the trouble of finding/purchasing a V20 and you didn't even O/C it?? I had one of the earlier 10mhz 8086's, and I was able to dead drop a 10 Mhz V30 in and tweak the RC clock mechanism to almost 16!! I had to add a heatsink and remove the coprocessor, but it ran like a demon! The 16Mhz CDIP 80C86's would clock almost eighteen, and the V20 16's would hit 21 nicely.. Damn, those were the days..
  • > honestly, I can't tell a difference between my 450 and 550 computers in Q3

    The more players you have on screen, the more you will notice it. Other then that, there really is no noticable difference as you said.

  • That's why it was reffered to as a 1ghz P3. If it was a P4 maybe you could expect some architectural change (though I wouldn't expect that much out of Intel).
  • I understand how this can be useful in a business/technology environment running CAD or other calculation intensive programs, but really, I don't see a whole lot of use for this in the consumer market.

    Well, obviously, you'll need it to run Win2001: A Bloatware Odessy.
    I mean, how else would you expect to take advantage of Blinky the Annoying Paperclip's(tm) new AI system?

  • Well if you don't need one, I suggest not buying one... you know, that's how the market works. Plus, you will keep demand down that way, which should help bring the price down.
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Thursday March 02, 2000 @07:14AM (#1230945) Homepage Journal
    That was true of the old MIPS ratings, too.

    (RISC processors get MANY more MIPS than CISC ones, but as they only do a fraction as much, that isn't a measure of anything -real-.)

    Unfortunately, there is no genuinely useful measure of performance for a processor, and all the benchtests that exist are catastrophically flawed.

    (Typically, a benchtest program will fit entirely in the memory cache, and will probably mostly reside in the processor cache. I don't care if you're using X11R6.3 or Windows 2000, there is no way that a REAL application, or even a REAL window manager would be crammable into that kind of space. If your processor, on a benchtest, has no wait states, but is burning 90% of its time in idle cycles for real applications, then the benchtest is useless.)

    Personally, I think the P3 is an over-bloated lump of silicon. I feel that it's time that it got divided into a network of high-speed RISC chips that -pretended- to be a single CISC chip. That way, you'd get the speed of RISC, with the power of CISC.

    You also don't need QUITE so many duplicate instructions. Last time I counted, I found over 100 ways to program a jump instruction. That is STUPID! Most RISC chips don't even have 100 instructions in total! It makes no sense to scan through that many instructions, when you could start by determining it's a jump, and figuring things out from there.

    (This would involve an instruction tree, whereby related instructions are in related parts of the tree. By following such an approach, by the time you're far enough in to need to do a linear search, you already know what you're doing and what is involved.)

    However, this is getting off-track. To get back to the main point, if you are going to use/need a single, simple benchmark, the MIPS rating is far, far superior to the clock speed, because at least it measures how much the chip is doing in that time. A 1 GHz chip could only be doing 1 instruction per second - what use is that to anyone?

  • Now, all the processors run at very close to the same bus speed

    Well... depends on how you mean. Intel is currently selling proc's at 66, 100 and 133 Mhz bus speeds. AMD is selling K6-x at 100Mhz FSB, and the Athlon at 100Mhz, but it transfers on both edges of the clock (aka. 'DDR') effectively making it a 200Mhz bus.

    (These buses are comparable directly in Mhz, since to my knowledge, they are all 64 bits wide.)

  • I can show you a 200 Mhz Pentium that outperforms a 450 Mhz K6-2 at Quake. The only difference being that the Pentium has a better graphics card. Yeah, the Pentium gets slow when there is a lot of activity, but never as slow as the machine that is "twice as fast" but has a crappy graphics card.

    You can always use a bigger hard drive. I don't see anyone saying "who needs the new 40 Gig drives". But personally, I didn't bother with a 100 Mhz Pentium until they'd been out for almost two years. Didn't need it. (Until I had to load "Microsoft Visual Studio".) Hell, that's why I'm moving to Linux, and refusing to upgrade things like Quicken, Word and the like.

    At some point, before Moore's law dies, we are going to reach a point where CPU speed is no longer important to the home or business user. We are getting close to that point. The bloatware vendors are becoming harder pressed to cram features that people find actually useful and unbloated alternatives are popping up everywhere. Really, there are just so many things the average user (who are not any of us, BTW) need a computer for. We're nearing the point where a $1000 computer has the power to do all of those things. Probably in the next five years.

    If it wasn't for games, we'd be there now.

  • Unfortunately, I know people who have to have the fastest proc on the block! Sad, but true.

    And when I try telling people about AMD Athlon they are like "AMD. I heard they had a lot of trouble working with windows." ARGH!

  • Beyond making Seti@home run faster, I fail to see the point of upgrading my system to a processor that fast.
    You are obviously not compiling Mozilla very often. That takes a looong time on my 500MHz system.
  • its 3 Mhz too slow!

    my first computer ran at 3mhz.

    fwiw ;-)


  • no, they'll give the chips to the people that can afford them. supply and demand anyone?
  • Keep in mind that the human eye can only perceive about 30 FPS.
  • I personally have never used an AMD chip. I also thought, that as long as we are going to be using operating systems on 808x architecture.. I would rather use the original (INTEL), rather then a emulation chip (AMD).. Thats just how I thought. And thru the years, seeing that there was this or that incompadibility problem with AMD chips for certain applications (ie. There were a handful of games in the past years that needed a patch in order for them to work on AMD chips).. It just reinforced my feelings against having an AMD chip.

    Now much time has gone by.. I've honestly not heard a bad thing about an AMD chip in a long time. Perhaps they have achived a perfect duplication of the instruction sets that are in PIII's?

    My concern is.. I really want a 1 GHz chip. I actually have some stuff that really could use the speed as my P2-400 is starting to feel sluggish. I'm much more willing to entertain the idea of having an AMD Athlon chip verses a PIII. Especially if AMD releases their 1 GHz in high volume production before this month is over (which looks likely).

    SO MY QUESTION IS... What do I gain or loose by choosing one over the other? I've seen chip-enhancements talked about.. Like MMX, 3DMax, etc etc... Does AMD support MMX? Or is that strictly an Intel thing?

    Basicly.. what I'm getting at is.. You can't have a sound card without Creative Labs Sound Blaster compadibility.. unless you want alot of games that don't support your sound card (at least thats how it was before DirectX). Are we still in that type of time period with using the most popular chip verses a chip (AMD) that only has 16% of the market?

    If someone could list the Pro's & Cons of choosing AMD verses Intel.. or point me to a webpage that has such information.. I would be eternally grateful. Especially if it frees me from my bondage that Intel has me in. :)


  • I think people have been making simmilar remarks for years. With the coming of faster computers, there will be applications designed to take advantage of them. Whether it be the disgusting glutonous power usage of the latest Microsoft product or a game that feels more real than it's predecesors, it will be used. Sure, if you just word process and maybe crank out some code now and then, maybe it doesn't really matter how fast your machine is, but I know I would love (and take full advantate) of a 1gz machine. For a while I've been programming an interesting raytracing system which can do all of the reflection, refraction, atmospheric, fractal, and textural effects of a standard raytracer but all in real time. Of course realtime is relative. I'm sure it will do it at 20fps or so on a 1gz machine, but on a p133 it won't even be worth looking at.
  • the difference between 900 & 1000 MHz is not that big, but the difference between 900MHz and 1GHz sounds like a lot more

    That cannot be the reason - or intel marketdroids had come with 0.9 GHz Pentium...

    ...and about increasing performance: it can be easily used in entertaiment (read games).

  • At least Intel and AMD.

    Follow my thought: why is 1 GigaHertz important ?
    Because we are only human and we are impressed by round numbers, that why there are often prices at 0.9, 9.9 (in any money), because usually people thinks that 1000 is much more than 989 for example.

    What does this imply ?
    When the price of 1GHz CPU come down, they will sell a lot! That's good for CPU makers..

    BUT it has also other implications: people won't be much impressed by 1.3 GHz CPU over 1GHz CPU!!!

    So once the gigahertz frontier is passed, people will care less about the speed of their CPU, and will buy more "low grade" CPU... (well if you admit that within 3 years a 1 GHz CPU will be considered as a low grade CPU...).

    What do you think ?

    PS: once upon a time, radio makers where comparing their radio by the number of transistors included in the radio.

    I think that we will reach quickly times where you don't buy a 1.6 GHz CPU over a 1.2 GHz CPU but a computer with Firewire, or a computer which looks good, or which doesn't make too much noise...

  • I can understand that you might not use it but you must consider a few facts. 1) It's not always going to cost an exorbitant amount. 2) Q3 won't alway be the pinacle of gaming technology. The stuff being developed now is probably being written for 550mhz systems on the extreme low end. (obviously windows was contructed this way :-)
  • For a while I've been programming an interesting raytracing system which can do all of the reflection, refraction, atmospheric, fractal, and textural effects of a standard raytracer but all in real time. Of course realtime is relative. I'm sure it will do it at 20fps or so on a 1gz machine, but on a p133 it won't even be worth looking at.

    Now I remember when doing something like that would take at least 6 hours on my old ST :) Seriously though of course there are applications which can always use more processing power. Raytracing is an obvious one, but also doing hard disk recording of multiple audio and MIDI sources with software DSP effects.

  • Now let me get this strait. Intel has actual working silicon for sale in high-enough volume that you don't have to motgage your house to get one. (YEAH RIGHT) And another thing, after you've spent oodles of money on that bad boy, YOU HAVE TO SPEND EVEN MORE MONEY ON RDRAM You'd be throwing your money away if you put SDRAM in it and Intel's i820 chipsets are known to be unstable. Give me a break...

    The Athlon can outperform any PIII at similar clock speeds, in a few weeks we should start seeing DDR enabled Athlon motherbaords, basically doubleing the memory bandwidth to twice what's available to the PIII. The Athlon is faster than a PIII and it's not even getting all the momory it can handle. With full speed cache (now enabled) and the DDR sytems, the Athlon will make its lead even bigger over the PIII. It will still be cheaper. And with the release of the DDR chipsets will come support for SMP too. (for all those servers) There's no good reason to go with a Cu P3.
    Intel's days as the number one x86 CPU maker are numbered.

  • It does appear that Intel may hurt its own marketing if it does jump the gun on this one. If AMD's strategy of releasing 900MHz, 950MHz and 1GHz Athlons at the end of this month in production quantities appears, then the later Intel releases of 866MHz and 933MHz are going to be blighted by the time they hit the market. Of course, if there are 1GHz Athlon machines appearing in the market place well before the appearance of similar Pentium III systems, the initial shock value of a 1GHz chip may backfire as the computer-buying public gets frustrated that they can't get hold of a Pentium processor which is 'available'. Remember also that a recent survey suggested that a fair number of people thought that CPU's were made by 'Pentium' - the last thing Intel wants to do is give it's top visibility line a black eye.


    Toby Haynes

  • Thats when you tell them, "Windows, thats another thing I have to talk to you about..."
  • so is my Dreamcast.... 1.4 gigaflops to be exact GO APPLE!!!!
  • by ShelbyCobra ( 134614 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @07:44AM (#1230964)
    This is how long things would take (approx) if you or I operated at 1 GHz...

    Eating Breakfast (cereal, 40 bites, 10 chews per) : 0.0000004 sec

    Dialing the phone: Local: 0.000000007 sec
    long distance: 0.00000001 sec
    Germany: 0.000000013 sec

    Flipping through a magazine: 0.000000136 sec

    Flipping through Machinery's Handbook: 0.000002555 sec

    Dealing a game of poker (4 players): 0.00000002 sec

    Writing 100 pages of text: 0.000090016 sec

    Writing this post 0.000000484 sec
  • my main question is what the bus speed is going to be... i've been fairly disappointed that even the pIII 500MHz models (i've only seen one dual 500, but the same rules applied) only had a 100 MHz bus...

    for the people who rip on AMD, even though intel has a larger portion of the market it doesn't make them "better" or "superior", and there is probably not much someone can say to make certain people think otherwise... it's like linux versus windows, some people just like the fact that even though it sucks (windows), it's where the money's at. :)

  • Sorry to get all pedantic on you, but you've got yourself a rounding error there. The bus runs at 133.333 (recurring) MHz, or 400/3 if you prefer, which actually is 1000 MHZ when multiplied by 7.5.

    All motherboard clock speeds are like this, just rounded down so that Intel don't have to start advertising stuff like the P2-333.33333333...
  • - Weight, in itself, isn't an indicator -

    That was true of the old calorie ratings, too.

    (olives have MANY more calories than apples, but as that doesn't take into account digestibility, that isn't a measure of anything -real-.)

    Unfortunately, there is no genuinely useful measure of value of a fruit, and all the benchtests that exist are catastrophically flawed.

    Personally, I think the giant apple is an over-bloated lump of fruit. I feel that it's time that it got divided into a pile of high-calorie olives that -pretended- to be a single apple. That way, you'd get the calories of olives, with the convenience of one apple.

    However, this is getting off-track. To get back to the main point, if you are going to use/need a single, simple benchmark, the calories rating is far, far superior to the weight, because at least it measures how much energy the fruit contains. A 1000 pound fruit could only have 1 calorie per pound - what use is that to anyone?

    Sometimes "it's just more" is all the argument you need, when you're comparing apples to apples.
  • So is Linux, so Slashdotters are going to be, for the most part, one-sided on this issue. I myself have always bought Intel chips, but my next box may have an Athlon because one: they're cheaper, and two: they're pretty damned impressive when comparing them to comparable Intel chip performance.
  • Ummm, you seem to be mis-informed. AMD's Dresden MFG facility is more than capable of producing all the CPUs they need now and for next few years. VIA should have no trouble making their chipsets for them. I don't know about AMDs past production, but I know right now they aren't having any problems. Intel is, plain and simple. Check Tom's Hardware [] for some more info on the problems Intel is having, not only with CPU production but with thier i820 chipsets too.
  • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @07:52AM (#1230971)
    Blah blah blah. WHy does this tripe come up in every article? I guess you don't need a 1 GHz CPU but I do. I don't need to think of some silly multimedia application that needs it either. My need is very simple: I must compile software quickly. If I sit waiting for ten minutes for software to compile, that costs my company a fortune.

    So get back to me when compiling software takes a blink of an eye.

  • >We humans have an irrational interest in what we consider to be 'round numbers' whereby we feel that a year with a 'round number' or, in this case, a processor clocked at one will in some way be extra-better as it were over previous incarnations than if it did not have that round number in it's name.

    Like Dogbert said - "They're so BIG.... and ROUND!!!"
  • OK, I am not saying Intel doesn't actually have a 1 GHz PIII. They probably have, but vary, very few pieces. The yield to get such silicone is low at House Intel, which means they will have one or none ! GHz chips per wafer. Probably less, judging from the "ease" you can buy a 800 MHz PIII.

    And maybe Intel can even afford to sell such rare silicon for about US$ 1000, efecctively losing on the deal. They can afford it because, well, they still have money to throw away. Being the first to cross the 1 GHz barrier is probably worth it.

    BUT do they really think people are going to drink the story this time? Ask Gateway, that got seriously burnt with Intel. I think NOT! It's to damn obvious Intel doesn't have enough 1 giga, or even enough 800 MHz silicone. Itäs so obvious that the marketeering with the "first to giga" won't work. It just won't, no matter what Intel does, they can't cause a collective brain damage to their potential customers. Oh, wait, Microsoft has been doing this for years, and people are still buying the crappier than crapy releases of Win9x...

  • Yes, but if the machine does 30 fps, it will drop below that on occasion, causing frame drops and visual discomfort 8^) If you can get 60/90/130 fps, you know that even worst case scenarios will keep you visually happy. Anything higher than your monitor refresh rate is just bragging gravy anyway...

    as for now, my celery (300a@450) and TNT(1) are just fine for my games, and another 300a@450 with a Matrox G200 is perfect for all of my NT stuff...
  • How's the heat situation on this 1 GHZ? Do we need a friggin air condition unit for it? :)

  • Past performance is of no relevance to the current situation. RIGHT NOW the chip company that has their ducks in a row is AMD. Intel, conversely, does not.

    I agree that arguments based on "Intel sucks and AMD is the best" are probably misguided if based on some arcane favoritism. It does not invalidate justified criticism however. So the fact that many people are saying "Intel sucks" is justified because at this point in time, Intel does suck. And people following AMD at the moment are also justified, because at the moment AMD is doing good things.

    If you're at the horse races, do you put the money on the horse whose name you like or the one you think will win?
  • My mommy told me to never buy 1.0 of a product; they're always buggy. I'm waiting for the point releases!

  • oh man, you are a stupid flamer. far inferior to the average troll.
  • Athlon is kicking Intel's ass, and there's really not much they can do about it for now. Investors and the technical press all seem pretty well clued in about Intel's current problems, and judging by this forum the tech-savvy (i.e. likely to buy a premium 1GHz system) end users also realize what's going on.... so who are Intel hoping to fool by announcing a 1GHz PIII that everyone knows they can't deliver in anything other than perhaps sample quantity? Apparently AMD *already* can produce the 1GHz Athlon, and are just waiting for the strategically best time to announce (and deliver!) it.

    I'm looking forward to Intel's next processor announcement: "The 600MHz toaster over heating element"... they've got problems ahead.

  • It all has to do with what you consider important as well. 10-15 fps gives a perfectly reasonable game, though you will definitely notice the speed. (Not surprising. Human reaction times are in the 100-300 millisecond range.) The closer you get to a minimum of 30 fps, the less of an improvement each change makes. (Speaking of worst case, not average rates.)

    Though it may just be that my first game was Pong, and all of this is just so incredible compared to my youth that a stuttering screen doesn't seem like much.

  • Really, why the excitement, a much 'slower' CPU could (theoretically) execute programs much faster by beeing better designed. We nead to get away from this oversimplified CPU centric mesures of performance. We all know that the CPU isn't the bottleneck on modern systems, so why is it the every improvment in CPU clock frequence is met with drooling addoration, when improvments in motherboard design, IO thoughput, memory chip speed, and so on are practially ignored.
  • I think the issue is, as Jerry Sanders says below, that Intel have never had competition in recent years, and although there R&D is good they have not been forced to innovate quickly and push production schedules forward

    Now that they have AMD competing with them well their shortcomings are appearing. They became complacent and are losing market share due to this. I think they will come back, but the current range is lower quality than before and as we have seen shipping is a problem.

    Also they are pushing a low spec all in one chipset with high end processors (although developing higer spec multimedia) shows distinct lack of understanding of the marketplace.

    I like Intel and I like their previous products, and I think this shakeup and game of catchup will make their R&D work harder and they will become better and more efficient because of it.

  • Sheesh, I probably will get a 1Ghz in a year. :) What about you guys?

  • Unless of course you want to talk scalability. While at home I use Linux, at work we have 64 proc E10K's and 128 proc SGI's. While I love linux as a workstation/departmental server, for the scientific community Solaris/Irix are the best choice right now. Unfortunately, at this time linux does not scale as well as Sol/Irix on a single system. I am hoping that linux scalability will reach the levels where I could replace Solaris7 on my E10K with linux but until then Solaris is still the only choice.
  • Speaking of the heat situation, how would it be if you overclocked one of these? And how fast would you be able to push it?

    An 1 GHz chip OC'd to say 1.5 GHz...*drool*

  • What do you expect? They calculated it on a Pentium.


  • IIRC, Dell's about the only place that has any higher-MHz PIIIs. Intel "rewarded" them for not going over to AMD by pulling PIIIs from other distributors and giving them to Dell. Nice try. Remember, Gateway went back to AMD because of their concerns on Intel's ability to keep them supplied with the higher-MHz chips.
  • A quick check of my fav hardware sites show 800 Athalons are available, and not so expensive. The fastest coppermine is 733mhz, and $200 more than an Athalon of of the same speed. Intel is really starting to look pathetic.
  • by PhoboS ( 21600 )

    Intel will soon (mid 2000) release their "Italium" processor. This will be a rather big reworking of the chipset. As far as I can see they have built the chip from scratch. It still has the ability to run programs for IA32, but I guess they have to in order to sell them.

    For more information see the Intel Itanium site [].

  • Sometimes a need comes along before a solution, and the solution comes along to fill it. Sometimes a solution comes along before the need, and the need comes along to fill it. I call it the Innovation Equilibrium. Call it what you want, in this case I think we've got a solution with no need (yet). But rest assured there will be a need, even for those of you who don't:
    - Game
    - Program
    - Run an MS OS
    Or have some other obvious reason to use 1 billion cycles per second. I believe the need that will come along will be called the "3D OS", and it's coming soon ladies and germs. The combination of consumer 2D and 3D cards into one piece of hardware in the last couple of years was the handwriting on the wall, and these processors are the wall itself.

    But I don't need 3D, I'm happy with my command line! the curmudgeons cry. Well fine, and you'll probably still be using your P133's and your command lines 10 years from now and you'll probably still be smug. But there are real benefits that could be realized from a 3D OS, or to go a bit further, an immersive OS. The human mind is built to navigate a 3D, full-sensory world, so it's only natural that making the computer more like that in every way would enhance usability, shrink the learning curve and increase productivity.

    You probably didn't read it here first, but you read it here last.

  • The race to 1GHz is at the expense of things that really matter to people who use computers. I stopped being able to tell the difference in processor speed after about 200MHz or so. After that point, resources would have been better spent on getting a processor that uses very little power and costs $10. In some ways we're not advancing at all. I could boot up a circa 1984 PC into WordStar--from diskette--faster than I can boot a Linux machine and get into Emacs.
  • Please, can people get a clue and realise that MHz isn't the /only/ thing the worry about?!

    "MHz" is used by both AMD and intel as propaganda and FUD as they try and capture consumers $$$'s. Most consumers nowadays know what "MHz" is, and most are now (unfortunately) under the misconception that "more MHz == better". Sadly, it seems that the /. community also has this idea.

    Sure, MHz vs. MHz on a particular processor, the higher the better. But it's not worth singing and dancing about. It's no great giant leap in CPU design - in fact, intel take their L2 cache latency UP to accommodate for higher clock rates. And when you go out and buy your brand spanking new PIII Xeon - have you thought of the fact that its really just a glorified Pentium Pro with a few odds and ends tacked on?

    Get real. Intel and AMD aren't giving us anything great by giving us more MHz. (Look at how much intel advertised 66MHz to 100MHz bus speeds - they only made ~= 15% performance increase). It's more cost effective for them to keep upping the clock rates and adding bigger fans - there's not much R&D involved in that - and intel and AMD know that MHz sells.

    Why don't these companies invest in some proper R&D and make some /real/ CPU's instead of these overheating pieces of crap using 10 y/o technology?

    Look at MIPS. An R12000 at 300MHz beats a PIII 700MHz in FP (specbench), and G4's are noticibly faster "MHz" for "MHz". Then again, say the word "altivec" and consumer won't have a clue what your talking about, even though this technology allows a G4 to totally thrash your intel counterpart at half the MHz.

    If we all stop worshipping intel and AMD for pushing the MHz barrier .. then maybe we might get some decent technology out of them.

  • Yeah, reaction times can be cut down by anticipation, and the more fluid the motion of the visual cues on the screen (other players, direction of rocket fire 8^) the better you can anticipate and therefore avoid getting fragged... In terms of video, I can't even stand watching most Real Player or other streaming video... I don't mind grain, and color problems as much I can't stand seeing someone's half rendered face in the wrong spot for the words said, or a baseball bat hitting a ball well after the crack (or missing it totally), due to frame drops... Even the nickelodians at the old shoe store I went to as a kid (back in the real early 80s) had better motion than most of these. Granted, bandwith is a big consideration for these videos, not CPU power, but All Video Should Be Smooth Video(sm), and I can't wait until TV goes full to progressive scan - interlacing is a pain...

    I'm very picky about a lot of things, but I'm easily amused (probably why I read /.)... funny how that works...

    Mmmmm.... Pong - look at shows that pong needs even a decent CPU (it is Java, after all)...
  • You talk about bloatware and the 1 GB hadrd drive mark. Well, I'm not sure we haven't already hit the point where HDD space is irrelevant to most people.

    Taking myself as a fairly standard example, I've got a 7.85GB (formatted) drive in my system. Loads of games - more than I have time to play - and all bar two on a full install. One wouldn't work on a full install (Colin McRae Rally - BIG minus to Codemasters) and I resented 1515 MB for Bladerunner. But everything else is fully installed.

    Then there's my personal data. Tons of it, including almost the entire contents of my old Amiga A1200. Way more than I ever use.

    Then there's the apps. Loads of programs that look cool on coverdiscs but have been used twice, installed. Three clever screensavers, installed. SmartSuite, installed. Delphis 1 and 4 plus C++ Builder 3. CorelDRAW! Suite 4. Several reference works, massaged to run from HDD rather than CD in a few cases.

    Anyway, you get the idea. It's one heavily overloaded machine which I could trim down to 1/4 the used disc space without any significant loss of functionality. So, given that this HDD drive would be regarded as a little small by most magazine reviewers, I must be bursting at the seams, right?

    No, just under 5 GB used.

    Processors and GFX cards seem to be heading that way fairly fast, too. Doesn't mean I'm not enjoying the games they make to try and use up the extra cycles, but my 18 month-old machine (P-II 400 and TNT1) still performs fine on new demos whenever I try out the latest releases. Not 'runs acceptably on minimal settings' but 'doesn't seem to drop frames on high settings'. Q3 had some GFX corruption, but that's it.

    Accelerating the numbers this fast is shooting themselves in the foot. There just isn't the incentive to upgrade there once was, and by forcing the speeds up this fast, they're accelerating the progress towards our not having to upgrade.

    Is there anything I want to upgrade in the near future? Yes, memory. 128KB fely huge on my Spectrum, but 128MB feels inadequate under W2K.

  • What I find interesting about all these arguments about faster and faster CPU's is that you CAN right now make your system go quite a bit faster without having to resort to getting a new CPU.

    There are three things you can do:

    1. Increase the main memory size to the maximum the budget allows. Just going from 64 to 128 MB produces HUGE benefits, because you use your hard drive a lot less as "virtual memory," which speeds up things as much as 50% or more.

    2. Get yourself a 7200 rpm hard drive. Higher spindle speeds usually mean faster data reads and writes on the hard drive regardless of whether you're using IDE or SCSI interface.

    3. Get yourself a graphics card (if your system has an AGP graphics port) that uses the Matrox G400 or nVidia Riva TNT2/GeForce 256 chipsets. These faster chipsets makes a big difference in many games.

    People are usually surprised how much "snappier" their computers get when they following the suggestions listed above.

  • > *sigh...* I suppose it really is just too difficult to actually read the article, isn't it? This announcement is that 1GHz PIII systems will be available, actually available, by the end of the month.

    For what it's worth, here's what I see at [] right now:

    PIII 800 - four vendors listed, one offering at $799, the rest over a grand.

    Athlon 850 - fifteen vendors listed, thirteen under $800, the rest between $800 and $850.

    Athlon 800 - five pages of vendors listed, prices starting at $522.

    Yet somehow Intel is going to jerk the rug out from under AMD's feet in the next four weeks. If you doubt it, you can just ask them.

  • > Well, obviously, you'll need it to run Win2001: A Bloatware Odessy.

    Funny thing is, Michael Dell has been telling Wall Street that W63K is going to make his sales boom this year, for exactly that reason.

    And he's Micorsoft's friend!

  • I bought an Athlon system as soon as I saw that it was designed by some of the Alpha 21264 team. So here's the differences as far as I remember - Tom's hardware has far more detail in it's articles on the K7 (Athlon).

    • Floating point on the Athlon is faster - as much as 30% faster - than the equivalent PIII. This is a big win for me as most of the code I write is floating-point heavy.
    • Integer performance is fairly equal between the two.
    • Athlons have 9 instruction pipelines - PIIIs have 5.
    • Athlon has a faster Bus to the motherboard - 200 MHz as opposed to the 133MHz you find in the fastest PIII systems.
    • Early Athlons come with 512KB of L2 cache - you can find more on PIII systems.
    • Athlons are cheaper at the same speed than the PIII.
    • Real benchmarks (i.e. application runs) suggest that there is little to choose between the Athlon and the Coppermine PIII's. The Athlons are maybe 10% faster than the pre-Coppermine chips.

    Take your pick - I've been extremely pleased with my Athlon 650MHz. In fact the only thing I'm less pleased about is that this MHz race is making my processor look slower much too quickly - I'd usually upgrade once the top of the line processor gets to 2-3 times the clock speed of my current one, but at this rate that will mean an upgrade in Q4 this year :-)


    Toby Haynes

  • The applications which will use the power of these types of processor speeds are things like speech recognition and real-time video compression/decompression (video conferecing). Games of course always make use of whatever power is available - more speed enables more realistic games in terms of things like 3-D, textures, lighting, object modelling, etc.

    Thinking "do I want/need to run my current apps faster" is the wrong question. Sure a few extra FPS never hurt a game, but it's "what will I be able to do that I could never do before" that is the much more interesting question.

    BTW, a 1GHz CPU is probably capable of real-time MPEG-2 compression, which is quite a feat!
  • by Keeper ( 56691 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @01:31PM (#1231070)
    Actually, you won't be seeing them available for sale on pricewatch.

    Intel has said that it will be giving "limited quanties" to a small number of vendors (HP, Dell, and some other company I think).

    They won't be available on the BYO market until their problem with "limited quantities" goes away.

    ...and somehow, I think that "limited quantities" equates to something along the lines of "hey! it worked at 1ghz! ship it!" when they do their bin testing...
  • I am sure that everyone reading this has heard of Moore's Law. And a think most of us realize that very few people actualy need the speed of the newest chip on their desktop. The real advantage of a new generation of chip coming out is that the older generations come down in price, size, heat, and wattage. This applies to more than just getting a cheaper PC. Chips tend to flow from server to PC to notebook to palmtop to embedded.

    Apple used to make a desktop that ran off of the Motorola 68000. Motorola added analog to digital, pulse width modulation (for music or motor control), serial and IR interface, and LCD control on dye. They called it the dragonball and sold it for $12 a pop. It now runs 3Com's PalmPilot.

    Anouncements the such-and-such has a prossesor at X Mhz for $1000 at 50 Watts with no mobo ready does nothing for me. When someone releases a Pentium class MPU for $20 with on chip peripherals that runs off of AAA batteries, then I will sit up and take notice. Transmeta may be a step in the right direction but we are not there yet.

  • AMD is already ahead in the speed wars (850 vs 800), and with the 1GHz Athlon will also announce the 900 and 950MHz parts vs Intel's as yet unannounced (850), 866 and 933MHz PIIIs... Never mind the fact that the Athlon is a superior design.

    AMD have no need to push lower speed prices down by announcing the faster parts, since they're already ahead and well positioned. Intel on the other hand is playing catch-up and hence is forced to announce faster parts even before it is capable of shipping them in volume (thereby hurting it's sales).
  • Your argument is semantically logical, but still a bastardization of the intent of the Hertz rating. 2 photons with identical frequencies do not result in a photon with twice the frequency. They add to give a photon of twice the amplitude (assuming coherent phase).

    The simple fact that the units are consistent does not mean a property is additive. Take temperature for example. Intel Marketers would be adding temperatures right and left if it helped them sell PIIIs.

    "This processor runs at 150F, this one runs at 160F, together, a staggering 310F!"


    I do see your point, but electronics rely on rising and falling waves, not a crank turning out widgets. When you deal with EM waves, adding hertz just isn't done.

  • *sigh...* I suppose it really is just too difficult to actually read the article, isn't it?

    I read the entire thing.

    This announcement is that 1GHz PIII systems will be available, actually available, by the end of the month. They really, honestly have 1GHz PIIIs right now in the hands of HP, IBM, and somebody else... I forget who.

    Really? You honestly think so? The 1GHz PIIIs are available? Not for me at work. Not for my friend's company. Not for the guys that need to actually use that much horsepower for things like 3D rendering or high-end graphics work or middleware workgroup servers.

    The only reason the 1GHz PIIIs will be ready at the end of the month is that Intel only has enough supply to give to a few choice customers (likely those same customers that have toed their line). I'd be willing to bet that the faster PIIIs were originally intended to be 900MHz parts and Intel found enough good ones that can be safely overclocked.

    The point I'm trying to make is, if you're going to blast someone, at least blast them for real reasons.

    I was. For all intents and purposes, Intel doesn't have a 1GHz PIII available. It has a few CPUs -- not enough to go around, mind you -- that it can share with a tiny percentage of the market. All in the name of having the fastest CPU. Why give them out only to the small fry when the real bread and butter is Compaq and Gateway and Dell?

    AMD had a 500 MHz Athlon out well before a Joe User could get one. AMD got the real customers taken care of first: they had systems to the people that could actually use them. They were up front about it, and Intel isn't. That's what I'm saying.

    The "third quarter" bit refers to when systems will be available for coporate volume purchases. "People" will be able to buy "the damn things" by the end of the month.

    As long as I don't want them from my regular vendor I can get them. Wow. Just let me know when they release a 1 GHz CPU that I can actually use.


  • Of course running at a fast Mhz can be the result of better design, not poorer as you imply. Sure, people don't get as excited about a new bus, but that's just the nature of the beast. Faster processor speeds are still important. Other parts of the system may be bottlenecks in some situations, but they are not bottlenecks in all situations. There are good reasons for needing/wanting/producing fast processors.
  • The 1GHz PIII is going to use Rambus too, I think. The IGHz Athlon will use SDRAM.

    That's a huge price penalty to put on Intel systems, even with the just announced cheaper RIMM packaging.

    Of course, as an AMD shareholder, I'm enjoying every moment of this! :-)
  • Possibly. In an effort to maintain their lead through other means than performance, Intel keeps inventing new SSE SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) instructions. You will have noticed that the K7 covers all the standard PII instructions now, and has it's own set of SIMD instructions which go under the moniker of 3DNow. So if you get hold of an application which is *very* heavily optimised to use only the latest SSE instructions, you might see a *slight* performance hit. I think Adobe Photoshop is the only major suite I can think of which has gone this route, and even then there is not much to pick between the Athlon and the PIII. Most other application makers have kept out of the SSE/3DNow battle and just support the more basic SSE instructions which are covered in both CPUs and don't hurt older processors much.


    Toby Haynes

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.