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Intel Roadmap 79

Karl "Kielbasa" Wise sent us an excellent article that showed up on Sharkyextreme detailing Intel's CPU stuffs planned out for future. RDRAM, Socket 370, and other tidbits.
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Intel Roadmap

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is why we need cooler computer components. Disk can certainly be shoveled off onto the network for a lot of applications (or firewire?) Maybe we'll start to see the whole thin client come into vogue again. Except for games (what an exception. ) I can't really think of many commonly-used applications that couldn't be run with the real processing power and disk on the other side of the net.

    And in that sort of environment, especially if it's made convenient, it's always easy to make a bit of use of old hardware while adding more power as time goes on.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm writing a paper right now on Trailing Edge Technology. Not that old softwarehouse, but an IT philosophy.

    Never buy whole, complete computers, buy parts. Always buy the old stuff or you're wasting your money. Today, the CPU would be an Athlon 550. Cheap and plenty fast. 550 mhz was the Intel cat's meow this time last year and people were paying throught the nose for what is now a commodity item.

    Plan on getting a new CPU every year, a new motherboard every two years, and everything else on an as-needed basis. Not too complicated eh?

    Sell your old stuff on ebay.

    Rambus is a joke. I can't believe Intel is so blind.

  • Athlon is faster/better/cheaper (pick two:)

    No, pick three. There is little reason to bother with the more expensive box from Intel unless you like the logo/name. You can have a 700Mhz (OEM) Athlon and motherboard for the price of just a P3/700 (OEM). SMP is still missing in the Athlon world, but I just keep failing to find things that can keep my ancient A/550 busy for very long to warrant SMPness.
  • Instead of giving that mod point to an AC, ILikeRed should have gotten it to counteract being improperly moderated down.
  • One question one statement...

    Q: I was under the impression the Firewire is NOT hotplugable...

    S: Show me a firewire keyboard/mouse... Firewire is great for high bandwith things like video... but USB has all the features I want for my keyboard/mouse...

    "... That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."
    -Buffy Summers
    Goodbye Iowa
  • I really want to know... If USB sucks what is better? PS2? which is based off the fscking crap keyboard controler from the XT? ADB? which is only marginally better? SDB? which is a serial chip?

    None offer plug an play...

    None offer true disconnect/reconnect live...

    None support 100+ devices...

    If usb is such crap why are Apple and Sun abandoning there old desk top busses in favor of USB?

    That is what I thought...

    I bet next you'll tell me PCI is crap... PCI which has been adopted by every modern platform that I know of...

    "... That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my yummy sushi pajamas..."
    -Buffy Summers
    Goodbye Iowa
  • Why do you think they had a "chat" with the SPECint people? :)
  • The granularity of the RAM architecture, is a non-issue at this point tho. The RAMBUS stuff is so much more expensive, that it's as cheap to put 4 times as much RAM in a box using PC-133 type modules, than it is to use RDRAM.

    The Granularity issue might become a real one someday, but at this point, it's totally irrelevant.

    I would assume that Sony bet on RDRAM being affordable early in the design cycle. And pitched it in marketing as being a best of breed solution. By the time they figured out what a hole they were digging for themselves, they were trapped into it.
  • The reason that the PSX2 can afford to use god-awful expensive RAM in it, is that they don't expect to make any profit on the consoles. The video game market is built on an age old premise. "Give away the razor, and charge for the blades." MS appears to not be trying that with the X-box. They don't typically get licensing from ISV's. However they may be planning on charging to allow an X-box logo on your software package.
  • Yes, therefore my statement that "they can't produce any of the stuff" is correct. :)

    but regardless of who actually runs the fab units, there are serious problems making enough of it.


  • Plus who can resist the urge to buy new tech toys to plug into your boxen every month or two...

    Two words: My Wife

    Of course I still buy what I want anyway, because you would be surprised at how often things break ;)

    I do agree with you on most points. Planning ahead can sometimes let you take incremental upgrade steps. I bought my motherboard, an Abit BE-6, and put my old PII 233 (which OCs to 350!) in it. A few months later I got myself a Celeron 400, and a slotket. When the prices come down to where I want them, I will go get an 850Mhz PIII By planning my upgrade path ahead of time, I should be able to use this board for more than a year. A little bit of foresight has left me with fewer orphaned parts that I would have had otherwise.

    Granted I do like to keep my old hardware running, or find a good home for it. A 386 was my main computer a little over three years ago. Nothing like the good old days. I still think that PCI slots are backwards...

  • It sure might. But not all the time. Cache is important too. Depending on what you are doing you may be in a tight computation loop that only accesses small sections of memory, or moves through memory in cache sized chunks. It sure would be nice to have main memory run at full speed, but its not really that practical. I would rather have a bit more cache and twice the execution units on my CPU.
  • sharky has always had a severe intel bias, you can see it in the tests chosen to benchmark CPU's, you can see it in the wording with regards to intel or amd. It's a common topic of discussion on the site's message boards.

    sharky loves intel, tom loves Nvidia, and anand loves everybody...
  • Yep - the off-the-shelf availability of the 1GHz is zero. They are being shipped in *extremely* limited quantities to Dell and probably a few others. In fact, Tom's Hardware mentioned that the press in Europe is having an extremely difficult time getting units for testing. Q3 is when they're supposed to ramp up to volume shipments.

    Of course, given the still-existing shortage of 800+ MHz parts, I'd take Q3 with a grain of salt...

  • Who would want to upgrade just part of their system? By the time I start thinking about a new CPU, everything else in the case is old also. It's not just CPUs that need upgrading, it's RAM, Disk, Cache, DVD, etc.

    I don't know, if you buy quality components, you tend not to upgrade so quickly. An example of this is my CD drive. I bought an ultraplex 32x a few years ago (mmm SCSI), and I haven't felt any need to upgrade. It's still very nice. Another example is I went from a K6-2/250 (yes that's right) to a single PIII-450, but I got a dual motherboard, so when PIII-450's dropped to $180 I bought a second. If you plan wisely, and buy quality, you don't have to upgrade everything at once.

    Plus who can resist the urge to buy new tech toys to plug into your boxen every month or two...
  • It of course depends on what you are doing, but for 90% of applications and, AFAIK, 100% of OSes, yes, it would kick the tail off of a normal PC.

    Of course, this is assuming that you have the same datapath width to main memory. If, like RDRAM, you have 1/4 or 1/8 of the datapath width, then, no, you won't have an improvement. This also assumes that you don't have ungodly latency in responses from requests to main memory. If it takes forever to service each request, then it doesn't matter how fast it comes back to the CPU once it's found. The article on Tom's hardware linked to above is an excellent summary of all I've read about RDRAM vs. SDRAM DDR that I've read on the web.
  • Yeah, but it was nicer than what I was actually thinking. <grin>
  • Great review, though it leaves me confused on one point. If the PSX2 is using RDRAM, which it does according to the earlier article on the "Emotion Engine" at Ars Technica, then just how much of the PSX2's cost is RDRAM? Are they getting it for a LOT cheaper than your average consumer, and if so would this not be a problem for the much touted vaporware that is the X-Box?

    Hmmmm... Personally, the more I see of RDRAM, the more I want to see it die, but if Intel is really forcing it down everyone's throats, then I don't see us having any relief any time soon from crappy defacto desktop standard.

    Windows, x86, USB(2), and now RDRAM. Blech. It seems that it's crap that floats to the top instead of cream.
  • I just read the Toshiba link--Wow! A very
    different perspective from Tom's/TheRegister/...

  • RDRAM has been in production for only 14 weeks. 90% of it is made by Samsung--about 1 million chips/month. Almost all of Toshiba's production is going to PlayStationIIs. Hyundai, NEC and even Micron (which is heavy in DDR) have had their parts accepted and certified only in the past three weeks. Samsung says that by Q4, they will produce 10 million chips a month. Hyundai, NEC, and Toshiba expect to triple output over the same period. Meanwhile, the price of a Dell RDRAM-equipped PC has fallen by 13% in just the past week. The margin over a PC-133 PC is now $200 (with 128MB). DataQuest says that by the 2002, RDRAM will be 57% of all desktop memory.

    to learn more, see:

  • Dear SickF*&%,

    Rambus is an IP company; they only thing they make is money. RDRAM is made by some little mom and pop shops you may have heard of: Samsung, Hyundai, Toshiba, NEC, Infineon (Siemens), and Micron.
  • Please. If you don't think that Tom has an anti-Intel bias (read Arstechnia's commentary on it) than you are not anchored to reality. Read something written by a real semiconductor expert:

    http://www.toshiba.com/taec/components/Generic/W P_memory.shtml
  • Yeah that would really be bad. If you had to buy a whole new system each time you wanted to upgrade, or atleast replace a good part of it (mobo/chip/RAM) then that would really anger alot of people.
    Wouldn't it be a shame though? People would automatically switch to AMD. *grin*
  • Well personally since the 500Mhz AMD K6-2s are dirt cheap right now..I might pop out my 400 and get a new 500.
    Granted most people buy a system for a couple years, but there are alot of people who buy new technology just as it comes out.
    And plus what if the "magic blue smoke" was released from your compter some how? Wouldn't you just rather replace the broken part, rather than replace your whole system? Or even, while your at it, get a slightly better part that still works in your system?
    If I wanted non-upgradablilty I'd by a Mac...
  • Sorry for that little Mac crack, it is just a personal note from the old school of computers. From what people tell me Macs are somewhat upgradable now. But still, I mean from a practicality point of view. You can buy any old mobo for a PC, but not any will do for Mac, especially the iMac.

    Still I could see a server room with atleast one G4 running Linux.
  • I am not an EE type, but it seems obvious to me that with the silly mutilpliers out there (6x+) memory latency is at least as important as bandwidth.

    IMHO real life problems tend to be bursty, not sustained.

  • Q2 03: Ramp up 486/20 Production (We own the market and there's nothing to stop us from selling this beast for $1000) and tout it as the Server CPU Of The Future, with support for things like the NEW 72pin SIMMS!

    Q3 03: Ramp up 386SX/16 Production


  • So I noticed. Mine has some serious ones though, and i WILL get him next time!!

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • "Only one product kills a third of its customers..." -- Intel Celeron Processors!

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • Actually, I consider Signal 11 one of my enemies sometimes. I'm not middle aged either, unless i'm bound to die when 36 :)

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • Nice theory about a skewed fiscal year (that's how the government does it), but Intel uses the calendar year and Q3 2000 runs from July through September. Trust me on this one.

  • ... it is not the present. It is not even a good idea NOW; however, eventually, RDRAM will be the deal. The only question is: How long will it take?

    Most likely DDR SDRAM, will have the market for a few years (after it takes it), then RDRAM will take over. Intel is not stupid; they are looking to the future. RDRAM has much more potential than SDRAM, and Intel knows it. Is it dumb to be the first to vest in the future? Did you read the part of the article that said that RDRAM should be down to about twice the cost SDRAM by the end of this year?

    BTW, RDRAM is proprietry, but AMD and VIA already have licenses to manufacture it. After a few years, everyone will be building machines with RDRAM. Intel is just the first.
  • Intel would rather you didn't upgrade and instead just bought new. THey make more money that way after all.
    I would expect Intel to do everything they can to make upgrading (and overclocking) harder and harder in the future. As well as integrating more and more to limit your choices.
  • 64 Bit computing will revolutionalize computers as we know them. I am an hobby mathematician, and once for a few days I played around with numbers theory as it relates to bit depth, and computing capabilities. Pretty interesting stuff...

    AMD has a real opportunity to create a market here. If they are thinking strategically for the long-term, as I suspect they are, the groundwork they are laying with the Athlon processor is helping to build a solid reputation (and reputation is everything in this game) which could serve as a foundation for capturing a large piece of the 64-bit market (once the demand arrives.)

    Software programming techniques will need to be adapted and refined before any of this becomes relevent. Now if I could just get my 32-bit machines with the 2-bit OS's to stop crashing...when I try to do things they weren't designed for. =P

  • Asus p5ab. (with onboard sound)

    or p5ab-woa (without onboard sound)

    I got the soundless version at tccomputers.com, with K6-500.

    Only has 2 isa slots though, but I never used the sound card anyway, so I just left it out.

    I just can't bear to throw away those huge old gateway full tower cases, like gateway sold when the DX2-66 ruled the earth.

    I've heard *rumors* of some issues regarding agp video on some Asus mb, but as I use PCI Millenium II ($79 from the matrox website, refurbished/closeout area) I've no personal data on that.

  • I'll admit that the RDRAM might be a bad idea, but Intel's recent decisions regarding the IA-64 have been great.

    I mainly like how they have worked closely with HP in order to develop a chip that meets both companies needs. This partnership will result in an awesome chip with revolutionary branch prediction technology. It's headed for the HP workstations and servers as soon as it comes out, and they will fly! This year's new HP servers/workstations have a special controller which can be removed and an IA-64 swapped in fot the current HP processor. Now, that's upgradeability!

    Perhaps Intel should concentrate only on processors and not back dumb ideas. (Weren't they the ones who wanted to encrypt the signal to your monitor?)

    p.s. I don't work for HP. ;-)

  • If I had a 500 MHz CPU with a 500 MHz bus and RAM that could be accessed at the speed of the processor, would this not kick the ass off the GHz systems that are out now? The bus and RAM have been lagging behind the processor wars, or so it seems to me. Maybe I'm not that informed or I just don't understand the technical issues behind everything but it appears to me that we don't nearly see the full performance that our processors could utilize.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • We're pretty much to that point now. Unless you purchase new CPUs, etc. every 6 months, it doesn't make much sense to upgrade. The motherboard you purchased 18 months ago might support a CPU 3 times as fast as your current one, but by the time you get ready to upgrade you'll have a hard time finding an "obsolete" CPU to fit in it. Not to mention RAM (pc66, pc100, pc133), hard drives (ata66), video (AGP, ok, that's been awhile but none of my MBs support it & it's getting harder to find PCI cards.), heck, even video cams are mostly USB. It's cheaper nowadays to just buy a new system.

  • Anything to help the Athlon get out there and kick the shit out of PIII's is fine by me.
  • Shhh!! Your exposing the secret that Intel doesn't want you to know about! Hence making it a secret... Dammit...
  • Intel makes good products, sure. But lets face it, they've been gouging customers for years. It's harder IMO to run a monopoly on the hardware side than the software side for reasons I won't mention. Well yeah, (*COUGH* WAREZ) As for RDRAM and MMX, both have been somewhat doomed since thier inception. I know of only two games that were ever made to utilize MMX and there are pages of problems with RDRAM. (No one like proprietary hardware. HINT HINT Compaq!) Capitalism doesn't and never will work. RDRAM is marginally faster than SDRAM, but then again so is a corvette. I say this because both are special order a quite a bit more expensive. Heh.
  • Bah. Make a 666 MHz Processor and we'll talk...
  • What about the next generations of celerons, i bet they'll kile on in 2/6ths!
  • you know ther's more you want to do with his ass :)
  • Doesn't the damned N64 run on a 64-bit processor? Intel is lagging man...
  • Your logic is flawed. 10 years ago, when systems cost upwards of $4000, it made economical sense to upgrade. These days, a performance system will put you back, oh, $1200-$1500. The cost of computers and hardware has gotten to the point where it is more economical to purchase a new system, instead of upgrading. The cost to add the new motherboard is sometimes more than the motherboard itself!

    More economical to who? Maybe for the people who can afford 1,200 to 1,500 each time they wanna upgrade.

    If they wanted to, they could make upgrade paths even more economical then with current system. I know you can buy drive controller cards, and shut off the on-board controller through the CMOS. You can even buy USB upgrade cards. The biggest problem with upgrade paths is that most of the time when you want to upgrade the CPU, what you want will not work with your motherboard. If it weren't for that, upgrades might be more reasonable. However, a previous poster stated the point quite well: There's not as much money to be made if a product is UPGRADED rather then completely replaced.

    If we wanted to, we *COULD* have cars and TV's and other consumer and durable goods that last virtually forever. Cars, VCR's, TV's etc. In case you haven't noticed the MBT of consumer goods has dropped tremendiously.

    I know companies can do it if they want to. I have a perfect example sitting right next to me. Western Electric Dest Touch-Tone phone. I bought it at a second hand store. It was probably leased equipment at one point. And, since the Bells didn't want to have to replace subscriber equiment, they made these phones tougher then hell. You could literally bludgeon someone to death with this phone, and then plug it in and call the Coroner. :)

    In the end, though, this constant replacement rather then upgrade is a tremendious waste of resources. Maybe when big business realized how much they hurt themselves and each other finacially with these almost disposable good, they'll again focus on craftmanship, durability, and upgradeability (where applicable).

    Just ask NASA and JPL. :)

  • So is this roadmap more or less realistic, or V-A-P-O-R . . . ?

    Um.... you broke the haiku.

    That last one should go:

    So is this roadmap more of less realistic, or is it vapor?

  • The answer is "Yes firewire is hotpluggable" I agree that mouse, keyboards, serial are great uses for USB. Your statements stated that nothing else is as good as USB which isn't true. The combination of Firewire and USB should cover all the bases. Firewire could do it all but USB is very available and well suited to Wacom tablets, Palm Pilots, whatever. A USB mouse is way smoother than a PS/2 mouse.

  • Try firewire® if you are looking for something better. Don't tell me that none support 100+ devices/plug and play/etc. because firewire does and it has a much higher bandwidth then USB. USB 2.0 is supposed to have the same kind of bandwidth but the new version of firewire is supposed to raise the bar again. Don't come back with the $1.00/port charge from Apple because is has been $.25/machine for a while now. I generally agree that USB is great for a lot of things and very versatile but comes up short sometimes.

    Now about PCI being crap: It has been great but is starting to get old. 66Mhz PCI helps but the bus is going to have to be improved as CPUs get faster. It is becoming more and more of a bottleneck as time progresses. I wish the migration from ISA to PCI had been quicker because it is time to make improvements again.

  • Sorry that I aqm replying to my own post, but I didn't have this url last night. Here is a link to a discussion of the Rambus yield/cost factor [deja.com].
  • ohh... good point... note to self: STOP SKIMMING THE BLOODY REPLYS

    Make Seven
  • You forgot "Make new BS Benchmark that fails anything not by Intel."

    Make Seven
  • Your logic is flawed. 10 years ago, when systems cost upwards of $4000, it made economical sense to upgrade. These days, a performance system will put you back, oh, $1200-$1500. The cost of computers and hardware has gotten to the point where it is more economical to purchase a new system, instead of upgrading. The cost to add the new motherboard is sometimes more than the motherboard itself!

    While I am one of many on /. who has a Frankencomputer, I will rarely recommend an upgrade to a client (unless it is something simple, like RAM or hard drive). The cost of a new system (with its 3 year warranty) if far more cost effective than charging them cost+labour to upgrade an existing system.

    It just isnt worth it.

  • Hey where is all the "64 bit, gonna set the world on fire, no one's gonna have a clue what happened, revolutionize computing as we know it, and crush the competition" stuff?

    And what are people's thoughts in the 64 bit AMD chips that run x86?

    PS BeOS is pretty cool for 40mb and 2 min to set up

  • Erm.. since when was the k6 socket 370? :P I think you're thinking of socket 7
  • There is nothing surprising. Intel is after all a corporation.
    Their goal is to make money. Their CPU are good, but without outsiders such as AMD and ex-Cyrix, Intel would have sold us P2-350 Mhz last week.
    They want to attract Linux customers with their IA-64, but they'll release it only when needed...
    Three years ago, while working in a computer vendor company, I had some information like this, showing the release dates and prices of all Intel CPU during the two next years.
    One year ago, in an Intel meeting, I was told by an employee Groove had designed the CPU for the next 14 years.
    Do they want us to keep the same technology (VLSI, about 1975's) until 2013 ?
    Also remember Intel planned to sell 1 Ghz CPU in July had Athlon sold very good.
    Bus multiplier technology is no good for customer : a 800 Mhz (8x100) CPU doesn't go as faster as 8x a 100 (1x100) Mhz chip. So 1 Ghz means nothing, except bus=133Mhz.
    Also, for exemple, Intel sells CPU with *only* 16 irq, and so on... Motorola-CPU ex-users (Amiga, Atari,...) had no special limitations on their CPUs.
    On the PC market, Intel seems to be monopolistic. As there are no problems about this, Intel is not motivated to release new technology.

  • Andy Grove is gone, is he not? Perhaps that's part of the perceived "rabbit in the headlights"...


  • And what can you change on your box that I can not on mine? There are several vendors of CPU upgrades for the Mac. For 500-1000 you can get aftermarket CPUs (G4s at that) and pop them in the older 603/604 machines. I can get 1GB of RAM into my machine (drools) and 3 HDD. So, why don't you learn a little about the systems you are discussing.
  • That's what the vector computers do, such as the older Crays or Fujitsu ones. They don't have this wuzzy cache stuff, they just have a few GB of equally fast memory, and then a several hundred instruction deep pipeline.

    It's great for matrix multiplications, but it sucks for problems that won't fit into an extremely deep pipeline (most discrete algorithms, eg. 90% of the stuff 90% of people use)

    If you have high latency on your memory without a deep pipeline to make up for it (in order to prefetch loooong ahead of time) you'll suffer. And if you run the software most people do who don't do weather forecasts or fusion weaponry, you'll even suffer if you had that pipeline (which you don't). If RDRAM has high latency, it won't make the desktop. Not even marketing will make that happen.
  • by Phexro ( 9814 )
    Wow, I'm amazed that they are continuing to flog this dead horse. Rambus can't produce any of the stuff, what's the point of planning to use it?

    I'm sure that in a few years, when everyone has 300MHz SDRAM, Intel will regret the decision to stay with Rambus.


  • Intel make great chips. There, I said it. They also have a history of making good decisions.

    Unfortunately, much like your first sentence, they also have a history of trying to get things out too quickly, and end up with buggy results (eg. logic errors, arithmatic errors, etc.)... (c:

  • just how much of this
    will ever actually
    make it to market?

    intel tends to be
    a bit too optimistic
    about release dates.

    So is this roadmap
    more or less realistic, or
    V-A-P-O-R . . . ?

    (this sounds like flamebait
    but it's really more or less
    an honest question)
  • I hope he doesn't have one. I'd have more respect for him if he wasn't one of those pretentious assholes.

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • Uh, because of RDRAM's "granularity", it was CHEAPER for Sony to use it over SDRAM or DDR. Read something written by someone other than Tom Pabst--btw, where did he get his EE???

    http://www.toshiba.com/taec/components/Generic/W P_memory.shtml
  • Hrrm... We're pretty damn close to that now. I recently had to upgrade because of a fried motherboard. It was an old AT style motherboard. At the time, I decided to upgrade to a K6/2. In the end, I ended up having to buy:

    • A new case. The old one didn't do ATX.
    • New memory. I couldn't find an ATX motherboard that took SIMMs.
    • A new network card. The new boards only have 2 ISA slots, not enough for everything I had.

    So a $200 upgrade becomes a $400 upgrade.

    Now I have to be honest in that I didn't search very many places to see of an AT board was available, or if I could find an ATX board that took SIMMs, or with three ISA slots.... Partly, though, I didn't look as I recall a news item a year or so ago saying that Microsoft wouldn't "bless" a motherboard with more than two ISA ports. Still, over the last fifteen years of upgrades, I've rarely seen one that was as simple as it was supposed to be when you bought the original. You decide to upgrade one thing, and next thing you know, you've got to replace half the machine.

    I've got a desk drawer that is a memory graveyard. I've got some 256k SIMMs, some 1 Meg SIMMs, some 4 Meg SIMMs. Just tossed two 32 Meg SIMMs on the pile the other day. I think I even have an old 2 Meg board up in the attic. (ISA, though I'd bet anything that it wouldn't work in a modern ISA machine.)

  • I certainly would have liked to. In my last upgrade, I figured the 64 Meg of RAM I had was perfectly fine for what I was doing. Too bad the new motherboard I got wouldn't take two 32 Meg SIMMs. None of the new ones do. Sigh...

    Hell, even if I wanted to upgrade the memory, it would have been nice for me to have the option of throwing in a new 64 Meg chip to get 128 Meg total for the prce of 64 Meg. Instead, I have to flush what I have.

    There's lots of stuff that just doesn't need upgrading. A ISA 100/10 NIC used only for a two machine network? An ISA 56k modem used only as a backup when the DSL goes down? An ISA SCSI card used only for a cheap scanner? Why replace any of those? Oops, I have to replace one. The new motherboards only have two ISA slots.

    One thing that is nice about the IDE interface is that it is completely backwards compatible. I've got an old 250 Meg drive that just does fine as a Linux swap partition. Why not? Why flush it? In fact, pretty much every drive I ever bought is still in use. I've got a 250MB, a 500MB, a 2 Gig and now two monster drives. All work great with the new hardware. Wish memory was that easy. I've got around 100 MB of memory that is basically useless to me now.

  • Notice the price for the 1Ghz Celeron? $750 bucks.
    (And that is per 1000 units, probably going to be alot more, especially when the middle man gets through with you)
    Granted the Athlon is alot more expensive right now. But notice that the 850's are about $700 bucks and they were released about a month back.
    Now assumung Intel is on schedule and releases thier 1Ghz Coppermine 5 months from now, how expensive do you think the Athlon 1Ghz is going to be after 5 months? Or an even better question, how obselete is it going to be?
    You gotta wonder what Intel is thinking...
  • Good point, but mulitpliers are getting higher, and (intel) caches are getting smaller! (At least at the moment.)

  • I am relly starting to get worried about the ability of future machines to actually be upgraded at all. Seems like Intel is trying their damndest to eliminate that possibility. Is there any hint in actually making my investment a little more viable?
  • Perhaps it is referring to fiscal quarter 3, of fiscal year 2000? If Intel's fiscal years start in July of the previous year, then tomorrow is the last day of 3Q2000.

    (Tight fiscal quarters =anagram>
    Strategic half-squirt.)
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @01:58PM (#1160049)
    > If so, there are going to be a lot of 1GHz Athlon processors sitting on the store shelves months ahead of the Intel shipments.

    I don't know what the OEMs have access to, but I've been watching pricewatch.com [pricewatch.com] ever since Intel and AMD fell over themselves trying to be the first to announce a 1GHz chip.

    Intel is getting stomped. Sometime in the last 24 hours a link for Intel 866MHz machines showed up at the site; right now there are now five entries for PIII 866s ($975-$1035) and none for Xeon 866s.

    Meanwhile, there has been a single listing for an Athlon 1GHz chip ($1399) for 2-3 weeks, there is now a single listing for an Athlon 950 ($985), and there are two listings for A900s ($885, $986) and about 30 for A850s ($718-859).

    Without boring you with the details, I can add that there is a similar mismatch between price and availability for 800MHz chips from the two makers.

    It looks to me that Intel is suffering a strategic rout in the high-end x86 chip market.

  • by MillMan ( 85400 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @02:52PM (#1160050)
    Intel makes good products, sure. But lets face it, they've been gouging customers for years. It's harder IMO to run a monopoly on the hardware side than the software side for reasons I won't mention.

    So when someone comes along with a decent, similar product, they can undercut your margins significantly. Thats called competition. So instead of taking the hit from AMD and riding it out, they try to pull a fast one on the entire computer world, and use this RDRAM fiasco, FUD marketing, and strong-arming their customers (well, thats conspiracy ala tom's hardware, but I would expect nothing less from a large corporation) to keep their near monopoly-status. It most likely won't work.

    Face it, the shareholders get really pissed when profit levels drop. Maintaining their previous profit margins for the long term is near impossible. Today the only way to do it is with proprietary products like RDRAM, and similarly with their chip packaging and even MMX.

    So instead of intel dealing with it properly, they shoot themselves in the foot. Capitalism works once in a while, I guess :)

    Since I mentioned RDRAM, what is the deal with this article? It looks like marketing by intel. Every review I've seen of RDRAM either trashes it or gives it marginally better rankings than SDRAM, but even then the price difference doesn't make it worth it. Yet this site thinks its great, and states that SDRAM won't be able to keep up. Huh? DDR SDRAM is loooking pretty damn good to me. I don't want the extra latency from RDRAM anyway. What a load of FUD.

    Thank you, my rant is finished.
  • by MicroBerto ( 91055 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @02:26PM (#1160051)

    Get our asses beat by AMD time and time again

    Allow Transmeta to take over the mobile market

    Pump billions of dollars into technology that we will never get to work

    Keep talking about Merced or any 64-bit processor but never do anything with it

    Sue/Get Sued by anyone with a heartbeat (also Microsoft! not sure if they have a heartbeat..)

    Fake profit earnings after getting killed by AMD/Transmeta/Cyrix

    Make a "KILLER" motherboard with modem/sound/video built-in!

    Sabotage future Celeron-type chips from being overclocked or SMP'd

    Make more bogus roadmaps

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) - AOL IM: MicroBerto

  • Who would want to upgrade just part of their system? By the time I start thinking about a new CPU, everything else in the case is old also. It's not just CPUs that need upgrading, it's RAM, Disk, Cache, DVD, etc.

    For example, my last computer (When I bought it), had a Whopping 40 megs of ram, and a 1X cd, and a Huge 1.3 Gig hard drive.

    The next computer I bought had a PIII-650, 13 Gig Drive, DVD, and 128 Megs of RAM. Not quite as cool (real-time adjusted), but I'm married with 3 kids now. None the less, I expect this box to get through the next 3-4 years before I start lusting after that P-5-2000 with a Gig of Ram and a 500 Gig Hard Drive.

  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @01:40PM (#1160053)

    This article seems to be out of date on the day it's published. Or maybe this is subtler than it appears. For example:

    Overall CPU speeds will increase as the year goes forward. No surprise there. 1GHz Pentium IIIs may hit the after market in late Q3 or Q4 2000. At this time, it does not look like Pentium III CPU speeds will go over 1GHz this year, or possibly ever, though Intel assures us that there is still performance headroom in the Coppermine design.

    Now is this information pertaining to on-the-shelf availability of the 1GHz PIII's? If so, there are going to be a lot of 1GHz Athlon processors sitting on the store shelves months ahead of the Intel shipments. And if the news that the 1GHz PIII is all that we will see this year, then I suspect that AMD may have more of a march on Intel than we thought. Of course, Intel may well be banking more heavily on Willamette getting out earlier than planned to make up for the shortfall, in which case it will be interesting to see how AMD develop the Athlon line with its new faster caches in order to keep parity.


    Toby Haynes

  • by HiyaPower ( 131263 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @03:18PM (#1160054)
    Why yields on Rambus have indeed gotten better, it is going to be a loooooooong time before they are reasonable. You can test the parts for basic function ok, but when you have to test the full 128 Meg module for speed, you have to have the whole puppy assembled with heat sink cement and all. One slow chip and the whole thing is slow, and you CAN'T tell beforehand, and you can't take it apart to replace that one part either. Gotta sell it as slow. Kingston reports yields of 50%, others as low as 10% for the full speed units. With crappy yields like that, the price is not comming down soon, if at all, on the high speed (and wasn't that why you wanted it in the first place?) units. Somehow, I think that with the price of double clock, folks will use that in their 820 chipsets. Indeed, there are some tests that have shown that Rambus actually UNDEPERFORMS a GX chipset pushed to 133. I don't own or short it, but be careful if you want to buy stock in that dog, sharkyextreme or no... Please remember that every once in a while Intel backs a real loser. Remember Bubble memory... My understanding is that Intel is going through the motions, but is going to keep their options open wrt Rambus.
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @01:56PM (#1160055)

    Q3 00: Release faster processor. Trumpet it as 'great for internet'. Maybe call it the iCPU? Leave prices for current CPUs untouched, continue to make 50MHz improvements cost $200 over previous models.

    Q4 00: AMD is at it again. Squish them, and pay off the FTC. Athlon really heating up. Engage in mudslinging campaign. Switch to smaller micron process to decrease die size. Ignore Transmeta's protests that their CPU has lower power consumption. Power is good. Suck lots of it.

    Q1 01: Caught modifying CPU to make SPECint run faster. Damn. Use PIII ID feature to track down creators of SPECint and issue corrective measures. e-commerce is starting to wind down, start investing in hardware companies again.

    Q2 01: Bunny suits aren't having the impact we want in the market. Find a pop rock band and rip off a new song - show competitor's CPU on fire.

    Q3 01: Get posted to slashdot. Site crashes. Rob Malda mysteriously disappears

    Q4 01: Can't do any marketing, Microsoft trial finally ended and DOJ needs a reason to keep their budget up. License out some worthless tech to competitors, later sue them for contract violations.

    Q4 02: New SPECint benchmarks show our chips as fourteen times faster than the competition.

    Q1 03: Another revolutionary new processor is created. Trumpet it as being Windows 2001 compatible (which was just released last week).

    Q2 03: Bah, this far out, who the hell cares what we're planning on doing?

  • by sdriver ( 126467 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @01:35PM (#1160056) Homepage
    ... and why it's not that great after all. At Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com].
  • by chazR ( 41002 ) on Thursday March 30, 2000 @01:54PM (#1160057) Homepage
    Intel make great chips. There, I said it. They also have a history of making good decisions. So why are they acting like a rabbit caught in the headlights?

    For a long time Intel had the highest clock speed chips on the market. Their FPU kicked any part of the anatomy you care to sit on. Their chipsets were awesome. They drove Cyrix into a *very* small corner.

    Then, AMD finally gets it's act together with the Athlon. Athlon is faster/better/cheaper (pick two:) than the Pentium 3. And Intel seem to go to pieces. This is not cause and effect, but I honestly believe that losing bragging rights to AMD has caused Intel to mismanage a series of problems that would have been merely embarrasing.

    The Camino chipset had/has problems. Merced is so late it may be entirely overtaken by Willamette. Etcetera (it's not a long list of problems, but they seem to be screwing them up so badly I thought I'd say 'etcetera')

    Then AMD beat them to the punch with a 1GHz processor. That must have hurt. Even though the Athlon was running it's cache at 1/3 clock rate, AMD got there first. By all of two days.

    The (pass me another bucket of 'allegedly's) rumour is that Intel are having difficulty supplying demand for their faster chips (850MHz+), while AMD are happy to ship by the truckful. (More 'allegedly's please...) Other rumours say that some of Intel's second-tier customers are abandoning their Intel loyalty points and buying Athlons just so thay can ship some boxes. Fast boxes. They would love to buy from Intel, but their customers want the boxes today.

    And Intel are *still* making stupid decisions. Backing RDRAM is daft. Nobody makes it in serious volume, it's five times more expensive than 'conventional' RAM, and it's proprietry. You can't make it without a licence from Rambus (Who don't have any fabs themselves). And it is at best marginally faster, and at worst astonishingly slower, than SDRAM.

    To end the rant: Intel is a great company with great products. But Andy Grove should go and read his own book.

Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin