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Intel Releases "Fastest Chip Ever" 618

mao che minh writes "From News Factor Network: Intel has released the world's fastest chip ever. The new P4 runs at 3.06GHz, at 3 billion cycles per second. Man, and I'm still squeezing the last bit of life out of my Pentium 233!" Tom's Hardware already has a review up about it, and it looks to live up to most of the hype.
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Intel Releases "Fastest Chip Ever"

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  • by anonymous coword ( 615639 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:46PM (#4672777) Homepage Journal
    Then you will have THE CHIP FASTER THAN THE FASTEST chip

    Is it fast enough to get fp?
    • Re:Overclock it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrScience ( 126570 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:10PM (#4673007) Homepage
      Don't you get it? They've already overclocked it. That's the only way they could get these out... and the only reason why they are so hard to find (it's so overclocked only a very tiny percent of the chips can even handle it).
      • Re:Overclock it (Score:5, Informative)

        by dildatron ( 611498 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:33PM (#4673217)
        while you are of course correct, one may be ble to overclock the overclocked by using super duper cooling. the limit of overclocking is limited often by heat, so if you can get rid of more heat, you might be able to squeeze a bit more out of a given chip.

        for practical purpouses you are right, though. there is absolutely no reason you would buy this chip if you wanted to overclock it.
        • Re:Overclock it (Score:4, Informative)

          by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @11:57PM (#4674666) Homepage
          Are you talking about the P4, or the AthlonXP? It's not clear.

          If you're talking about the Athlon, the problem is much more fundamental than heat, it's a signal distribution problem. Basically, the chip is running so fast that the time it takes for a signal to get from one component to another is more than a clock cycle. This is why with the latest release of the AthlonXP, AMD had to add more layers and do more wiring optimisation to shrink the effective distances between components (closer = faster signal propagation, obviously).

          The P4 is capable of handling much higher clock rates than the AthlonXP, since the NetBurst architecture isn't designed with the assumption that all signals will propagate within a single clock cycle. My rough calculations show that the P4 could probably be clocked up to about 30ghz before you hit the same signal propagation issues the Athlon is having now. Of course, there are more traditional overclocking concerns between 3ghz and 30ghz. :P

      • Re:Overclock it (Score:5, Informative)

        by AaronPSU79 ( 536655 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:21PM (#4673540)
        Actually this chip overclocks pretty well, [H]ardOCP got it up to 3.68 GHz air cooled and 3.82 GHz water cooled. Not bad at all.
      • Re:Overclock it (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ncc74656 ( 45571 )
        Don't you get it? They've already overclocked it. That's the only way they could get these out... and the only reason why they are so hard to find (it's so overclocked only a very tiny percent of the chips can even handle it).

        ...and it's probably still slower than a dual Athlon MP rig. I compared a 2.8-GHz P4 rig we recently built at work to the dual 1900+ in my office (both with 512 MB of DDR and 15krpm SCSI hard drives). On a TMPGEnc MPEG-2 encoding job from a Huffyuv-compressed AVI, the dual Athlon ran 41% faster (7:56 for the Athlon vs. 13:21 for the P4). Cost for the two was about the same. Dual Xeons would be faster still, but one 2.6-GHz Xeon costs more than double what you'd pay for a pair of Athlon MP 2200s (so sez Pricewatch []). Dual P4s? Forget it...Intel doesn't support it.

  • by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:47PM (#4672785)
    How high can it be overclocked before melting and turning your machine into a firey inferno?
  • fast chip? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AmigaAvenger ( 210519 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:47PM (#4672790) Journal
    Maybe I'm missing the point, but isn't every new chip the manufcatures release the 'fastest chip ever'

    I remember when the Pentium 200 was the fastest chip ever!

  • I really wish that AMD could keep up with Intel. I have two dual processor machines and they run at 3.2G's but I don't think they would fare all that well against a single processor machine running at 3.06G since not everything can use both and it doesn't seem like all that much uses both effectively.

    It's too bad that Intel charges so much for their chips.. and this thing being the hottest thing at the moment... or when it's actually in stores.. going to be a while before I can get one. Damn.

    • Re:Smokin! (Score:4, Informative)

      by spike hay ( 534165 ) <> on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:24PM (#4673139) Homepage
      I have two dual processor machines and they run at 3.2G's but I don't think they would fare all that well against a single processor machine running at 3.06G since not everything can use both and it doesn't seem like all that much uses both effectively.

      Actually, the hyperthreading only helps in apps that support hyperthreading. Your dual processors are hyperthreaded. So any hyperthreading app that takes advantage of the P4 will also take advantage of your dual processor setup.

      I imagine two different processors would be much better than 1 hyperthreaded processor.

      Also, they only mention a 25% performance increase. Dual processors running hyperthreaded apps have at least a 60% performance increase. However, I bet this P4 would beat your machine in non-hyperthreaded apps.
    • Re:Smokin! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:43PM (#4673281) Homepage Journal
      You contradict yourself. You say you wish AMD could keep up with intel, then you mention that not many apps use both CPUs (and thus hyperthreading) effectively.

      I think AMD realizes that multiprocessing is not something the average user will ever benefit from. But they are falling behind in the marketing department on this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will my Internet work faster if I get it?
  • Also on AnandTech (Score:5, Informative)

    by johnkp ( 178178 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:51PM (#4672824)
  • Personal PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Uhh_Duh ( 125375 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:52PM (#4672837) Homepage
    I don't understand the need to always be on the bleeding edge of technology. Intel loves to push these newer faster chips down the throats of consumers, but I've got 600MHz Intel chip and a 2ghz intel chip, both running Windows 2000, and I swear I can't tell any difference between 600MHz and 2ghz for normal usage -- and I consider myself a power user.(Granted, I don't do 3D rendering or massive number crunching on a daily basis, but how many of your average consumers do?)

    I won't be running out to buy this any time soon -- especially when I can the $200 Walmart computer is less than the cost of this CPU.

    Call me old fashioned, but geeze.. Intel already gets plenty of money from my pocketbook for little performance gain. Something needs to be done about the rest of PC hardware before the speed of the CPU is going to make a massive difference.
    • Re:Personal PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kin_korn_karn ( 466864 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:03PM (#4672936) Homepage
      The need is driven by games. I'm a gamer, so I have to have all of this bleeding edge hardware.

      However, I regularly tell non-gamers that they shouldn't upgrade unless their PC doesn't do what they want it to do. The push for faster-better-stronger hardware is out of hand, the average consumer doesn't need any more than a 600mhz.. but they do need lots of RAM and a big hard drive.
      • Re:Personal PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

        by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:27PM (#4673580) Homepage
        I'm a gamer, too, but I'm not a mark. I play plenty of games released this year (UT2003, WC3, for example) on a 1 Ghz P3 w/ Radeon 8500 with absolutely *no* problems.

        By not staying on the bleeding edge of hardware, I have extra money to buy more games. I don't buy hardware that will be able to play a game that may/may not come out sometime in the next year, I buy based on what's available *now*. There's no f'in reason to have a 3 Ghz CPU for any game currently on the market.

        I'd say that my current PC (minus the monitor, which cost $300, because I wanted a nice monitor) cost a total of maybe $500 to build. That's LESS than the price of this CPU.

        Go ahead and buy it if you want, but it really won't make your dick any bigger.

    • I agree to your points but i would like to say something. A faster CPU it would be good for multimedia usage (something that the average person would care about). For example ripping DVDs or CDs, or as you mentioned rendering. You can't tell the difference between your 600 MHz and 2 GHz PCs because of several reasons. One that comes to mind is the hard drive bottleneck The IDE drives today are just too slow for the current systems. I believe that in order to build a PC that takes full advantage of the processor power and memory bandwidth it would be expensive. but as you know The average joe hears 3.06 GHz and thinks that is faster than his current PC. He doesn't think about other limitations of the system as a whole. Which if you think about it, boils down to marketing.
    • While I agree with your general point I can definitely tell the difference between my father's dual P3 650 with 1gb of memory and my Athlon XP 1700+ with 768mb. The faster being my Athlon XP. It isn't a huge difference, but a general snappiness feel.
    • by cardshark2001 ( 444650 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:21PM (#4673110)
      I don't understand the need to always be on the bleeding edge of technology

      You obviously have not played the leaked doom demo.

      • Re:Personal PC's (Score:5, Informative)

        by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:55PM (#4673772) Homepage
        Woo hoo! I might just get some "Informative" karma over this one... :)

        Here's the deal: the DOOM III demo was a debug build. If you've got it, do a "strings" on it. You'll see a bunch of debug symbols.

        That means no optimizations, and tons (I mean tons) of code to make tracking down problems like memory leaks easier. That kind of build will naturally munch processor cycles like crazy.

        Corroborating evidence: the alpha is very CPU-bound, which should be surprising given how the algorithms it uses for rendering eat GPUs for lunch.

        All the same, with features like per-poly collision detection, I expect the final version to do much better on a 3.06GHz chip than a 1.2GHz chip.

    • Re:Personal PC's (Score:4, Interesting)

      by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:26PM (#4673149)
      Exactly. The thing is that the testing that is done on Intels latest chips is done in a subjective manner for marketing purposes. They test the chips on machines that are not Identicle - with software that is optimized for that chips instruction set - then push it out to people saying "Look at Intel's latest chip! The new $Pentium-X will runs your applications so much faster!"

      but there is a threshold we will hit - on the consumer level - and that day (although still a bit away) is coming faster and faster with every release. It is the subjective speed threshold, where the Human is the bottleneck. Where the computer can do anything the user can so fast - that the computer is then waiting on input from the user.

      All input from a human comes in little spurts - and therefore will be processed by the CPU before the next batch comes in.

      The point is that there is a somewhat finite desktop market incentive for faster processors, in that, for the average user - there will be a time, sooner than later, where they find that the machine they have is fast enough, featureful enough and big enough (storgage) to meet their (rather long term) needs.
    • Re:Personal PC's (Score:5, Interesting)

      by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:44PM (#4673700)
      ..sigh... Every time one of these articles come out. First, if you can't tell the difference between 2GHz and 600MHz, you're dead. My 2GHz machine is nowhere near fast enough, even just running Konqueror and KMail. Second, more people need the power than you'd think. I write C++ code with some very heavily templated libraries. G++ eats my processor for lunch (I've got enough RAM that it's not HD-bound). Add to that 3D rendering (messing around with Blender for some 3D work) and numerical computation (simulations, Octave, Mathematica) and I probably won't ever have enough CPU. And I don't even do gaming!
      • Re:Personal PC's (Score:3, Insightful)

        My 2GHz machine is nowhere near fast enough, even just running Konqueror and KMail.

        Me and my trusty 300Mhz Celeron don't feel sorry for you.

        P.S. -- If I won't be able to browse and read email with a 2Ghz -- then that is the last straw, I am going back to my C64.
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkov ( 261309 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:54PM (#4672850)
    And if they had a 40-stage pipeline they could go to 6GHz! Then I'd be really impressed.
    • by Erich ( 151 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:39PM (#4673667) Homepage Journal
      There are actually some interesting papers out about optimal pipeline depth. At first they appear to have different conclusions, as they cover different architectures, but the conclusion is really sort of the same: optimum pipeline depth is about six fanout-of-four inverters per stage of work for integer paths and four for floating-point paths. Plus two (each) for overhead. That leads to crazy-long pipelines, I think the rough calculation for redoing the P4 pipeline came out to 50 stages or something.

      If you do a google search on optimal pipeline depth you'll find some good results.

  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:54PM (#4672856) Homepage
    This chip is more interesting than just the normal megahertz hike. It's the first of the desktop hyperhreaded chips - previously only available in the Xeon range (well, from Intel anyway. Other manufacturers had them).

    This is something I'm interested in. I currently run a dual-CPU box of two 533Mhz Celerons on a BP6 board. I've wanted my next machine to be a dual-CPU has well, but now I'm not certain. Perhaps the hyperthreading will take care of that for me? Who knows, it's too early to say as yet. But I'll be keeping an eye out on the benchmarks for this chip, whereas I've more or less ignored the Mhz races for the last couple of years.


  • 82 watts! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paradesign ( 561561 )
    thats insane. Thats equal to what, two or three G4s?
    • by fobbman ( 131816 )
      Hey! New Intel marketing hype!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:10PM (#4673009)
      Intel should run an ad where a family sits around the (Apple) computer in coats and earmuffs, shaking from the cold.. everything blue, with icicles (sp).

      Then switch to a shot of a family in a cozy room, all basking around the glow of a warm intel machine..

      Intel .. Keeps You Warm! (tm)

      Hey, those marketers can sell anything, right?
  • According to the Computer Power User magazine, Intel demonstrated a P4 4.1 GHz at the Intel Developer Forum. They even showed it overclocked to 4.65GHz with extensive cooling.

    I expect it will still take a year or two before they become generally available.
  • 100 watts.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:55PM (#4672873) Homepage
    if you read the article they say that it can use up to 100 watts of power when you are using the chip to the utmost. That's a lot of power. Much more then the AMDs. Anyone else think that's a little extreme? I mean I'm all for more speed, but cost aside, this seems to be a huge factor in actually getting one of these systems. You also have to get a new motherboard.

    For server applications it's not as useful because you can't build dense systems. Since server applications are by their very nature more multithreaded then workstation, I would imageine that they would get much hotter. You'd need a lot more cooling. Also, don't the chips SLOW DOWN automatically when they get too hot, thus negating any increase in speed you might get from them.

    Notice that the new heat sink is larger as well.

    Not trying to bash it, but it seems like the older chips are still going to be better until they get this whole heat issue under control. I run my system almost 24x7 like I'm sure many people on /. do so I think that running a system all the time (with SETI or whatnot) would be expensive.
    • Re:100 watts.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ektor ( 113899 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:05PM (#4672960)
      Every one of the recent processors from both Intel and AMD are very much power hungry. While the P4 3.06 pushes 80 watts the top-of-the-line AMD is not far behind.

      See this article [] from Tom's Hardware.

      Sadly this trend won't go away anytime soon. When you pack that many transistors running at ultrahigh frenquencies in a tiny package you have to pay somehow.

    • I really miss the days when you could set up a box with no moving parts. I have 2 applications for computer where a cooling fan is inneffective, or where a cooling fan in completely undesired.

      I run the network at a science museum. We have kiosks (Linux of course) that sit and run all day, every day, unattended. Every so often a power fan starts making noise and vistors complain, or it quietly quits and the processor french fries either itself or surrounding electronics.

      My second appliction is running a server for volunteer checkin at a folk festival. We set it up at the begining of the week in a dusty, damp, humid shed that serves as the office. It has to run, hot or cold, dry or damp, all weekend. A fan sucks (literally and figuratively) because it draw in dust when the weather is dry, and spins to almost no avail if the weather is too humid. I presently use a clocked down K6 that doesn't need a fan.

      I realize I am starting to wander into the realms of embedded devices, is it so much to ask that my next computer be quieter than the diswasher?

      • by honold ( 152273 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:29PM (#4673594)
        mini-itx form factor, integrated video/ethernet/fanless cpu - just add memory and storage. link []

        if you wanted to go all-out on skipping the moving parts, you could run the os on compact flash using an ide to cf adapter from and use a cupid case with a dc power supply. just make sure to disable writing, or you'll wear it out! use mfs or a (non-essential) extra standard hard disk for data.

  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:57PM (#4672890) Homepage Journal
    So, we have a CPU with an internal clock faster than the 2.5 Ghz in my Microwave oven. Does it come with a carousel to keep the heating even?


  • by ewhac ( 5844 )

    Does this new chip have support for Digital Restrictions Mechanisms? Does it still have the universally reviled serial number feature? Can it still be shut off?


  • by Ec|ipse ( 52 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @06:59PM (#4672903)
    So with a 3gig cpu running with 1gig memory and a 100gig of harddrive space. Is this something we can expect?

    User 1 "Did my computer just crash?"
    User 2 "Couldn't tell, happened to fast."

  • Err, any chip that Intel is releasing has faster brothers and sisters in the lab ;-)

    Oh wait I'm grumpy without the tags anyway...

    Err, hasn't their been some other chip that's faster than this? (Ok, maybe not at a competitive price) but... wouldn't calling Intel's fastest desktop processor the "fastest every" be like calling a corvette or something the fastest land car ever?

    (Second part an actualy question!)
  • microwaves (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kippy ( 416183 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:03PM (#4672941)
    I remember when processors started breaking the GhZ benchmark, people were making jokes about how we're starting to get to the point where the things will be emiting microwaves since they are in the GhZ's.

    anyone know how close we are now? will this new chip boil water from a distance?

    even if we're a couple years off from that, are we going to need sheilding in our cases soon so that we don't cook our lower legs? if so, does anyone else thing that this would cause a lot of problems since compUSA won't take that into account when they do an upgrade?

    Just some thoughts...
  • It may have the highest number of MHz, but it is not the fastest chip ever. An athlon 2200+ will still beat it in numerically intensive applications, not to mention the Power 4, Alpha, and Itanium. The headlines need to be modded down.
  • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:09PM (#4672994) Homepage Journal
    The new P4 runs at 3.06GHz, at 3 billion cycles per second.
    That's nothing. I hear AMD is going to come out with a 3.06GHz chip that runs at 4 billion cycles per second!
  • by vlad_petric ( 94134 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:09PM (#4672996) Homepage
    While I don't disagree with the fact that this is probably the chip with the highest clockrate ever built, performance has another ingredient - instructions per cycle (IPC). Now, clockrate remains the same, while IPC is strictly tied to a benchmark, and that's why people buy GHz, not performance.

    Such claims have to be backed by benchmark runs. The PIV, when released, had a perf improvemnt of only 15->20% when running at 1.5GHz compared to a PIII running at 1 GHz

  • by Gerald ( 9696 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:09PM (#4673003) Homepage
    ...when they come out with a 4.77 GHz version.
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:11PM (#4673018)
    I mean really..what is the point? You have a superfast chip and you're STILL doing everything else wrong. Why are we just speeding up the CPU? Why are we not designing a better computer that doesn't NEED to ram everything through the CPU?

    We're only getting a shadow of an idea with our GPU's...I believe Apple is the "first" to start making use of the video card's GPU for day-to-day stuff. And this is a GOOD thing.

    Former Amiga users know what I'm talking about. There's a damn good reason why a computer with a "mere" 68000 was able to run circles around the PC's of it's day, and easily keep pace with more advanced intel chips.
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Benley ( 102665 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @11:29PM (#4674554) Journal

      I believe Apple is the "first" to start making use of the video card's GPU for day-to-day stuff.

      *ahem* SGI's IRIX has been doing this for more than a decade. Their systems have always amazed me - just today, in fact, I managed to get an old Onyx system working. It's got a pair of 75mhz r8k cpus and a RealityEngine2. That's not a typo - 2x75mhz. Even with such slow CPUs, the user interface is lightning quick because of how well the OS makes use of the video hardware. Granted, the r8000 was a very unusual CPU in how effecient it was per clock, but still...

  • How come I see myself returning to this article some day in the near future and scoffing at the "3.06GHz" label?

    Does this remind anyone of the Popular Science articles where Planes may someday make transatlantic flights and In the 70's, automobiles will be obsolete, as personal gyrocopters will likely be the main method of transportaion.

    Hell, I propose that in 2008, my shoelace-tying machine will be run off of a 3Ghz processor.

    I'm not trying to bring down this article, as much as I'm bringing to light the humour behind the title.

    Geez. I hope my dog doesn't piss on my shoe-tying machine.
  • by Hektor_Troy ( 262592 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:11PM (#4673022)
    The new P4 runs at 3.06GHz, at 3 billion cycles per second.
    Thank you for pointing out to me, that G == Giga == Billion and that Hz == Hertz == cycles per second.

    This message was brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department, who was happy to bring you this message.
  • by cowmix ( 10566 ) <mmarch@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:14PM (#4673045) Homepage
    Does anyone know if Linux of FreeBSD sees any benefit from the 'hyperthreading' technology? All the things I am reading say that you OS needs to support threads, but how does the processor know what is a thread, and what is a process?
    • Does anyone know if Linux or FreeBSD sees any benefit from the 'hyperthreading' technology? All the things I am reading say that your OS needs to support threads, but how does the processor know what is a thread and what is a process?
    • by BlueLines ( 24753 ) <slashdot&divisionbyzero,com> on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:30PM (#4673179) Homepage
      i've had a developer maryville board on my desk at work for the past 2 months (p4 2.8ghz). my experience with it so far hasn't been particularly impressive. i mean, it presents itself as 2 cpus to the underlying os (works w/ xp, .net rc1, and linux), but when you do something that actually taxes both cpus (make -j8 bzImage or what have you) there's a lot of thrashing and no true performance gain. i like the idea that no one program can totally lock up your cpu (netscape / q3 / X / etc), but i haven't seen any gains in day to day use.

      i'm curious how oracle / msft will deal with the licensing issues that will come about from presenting virtual cpus.

      • I've got 85 Dual 2.4ghz Xeons running for 2 months now with HT enabled (both Linux + Win2k), and I concur. While each box appears to have 4 CPUS if you query the OS, running even make -j5 bzImage thrashes the heck out of the systems, negating any possible performance gain.
    • by Elladan ( 17598 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:32PM (#4673202)

      Linux supports HT. No OS as far as I know sees much benefit from it.

      The difference between a "process" and a "thread" is pretty small. A thread is just a process with shared page tables, for the most part. This means that there's less overhead switching between two threads, since you don't have to flush the TLB and caches. The processor per se knows absolutely nothing about any of this - it just knows when the OS commands it to flush the TLB and the caches, and change the page table addresses.

      The basic point of HT is that it's sort-of another CPU, but it's just leeching unused resources from the main CPU. So, the scheduling logic in the OS needs to understand that it's not a real CPU, and thus should be grouped with the real CPU it's associated with. Linux 2.5/2.6 will support these tweaks, with 2.4 you'll need some sort of patch currently. Without the tweaks, you still get HT, it just doesn't help much.

      But really, it never helps that much. Don't expect a 2x speedup or anything, even if your system is running heavily threaded applications.

  • so now you can waste your time on computer even faster.

    Does anyone want 40" knife in kitchen? yes, if you just want to play games with it.

  • I call bullshit... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cervantes ( 612861 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:14PM (#4673050) Journal
    ...with 50 percent saying they play video games while also burning CDs

    I'm sorry, but there are only two explanations. One is that half of users out there are running maxxxed out machines that can handle that load (yes, with winblows). In which case, why the push for new chips?

    The other explanation is that users really are burning cd's while playing games, in which case, the RIAA can pack up and go home, because those hundreds of thousands of CD's are obviously ending up as coasters, not as pirate booty.

    I know, I know... I show my age when I remember the days where you clicked "burn" and ran like hell. I still remember the setup I had that would coaster the disk if I moved the mouse during the TOC writing. Admittedly, it was a brand new 1x burner, but still....

    And considering my ole Celeron 300a runs Win2k just fine, why in the blue blazes would I need a 3G? Seems computers have hit the plateau... the average user gets along just fine with what they have, it's only professionals and gamers who really snap up the new hardware.

    I'm gonna start a bet... how long can my 300 run before it's finally too slow?

    (and to stop your flames, RedHat goes on my 1Ghz. So there)

  • by flogger ( 524072 ) <non@nonegiven> on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:24PM (#4673137) Journal
    What's yer CPU speed?
    []2.8 GHZ+
    []1.5 GHZ+
    []233 Mhz+
    []Cowboyneal runs the cage the powers my CPU.

  • Newsflash! (Score:5, Funny)

    by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:26PM (#4673156) Homepage
    ...and in other news, today is the "Latest Day, Ever."
    • You're older than you've ever been
      and now you're even older
      and now you're even older
      and now you're even older
      You're older than you've ever been
      and now you're even older
      and now you're older still.
  • everyday math stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sstory ( 538486 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:27PM (#4673159) Homepage
    There are computer labs at NCSU with old Sparcs (running SunOS 5.7, for all you geeks in the audience) which seem to be practically equivalent, in ordinary usage terms, to P 200's. There's a huge difference, HUGE, between Maple or Mathematica on these systems, and on the PIII 500 in my office. But there's very little difference, it's almost unnoticeable, between those programs on my office computer, and the same thing on my home computer, an Athlon 1200 mhz. And I've used mathematica on a 1.7 ghz Dell in our office, and again, there's no practical difference. Maybe computing a bunch of Fourier coefficients takes 8 mins on the 500, and 4 mins on the 1.7.

    Compared to the average person I do intensive computation, and I feel no pressure to upgrade. For the average user the need to upgrade must be entirely generated by marketing--right now performance improvements in hardware is irrelevant. I wonder what's going to change--assuming anything does--to make us all hunger for faster systems as we used to. I can't think of anything compelling, but i'm unsure because intel etc are spending piles of cash figuring out how to reestablish the need for improvement.

  • by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:40PM (#4673259) Homepage Journal
    Marketing hype. This is really nothing and I can't understand why THG is hyping this.

    All this does it let the CPU have 2 apps it can switch between at. Normally the CPU has to wait on the OS to give it something to do. Now the OS can give it sort of a spare job to keep doing.

    Still only 1 can run at at time though. Its NOT a multiprocessing system. Simply where the OS normally chooses which app gets to run, now the CPU can always hold 1 app in the hole, ready to run it when any down time comes along.

    For those who ALWAYS run something in the background like Folding@home or SETI, they will certainly see an improvement. if the OS and CPU agree to keep that app on the CPU, it will improve performance. But it will NOT increase your fps because you will only have 1 app going then.

    AND if you turn on dual cpu support in quake, you should see a performance hit if anything.

    The results from THG bore this fact out. I wouldnt waste time on this if I were AMD. The everyday user still has no benefit from dual processing systems, and the servers will need TRUE dual processing systems.
    • Actually it's a little more advanced that that.

      Basically, you have all these different units for doing math in the CPU, and if one thread is only using say the interger units and another thread want to do float-point math, then the processor can actually let both run at the same time by scheduling the instructions properly. Normally, is one thread was all interger and one thread was all floating point, then the CPU would have to do a context switch to be able to run one type of instruction or the other.

      It's a little more complex then that, but it's more then just holding one app in the hole. But yeah, for those running FPU intensive appls like seti, while doing normal stuff should see less slowdown.
  • by tevenson ( 625386 ) <tevenson@gmai l . com> on Thursday November 14, 2002 @07:51PM (#4673334) Homepage
    Maybe Intel should concentrate on memory bandwidth instead of speed. Seems to me that all these MHz increases aren't nearly as effective as speeding up the FSB. We need a new memory interface architecture, go AMD?

    After you hit about 60 fps in Q3 you're not gonna notice anything else higher.

    Overkill anyone?
  • by puppetman ( 131489 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @08:17PM (#4673519) Homepage
    "With the introduction of its Hyper-Threading technology, Intel has confirmed that constantly increasing the clock cycle is not the only way to skin the proverbial cat."

    Yah, AMD has been saying that for years with their performance-ratings, and Intel's been saying that cycles-per-second was the measurement that the consumer truely understood, and was a good way to get a measure of the speed of the processor.

    Wonder if Intel will adopt that, now that they have a CPU that, at lower speeds, can process more data.
  • by loconet ( 415875 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @11:36PM (#4674579) Homepage
    And here is the link [] to Intel's view on this...
  • Fastest chip ever? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tshak ( 173364 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @12:57AM (#4674917) Homepage
    Even if we narrow the scope to x86 desktop apps, it seems that based on preliminary benchmarks (with Hyperthreading enabled) AMD's AthlonXP 2800+ still reigns (albeit, by a very small margin) as the fastest chip available.
  • by nycbrujah ( 578979 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @02:27AM (#4675281)
    Intel has a nice tutorial [] on the subject.
    I know that of the Microsoft OS's, only the XP family supports the Hyper-Threading. I couldn't tell you if any other OS's support it.
    Distilled down, the processor creates a virtual or logical second processor which assists it in using underutilized resources.
    A lot of multimedia vendors would be interested in this, a lot of gaming vendors will jump at this.
  • by SailorBob ( 146385 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @02:42AM (#4675333) Homepage Journal
    Basically, it comes out that the XP 2800+ and the P4 3.06 Ghz are neck in neck for most real world applications, with less than 10% differance between them on anything most home or business users are going to run. So it really comes down to which is the better deal, especially in a depressed economy with tight IT budgets. At the moment, only the XP 2700+ and the P4 2.8 are shown up on, with prices of $354 amd $389 respectively. Meaning that AMD still has the crown in the Price/performance arena. However, the gap is narrowing.
  • Just had to... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:21AM (#4675574) Homepage Journal
    ``I'm still squeezing the last bit of life out of my Pentium 233!''
    My Pentium 200 is mostly running idle. :-) Except when I'm compiling, of course. Seriously though, most of my regular activities (web surfing, emailing, chatting, editing plain text, burning CDs, playing music) don't require much CPU power. It's memory that counts for me. So I'm just going to save money and energy by sticking to so-called obsolete hardware. If OpenBSD runs on it, what more can I wish for? (Err...)

    Wombat's Laws of Computer Selection:
    (1) If it doesn't run Unix, forget it.
    (2) Any computer design over 10 years old is obsolete.
    (3) Anything made by IBM is junk. (See number 2)
    (4) The minimum acceptable CPU power for a single user is a
    VAX/780 with a floating point accelerator.
    (5) Any computer with a mouse is worthless.
    -- Rich Kulawiec

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.