Before I say anything about Intel's new Pentium III at 1.133 GHz I would like to raise one question. Do you need a processor that's faster than 1 GHz right now? Really? Let's be honest, there is indeed hardly any software for the vast majority of users, which would be able to take any sensible advantage of a CPU that fast. Who is supposed to need it?
- A user of office applications? Certainly not! A Celeron 400 is good enough for those kinds of applications.
- A 3D gamer? Absolutely not! Any 3D game played at a resolution beyond 1024x768 or in FSAA is limited by the 3D chip and not by the processor! Do you play games at 640x480 and require frame rates in excess of 100? I hope not!
- A CAD developer? Again the 3D chip is more important for you than the CPU.
- A 3D modeler? Well, moving wire frame models around is again limited by the 3D chip and the scene rendering is done faster with an Athlon processor at less clock speed anyway.
- A videographer? Well, you might need good CPU power, but it doesn't really take 1 GHz or beyond either. I'd rather go for a faster hard drive solution.
I am not kidding you here! There is hardly anybody who will get anything out of a processor that's either at 1 GHz or even beyond right now. It's not future proof either, because once Pentium IV or AMD's Sledgehammer are out later on this year, the current processors will be old news anyhow.
Why does Intel release this new CPU? Out of pure vanity and the combined marketing efforts that might result in a better reputation and thus more sales and finally more money. Remember 'The Devil's Advocate'? "Vanity is my favorite sin!"
Intel might have succeeded in being the first x86 processor maker that released a processor that's faster than 1 GHz. However, at what cost? The requirement of the micro code update alone proves that the Coppermine core can only reach this clock speed by using some funky tricks, which at the same time reduce its performance. AMD's soon to be released Athlon 1.1 GHz does not require any of those little tricks. It runs in the very same and completely unaltered platform as all other Athlon and Duron processors.
For me as a reviewer that was not equipped with this mystical new micro code the testing of the new Pentium III 1133 was an appalling experience. Intel once used to be the supplier of the most reliable, most stable and therefore most overclockable processors in the world. Today, Intel has finally made a complete joke out of itself. By desperately trying to leapfrog AMD with a hasted release of an unreliable, unstable and thank God unavailable new processor it has finally thrown all its old principles overboard. Let's hope that Pentium IV will not follow suit in the same manner, or I see the days of Intel as a player in the processor area as counted indeed.
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