Intel breaks 3GHz barrier

Chip maker Intel Corp. today launched its latest desktop processor -- the first in its Pentium 4 family to break the 3GHz speed barrier.

The new chip, which has a clock speed of 3.06GHz, is also the first Pentium 4 to feature HT ("hyperthreading"). Already built into its Xeon range of server processors, the technology allows multiple software threads to run more efficiently on a single processor.

"The thinking behind HT is that a huge amount of processing power is wasted by giving one gigantic chip a single set of instructions to process," said Robin Morris, senior reviews writer at PC Advisor (PC World's sister publication).

"By making a virtual duplicate of the P4 chip and fooling the PC into thinking it actually has two processors onboard rather than one, HT can hand out tasks to 'both' processors at the same time," added Morris.

For users, the technology should translate into a performance benefit of up to 30 percent, according to recent presentations given by Intel executives. However, this also depends on whether support for hyperthreading is built into the operating system and software. Some versions of Linux and Microsoft's Windows XP support it, but earlier editions of Windows do not. Application software support is also limited.

But PC Advisor's first tests of the new chip were not that promising. When we tested the Hi-Grade Ultis PV4 3.0GHZ HT we found the video encoding results were fantastic and faster than any other PC we had seen. But its low WorldBench score of just 118 was only improved (to 124) when we turned off the HT.

"In some cases, HT technology will cause the 'two' processors to get in each other's way. Intel's claim of 20 percent speed increases looks wide of the mark," explained Morris.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?