Intel threads its way into replacement cycles

Chip frequency may be old hat, but Intel’s latest desktop processor promises something more than a 3GHz clock speed -- technology that could prove the deciding factor in a customer’s decision to upgrade.

Hyper-threading (HT) technology can boost a PC’s performance by up to 25 per cent, according to Intel. The feature, which is built into the latest 3.06GHz Pentium 4 chip, allows it to process multiple threads of code simultaneously. The processor acts like a dual chip system, allowing users to more effectively multitask CPU-intensive applications such as playing a PC game while burning a CD.

“We will see people doing more with a PC than they have ever done before,” said Intel Australia managing director David Bolt. “We are not just talking about performance gains. It allows you to do things that you wouldn’t be able to do without Hyper-threading.”

Although the technology is nothing new to Intel servers, this is the first time it has been integrated into desktop systems. The technology is supported by Windows XP and on Linux 7.4 flavours, such as Red Hat 7.2.

Gartner analyst Ian Bertram said that while there aren’t many applications out there that currently take advantage of HT, the performance gains on XP alone should benefit users. Gartner is predicting a surge in PC sales in around six months, when this new technology synchronises with replacement cycles.

“Three gigahertz -- who cares? There’s not much in 3GHz but HT is interesting,” he said. “Intel has brought it out at a very good time. Replacement cycles have been extended with Y2K and GST to four years. So if an organisation upgraded in 1999, in six months time people will again be looking to upgrade. By that stage we will begin to see corporations taking on HT.”

Local assemblers are already offering HT systems. ASI Solutions’ initial system, the Ossa W220 workstation, is a machine with an impressive array of specs that bundles an LCD display with keyboard, mouse and top-end components such as 1GB of RDRAM. The system retails for $5,975. It’s a hefty price for a finished machine, but ASI is also offering its customers the option of an HT-ready machine. Users can then upgrade to the HT processors when prices come down, which also helps preserve standard operating environments (SOEs).

“Organisations want to get at least 12 months out of an SOE,” said Craig Quinn, ASI Solutions product manager for imaging products. As part of Intel’s stable platform program, ASI is using the new Intel 845GE chipset, designed for the new HT chips. “Jumping on board with those chipsets will allow us to run through several revisions of motherboards without changing the client’s image,” he said.

Optima will initially target the retail sector, but will also make systems available to its corporate clients.

“We are taking it across the board,” said Optima product manager Joshua Carr. Systems will start at a retail price of $2,999 for a base system, and will work up to around $4,000, he said.

“I think the $2,999 price point will be very hot, especially in retail,” Carr said. “I think people are still looking for more powerful machines, and there are lots more applications to come.”

The new 3GHz processor is priced at US$637 in 1,000-unit quantities.

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

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?