Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Long live the model number!

Today's topic is the death of the long-standing brand name "Pentium." Intel is dumping the moniker after over 10 years and countless changes. It's interesting why they chose the beginning of 2006 for this move, but considering the pounding the Pentium has been taking at the hands of the Athlon brand, maybe it's not so strange. Intel is busy hyping their new "totally inexplicable" ViiV concept. Even major CTOs don't know what it is. Hopefully it will do something to overcome the hard times of the past few years, or maybe I should say hot, slow times.

At any rate the "P" is dead and now Intel will be using the model number scheme to confuse everyone even more.
Maybe the name wasn't so bad, even with the "divide by zero" errata that would have sunk AMD and the stall at 1GHz for the P3 or the totally useless Willamette P4 which had more stages than Broadway. As AMD leaned on efficiency the Pentium got MHz faster and Celsius hotter, with the fastest models taking up the average 350W PS by itself.
But it still sold like the proverbial hotcakes you could cook with them just through brand recognition and consumer ignorance.

Now with the new Yonah and soon to be released Conroe checking in at 65nm, the oven has been turned down enough to attract Steve and Co. whose new MacIntelTosh has sucked up the intial run of these new Intels. Apple stated last year that Intel was closer to their long terms goals, which I guess is synonymous with Motorola was melting the IMac and AMD just goes too fast. Plus they may not be able to provide us with the 2-4 million boxes we sell every year.

We will see how well they do in a few months as I'm sure that every PC reviewer on the web is itching to get their hands on them. Preliminary tests show that the Yonah is up to 65% faster than an equally clocked Dothan (Pentium M), but there is no direct comparison between the G5 and Yonah. Hopefully, this will be Intel's year to actually look like the major CPU producer with their performance and not just their marketing.

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