What to do with the Pentium 4?

Those of us that saw the Pentium 4 1.4Ghz behemoth at ECTS earlier this week will testify that it was incredibly impressive in action, and that it seems to be the way forward for the x86 platform. But it appears that the very people who will sell it are not so sure, and there is a dilemna over how Intel are actually going to sell and market the chip. The Register has posted a summary of the situation, and the problems which Intel may face. Basically, the price tag is going to be exponential regardless of what they want you to think, Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers are seemingly unwilling to play ball, and the benchmarks will have to place it some miles further off the scale than its predecessors before people treat it as a viable option. After all, this writer is pretty pleased with his new 850Mhz Thunderbird Athlon - the performance differential between this setup and a P4-based unit will undoubtedly not be enough to sway me when it hits, and the price tag will hert, if you'll forgive the pun. It's an interesting dilema for the company, especially since the P4 should take Intel way out ahead of AMD, but now things are looking up for the latter, whose Thunderbird 1.1Ghz CPU launched last week at a price that makes Intel's 1Ghz PIII look silly. The real trick is trying to second-guess Intel's marketing campaign for this one. Even its most trusted OEM Dell must be running out of ideas. Is it a web machine? Nope, we've been there. Is it a games machine? No, apparently Intel are staying well away from games after the Columbine massacre last year. So what's left? Multimedia? Heaven forbid...

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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