Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Intel Back With A Vengeance, Apple Back To High End Drawing Board

Intel Core 2 Quad brand logo
Intel Core 2 Quad brand logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ComputerWorld (and others) have reported some interesting news items out of Intel, the erstwhile computer chipmaker.
During the last several years, it was interesting to see how Intel faced competition and where it's greatest threats came from. Instead of Intel getting beaten by PowerPC chips, that were made originally by the giants IBM, Motorola and Apple, Intel had a far rougher time competing with the brash and bold people of AMD. Now, however, the tide seems to have turned.
I have to say that Intel has come back with quite a lot of steam, thunder and vengeance, or, add your own cliche' here.
I do find it amazing that Microsoft is still so far behind in helping applications and users take advantage of even the dual-core chips available today in most computers being sold today. Not that Apple has done much better. Application makers are also not off the hook in that regard.
As usual, people are buying computers that can do far more than they can do. What I mean by that circular sentence is that the capabilities of the chips in most cases are outstripping the capabilities of the software to benefit from them.
Sure, most software products, especially image processing, speech recognition, video compression, etc. push computer CPU chips to the limit in terms of their clock speed. But, to use a bad example, that is somewhat like driving a Ferrari mostly with just one of the rear wheels, while the engine RPM nears redline.
One hopes that better use of these multi-core chips is at hand soon, before people realize that the multi-cores are not worth upgrading for.
As a MacUser I am looking forward to the Q4 release of smaller quad-core Intel chips, with QuickPath. I suspect that may be when my beloved 2003 vintage PowerBook G4 17" (whose design is still used on MacBook Pro laptops) will finally get a new shape and design.
That may also be just in time for some new battery technologies, as well as laptop sized Blu-Ray drives to become available, assuming Steve Jobs allows them in Macs.
That surely would be a nice toy, I mean, tool, to get in the New Year 2009.
What do you think?
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