Four not always better than Tre
Intel's marketing machine is already playing: Pentium 4 will be the microprocessor that will revolutionize the world of information technology. More speed, integrated instructions, less consumption and less heating, growth space five times greater than that of Pentium III. But perhaps not all that glitters is gold, at least according to some experts in the chip industry. Some of them, in fact, have begun to suspect that, at least as far as speed is concerned, Pentium 4 will not be faster than its predecessor, indeed. "Of course – Stephen Leibson of the influential and prestigious Microprocessor Report tells ZDNet – Pentium 4 will be fast, but not as fast as a Pentium III with the same MHz could be." According to Leibson Pentium 4 will be 20% slower than a Pentium III at the same speed. This does not mean that PC users will have a "downgrading" of performance as the new chips will be released at 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 GHz, but certainly they cannot expect much higher performance than the machines in use today. The advantages, explain the experts will arrive when software manufacturers have implemented applications optimized for new processors, applications that take advantage of integrated instruction sets. "Then – claims Mike Feibus of Mercury Research – the increase in speed could go from 20 to 200%", but those who use computers for relatively simple tasks, such as surfing the Internet or writing benefit from more modest increases in performance. doubts then come from the size of the Pentium 4, twice that of a Pentium III. This means that there is more room to add other transistors but also more difficulties for producers to find space for the processor in their machines. Finally, even the price does not seem adequate to make Pentium 4, at least initially, a consumer product. Computers with the new processor can hardly fall below 2000, even for the concomitant use of Ram Rambus. At Intel, in any case, they bet on the future and believe that Pentium 4 will sooner or later become the standard in terms of speed and performance. Company managers have tried to convince the public of the goodness of their choice by demonstrating a version of Pentium 4 that, without particular cooling systems, ran at 2 GHz, a speed that should be reached by the end of next year.