Power-hungry users await Intel's Pentium 4


Power-hungry users await Intel's Pentium 4

Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis

Intel's new Pentium 4 processor will give a performance boost for office PCs, but only for power-hungry users, according to a US analyst.

Although he said the new processors would be "genuinely faster", Steve Kleynhans, vice-president with Meta Group, added that for the average worker who uses e-mail and Microsoft Office products, the new chip would be unnecessary.

Intel has announced that the Pentium 4 processors would be launched later this year. An Intel spokesman said clock speeds on the Pentium 4 chips would be at least 1.4GHz.

Kleynhans said the chips would provide the increased performance needed by processor-intensive applications such as video, speech recognition and natural language processing.

"In about 18 months, natural language processing applications will be able to sort through information, such as e-mail and pick out the key points saving the user time," he said. "Businesses will see a productivity payback in terms of knowledge."

In February, Intel demonstrated an early version of the Pentium 4, previously code-named Willamette. It featured 144 new instructions for video encoding and decoding and also for the processing of encryption algorithms for data security applications. It had a 400MHz system bus, three times faster than the bus used in current Pentium III microprocessors.

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