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P4 no boost for business

Daniel Thomas


Daniel Thomas

The launch of Intel's new Pentium 4 processor will do little to boost the performance of business software, according to analysts.

Intel finally launched the Pentium 4 this week, with a boosted clock speed and improved graphics performance.

However, analysts believe the majority of businesses will not need the chip for at least another year as it would not greatly improve the performance of standard business software such as spread sheets, word processing or e-mail.

The 1.4/1.5 GHz chip is officially the fastest in the PC market, taking over from AMD's 1.2GHz Athlon chip.

Leading makers, including IBM, Dell, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard are expected to start releasing products next week using two versions of the Pentium 4 chip, one that runs at 1.4GHz and another at 1.5GHz.

Initially, the Pentium 4, which is based on NetBurst architecture, will enter the market at the very top end. Intel said it is designed for where the Internet is going, where computers are used for swapping digital music, editing videos from digital camcorders and playing graphic rich games.

Martin Reynolds, a research fellow at Gartner, said, "Pentium III is just fine for most businesses, the only ones which will need Pentium 4 immediately are those which use multimedia applications such as Flash.

"PIII will be virtually dead by the end of 2002, however, and by this time P4 will be the dominant form," he added.

IDC analyst Andy Brown agreed that business would gain little from investing in Pentium 4 systems in the near future. "Pentium 4 will start to filter through when Pentium III is phased out and companies are forced to use the newer chip," he said.


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