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InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter No. 8 -  Fastest Desktop Processors                                   June 30, 2003
 
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Welcome to our eighth InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter - Fastest Desktop Processors. In this newsletter we take a look at the new desktop processors from Apple, Intel, and AMD.

What's New at InfoHQ

We've updated our 11 page Desktop CPU Guide. Check it out if you want more info on the processors discussed in this article.

Apple's New 64 Bit PowerPC G5 Processor

Just announced last week, Apple and IBM's new PowerPC G5 processor is a total remake of the PowerPC G4 processor. One of the biggest differences is that the G5 is a true 64 Bit processor that uses a 1 GHz front side bus. It is also backward compatible with Apple 32 bit software.

Currently, Apple is offering the G5 processor in single CPU Power Macs at speeds of 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz. In addition, Apple is selling a 2GHz dual G5 processor PowerPC.

Apple has test data that shows the 2 GHz G5 is faster than a 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or a 3.06 GHz Intel Xeon. Needless to say, Apple is now claiming the desktop speed king crown for the fastest PC.

Intel's New 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 Processor

Also announced this week was Intel's new 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology. While this was a relatively small speed improvement over the 3 GHz Pentium 4, this processor is also capable of using an 800 MHz front side bus.

In addition to the 800 MHz front side bus, Intel's Pentium 4 processor line can get speed improvements from Hyper-Threading Technology.

AMD's New Athlon XP 3200+

Around mid-May, AMD announced its new Athlon XP 3200+. The big improvement over previous Athlon XP's is that this is the first processor announced for AMD's new 400 MHz front side bus. AMD's previous highest front side bus was 333 MHz.

And the fastest processor is ...

The 64 bit Apple/IBM PowerPC has the raw processing power to out-muscle the 32 bit processor offerings from Intel and AMD. However, the 1.6 GHz Power Mac has a starting price of $2,000 and it only has an 800 MHz front side bus. Certainly, an Intel 3.2 GHz or AMD 3200+ system that cost $2,000 would give the 1.6 GHz Power Mac some serious competition.

In the real world most of us have pretty much decided whether we want to use Windows or Apple software. However as a Windows user, I still have to respect the Apple/IBM G5 processor as the first true 64 bit processor to enter the consumer desktop marketplace.

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