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Why Haven’t You’ve Been Reviewing Big Items Lately?

This computer hardware website business has been terrible lately.

Joe is now homeless and the summer sun has been so hot, he gets burn marks when he tries to live on a grate, though he says it’s still cooler than a TBird.

I personally haven’t eaten since April, and have been selling my body for electricity. So far, I have $7.05. Who gave me five cents? Everybody.

And we count ourselves fortunate and blessed compared to Skip. . . .

So please, send whatever you can in unmarked bills to . . . .”

We’re Only Kidding!!!!!

The real reason we haven’t done much reviewing of computer hardware (outside of cooling) lately is that there’s been very little noteworthy lately.

“Noteworthy” is the key word. If a chipset like the KT266 does 2% better, we don’t find that earthshaking.

The SiS 735 may be a good fallback if the nForce flops or vapors, but no SiS boards have come out with overclocking options yet.

AMD has been quiet, and why review a $600 CPU from Intel we don’t think you should buy, and know you’re not going to buy even if we thought you should?

In all honesty, in the main arena, there hasn’t been diddly-squat for the past few months.

Even the sales haven’t been much good.

As The Weather Cools Down, This Arena Will Heat Up

Very shortly, we’ll be putting together a tentative list of the significant items we’re going to want to take a look at over the next six months so we can budget to pay for (most) of it.

We think 2002 will be the first year in history where there will be true competition from beginning to end between AMD and Intel on the high-end.

We think the main story over the next six months will be setting the stage for that competition (provided Intel doesn’t succeed in half-strangling AMD with the Oz Strategy (which we rather doubt).

On the AMD side, we will first see Palomino, then nForce at about the same time. Ironically, we now find nForce more potentially significant than Palomino. On paper, that looks like the best combo AMD is going to have to hold off Intel until it goes to .13 micron, too.

Morgan? Until AMD’s pricing structure clears up, we’re not too sure where that fits in. If you can buy Palominos for the same price you can buy TBirds today, we don’t see why you’d want to buy a Morgan.

Somewhat later, we’ll see DDR333, and mobos meant to use them.

The biggest story on the AMD side, though, is something that almost certainly won’t happen in the next six months: when AMD can come out with at least .13 micron Thoroughbreds. If the answer in six months time is “in a month,” AMD will probably be OK. If the answer is “six months,” then Intel is going to do some whomping.

If you’re pretty loaded for bear by today’s standard, thinking your next machine as being a Thoroughbred with an nForce2 board with DDR333 and built-in GF3 in 9-12 months probably isn’t a bad idea.

For Intel, what we’ll get first is PR heat. A bit later, we’ll get Northwood.

Within the next six months, we’re pretty sure Northwood will become a competitive overclockers platform. What we’re not at all sure of is when
and with what. When will it get reasonably affordable? Will it be with RDRAM or DDR? Our best guess is February-March with DDR, but we can think
of a few things that could upset that apple cart.

Normally speaking, we would be inclined to wait until then to get one. We may get one earlier because of Benchmark Wars.

It’s likely we’ll put more emphasis on looking at the benchmarks themselves over the next six months, especially after the 2002 versions come out.

We suspect overclocking Northwood will present some new challenges, too,

Tualatin Celerons? That one’s up in the air. If somebody like Powerleap can figure out a way to make them work on older boards, sure, but if not, we’re not too sure why a performance-oriented person would want one.

Video cards? Y’all don’t want to pay a lot for that card, which makes the GF3MX a must-buy. Radeon 8500? Depends on the price. GF3 Ultra? Probably not.

To summarize, we’ll start getting in some new toys as fall progresses. They will be Intel as well as AMD toys. I think we’re going to find ourselves in the middle, and probably take occasional potshots at both sides when they deserve it. 🙂

If you think there’s a killer product we’ve overlooked that will be out the next six months, drop me a note.

Email Ed

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