With the delay in 65nm processors from AMD; it looks like whatever we have today is pretty much all we can expect from them until 2007.
True, they’re likely to tweak the process a bit, and moving to DDR2 ought to give a little boost to the numbers, but the numbers we’ll see in December 2006 won’t be significantly greater than those we had in July 2005.
It’s sad, but there’s only two other places that might give us some action in 2006.
Of course, there’s Intel. However, while it will probably be safer and easier to overclock Prescott Reloaded; it probably won’t do better enough to outclass current A64s.
Why do I say that? Historically, one has always been able to get an idea about the overclockability of a design by listening carefully to what Intel says it’s going to do.
This time around, the initial 65nm chips will simply replace Prescotts. Will Intel get to 4Ghz? Probably. Will they get much beyond that? Probably not.
Let me put it this way, if Intel had a new core that could do 4.5-5GHz without a sweat, they’d be selling them.
Dual-cores will likely show more improvement, but only because the engineers will have had a little more time to do it right.
The second half of the year will bring the love child of Pentium M and Prescott, and God only knows what it will do cranked up.
It’s difficult to judge these chips, especially the latter, simply because we don’t know if or how much all these power-saving technologies and techniques are going to affect overclocking.
You have to consider it at least possible in a time when Intel seems obsessed with power management that they’re just not going to let people overrride all that to crank it up. If items like on-package voltage regulators become standard, it could become quite easy to stop any significant amount of overvolting, and your friendly Taiwanese mobo maker may not be able to fix that. Power throttling may join thermal throttling.
Not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s more likely to happen over the next few years.
So, no, Intel isn’t too likely to absorb most overclockers’ energies next year.
The Dark Horse: XBox2
So far, Sony seems to want to shoot itself, not just in the foot, but any other place it can with its incredibly steep entry prices for PS3 development.
This leaves XBox2.
I think we’re going to see more a few bored overclockers set aside their PCs and see what they can do with that.
Not all, not most, but in all honesty, if you’ve already done A64, and Intel ends up with nothing new, what else is an overclocker looking for action going to do?
I think this will be particularly appealing to the lower-end of the overclocker spectrum; you know, the people whom the new-style elitist gaming marketing zombies look down upon. Zombies, you know, the people who have fully loaded SLI plus extra video cards sticking out of their rectums because they’ve been told it will get them 3 extra FPS in Doom3. 🙂
I think a decent chunk of the initial pioneers will start moving on to new virgin territory.