A LONG Winter

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Today is Punxsutawney Phil’s day.

It’s a little too early too tell whether or not he’ll see his shadow, but after looking at recent roadmaps from all guilty parties, it looks like we overclockers aren’t in for a long winter, but more like an ice age.

Right now, things seem to be getting hot with TBredBs definitely the real deal, and Bartons maybe becoming one in a couple weeks and finally cheaper HT threads running a 200/800MHz bus.

After that Feburary hot spell, though, things get decisively icy for a long time.

Neither Intel nor AMD plan on doing really anything until the fall, and even then, anything they do will likely be a waste of money for the typical overclocker.

Even presuming Intel can get the 90 nanometer Prescott out in time, we’re probably not looking at a somewhat reasonably priced one until around Memorial Day. Memorial Day 2004.

Even presuming AMD can get a 90 nanometer desktop Hammer out in time, we’re probably talking roughly the same timeframe.

And in all honesty, I wouldn’t exactly bet my soul any of them will come in on time.

Price Doesn’t Matter In 2003

In the meantime, a slow advance up top mean a slow decrease in the price, though price per se hardly matters at this point to overclockers. The prices on the low-end aren’t going to get any lower.

The issue in 2003 will how good the process will be for the low-priced processors. You don’t need a 2400+ to dip to $50; you just need a 1700+ that performs like a 2400+, and it already costs $50.

It’s the same thing with the Intel chips. You don’t need a 3.06 to drop in price, you need a 1.8 or 2GHz that performs just like it.

Barton is the exception to this rule, when the cheapest one is $175, people probably won’t pile on until the price is half that (and that might not be for quite a while).

So reading codes will become even more important than it’s been in the past. The movement to cheaper fast solutions will occur there, not in the price.

On The Back End of A Generation

We’re in the home stretch of the 130 micron generation. They’ll get a little faster over the course of the year, but not much.

So buy shortly after the February thaw if you’re impatient. Buy when the performance hits your price point if you aren’t.

Then settle down for a long rest.

Email Ed

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