Intel had a fall analyst meeting on December 7 (access the webcast from this webpage).
They talked about a lot of things, but the one item most likely to impact those reading this is Intel’s plans for x86-64 on the desktop.
Basically, they said everything on the desktop was going to go x86-64 in the first half of 2005, including Celeron.
While Intel has mentioned putting x86-64 into Celerons in the past, the statements made in the presentation make it a definite.
Now if you’re wondering why the hell you should care about a processor you’ll never buy getting x86-64, you ought to read what we said about this six months ago.
Bottom line: Future Semprons will almost most certainly have x86-64 enabled once Celerons get it.
And if you’re not going to spend a lot on the replacement for your Athlon XP platform, that ought to interest many of you very much, eventually.
In 2005, we predict that the majority of those who visit sites like this one will shift over to a Hammer-based platform, mostly after the expected 10%-15% boost in max MHz we expect with the second-generation 90nm process.
Provided that happens, some will go the Athlon 64/socket 939 route. Others will go the socket 754 route (as of now, that means Semprons because there isn’t going to be a 90nm A64/754 route, but I wouldn’t bet my life or any valued fingernails on AMD sticking to that).
We’re pretty sure there will be two camps. What we’re not sure of at all yet are the proportions of people in either camp; that will depend on relative performance and relative price at the time.
However, if we see sub-$75 Semprons only losing out to socket 939 systems by only 10% or so (or even closer if a cheap socket 754 90nm A64 shows up), we think a lot of people will start thinking more positively about the chip.
After all, after enabling x86-64, there will be no more difference between a Winchester A64 and a Sempron than there is between a Barton and a Thoroughbred B.