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Chip firms FUD end users over .18µm v .25µm technology

Just how the hell are you gonna tell?

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A reader of The Register has highlighted the level of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) chip companies are generating by using the micron (µm) word in their spin doctoring. A few days ago, the reader said he was about to buy a notebook PC and had heard that Intel had introduced a .18µm processor for the mobile market. But when he approached his favoured vendor, the PC firm was unable to tell him which machines used mobile .25µm and which .18.µm microprocessors. He said: "Here's my problem. I want to get a laptop with the .18µm mobile PII processor, but I have no clue how to tell which manufacturers are using the .18 version and which are using the .25 version. We have some .25µ 366MHz PII's and they run *dang* hot, so I know I don't want the 400MHz version of the same. The .18µm version should be real nice, if I can be sure I'm getting one. "So, do any of you know who's using what? My account rep at Dell told me they are using the .25µm chip and won't switch to the .18µm chip until the Cumine PIII comes out, which is (now) going to be in November. I don't want to have to wait that long." An Intel representative commented: "Thereis no way for an end user to differentiate, dual availability is more targeted at transition management of corporate users/manufacturers - performance is comparable, but .18µm is obviously the start point for the faster mobile processors to come." In other words, you can't tell. Now that the megahertz thing seems to be fixed in people's minds, the chip manufacturers -- and both AMD and Intel are guilty here -- seem to want the world to think about microns and sub-microns and the difference thereof. In reality, as every PC user knows, the performance of a machine is based on a combination of factors including hard drive speed, memory type and speed, graphics card as well as the microprocessor. For some reason, everyone has got fixated on the chips. Some of us here at The Reg are even obsessive-compulsive about the subject... ®

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