Four letters added to Pentium III make for 10 times price hike
Does Intel have a validation point here?
Sometimes, here at The Register, we wonder whether it's just us reeling at the price of microprocessors. If you buy a stack of Pentium III/Xeons, for example, they'll typically cost you 10 times the price of a stack of bog standard Pentium IIIs. The answer, it appears, is validation. Intel representatives are at pain to assure us that these particular members of the PIII family, because they are designed for servers, are well worth the price. So what do you get for your $3,000 or whatever? Obviously, there's cache on die, in the shape of SRAM (synchronous random access memory). SRAM is much more expensive than DRAM (dynamic random access memory). But not that expensive. Indeed, we're sure it's possible to run an entire network with god knows how many clients using a Linux OS without the whole thing falling over, all of the time. In 1986, for example, one of Michael Dell's new 286s running at a stonking 12MHz managed to keep a whole company going without falling over, and run the fax queues and print servers and the ilk. Can an Intel chip with an additional four letters tagged on really be worth that extra dosh you have to pay, even given the expense of extra SRAM? Sounds like the Emperor's Clothes to us... ®