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Intel has made available a white paper on its private dealer Web pages which suggests that IT buyers will need microprocessors of 1GHz and up to 2GHz in order to run Windows 2000. The report, from Competitive Systems Analysis, will bring tidings of good will to Intel Central at Santa Clara, which just loves it when Microsoft produces software that needs a mighty number cruncher to make it tick. According to the report, IT buyers are considering 1GHz PCs and above as they look to modernise their desktops. "A key catalyst has been the emergence of Windows 2000 Professional," the report says. "This next generation PC operating system has a voracious appetite for CPU cycle." The CSA report claims that the move from Windows NT 4 to W2K needs a 300MHz+ hardware upgrade for "comparable foreground application performance". So a firm which has standardised on Pentium III 500MHz PCs using Windows NT WS 4.0, needs to upgrade to 800MHz Pentium IIIs. Ah sweet music to Intel's ears... After the CSA ran a series of three loading scenarios, it says it became clear that a 2GHz client platform "is an imminent reality" for many IT organisations. It adds: "While a 2GHz client platform may be a bit of a stretch at this juncture, a 1.2GHz or a 1.4GHz platform starts to make a lot of sense. Clearly this is the most desirable target frequency range for purchases made in the next 12-18 months." It's clear that here the CSA is talking about Willamette microprocessor technology. According to the report, the performance of today's 800MHz Pentium IIIs "needs to effectively double before these systems can begin to cancel out the overhead associated with a fully deployed Windows 2000 knowledge worker environment. Given our worst case loading scenario, a state of the art Pentium III (866MHz) system will deliver end user application performance on par with a low end Pentium II -- a platform that is three years old." Well, is any of this true, because it is certainly going to be very expensive. According to a story we wrote earlier this year, large corporations don't want 1GHz Pentium IIIs, never mind 2GHz microprocessors. Then, Joe D'Elia, Dataquest senior analyst for microprocessors, said that consumers do not need high clock speeds, and there is something of a backlash against higher and higher chip revs. (Link below). As famous UK hooker Mandy Rice-Davies might have said during the Profume scandal during the 60s: "Well Intel would say you need a 2GHz chip, wouldn't it?"

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