PIII is a Ferrari, says Intel

25 May 1999

It was five years ago today... For we Reg hacks who now file our copy from a sun-kissed patio while sipping a piña colada - thanks to Intel's Centrino and the wireless LAN - the thought of dial-up Internet access is now little more than a slighty disturbing, distant memory.

Back when you could go on holiday for two weeks while waiting for a picture to download, the chip behemoth was lamenting the state of the roads and wondering why it had bothered at all to produce the racing thoroughbred that was the Pentium III:

PIII is a Ferrari, says Intel

By Tim Richardson at Internet World 99, in London
Published Tuesday 25th May 1999 15:40 GMT

Using a PC torqued up with a Pentium III chip to access the Internet is like driving a Ferrari down a dirt track, according to Intel bigwig Dave Hazel. If only network companies could turn their dirt tracks into super fast freeways then the Intel Ferrari would really be able to open up and turn a few heads.

Hazell was commenting on a new national survey by MORI which revealed that half of all Net users in the UK were frustrated by the world wide wait. One in three wished they had a more powerful PC to make the most of the Net - especially when viewing video and images. What a coincidence. That's exactly what Intel would like to see happen, we gather.

"The survey shows that Intel is on the right track [geddit] in identifying download speed as one of the main concerns for Internet users," said Hazell. "If you imagine that Intel's newest processor the Pentium III is a Ferrari, the bandwidth available to Internet users is the equivalent of driving that Ferrari down a dirt track," said the IT industry's answer to Jeremy Clarkson.

Thing is, if you know you're going to be driving down a dirt track, why take a Ferrari out? Surely, you need a 4x4 off-roader, a Land Rover or even a tractor - especially if it all gets a bit boggy. And let's face it, when it comes to the Wibbly Wobbly Web, things always get a bit boggy eventually. Who in their right mind would want a Ferrari in those conditions?

Still, no doubt those stallions at Ferrari have already dismissed a reciprocal analogy to market their motors. You can just hear them: "If you imagine that a Ferrari is a PIII chip..." Hmm, maybe not. Bet their lawyers are more interested though.

You've always got to be a bit careful with these motoring analogies, as Tim Richardson demonstrates. These days, of course, using state-of-the-art processors and ADSL is a bit like driving a rocket-powered car down a deserted sixteen-lane highway while listening to ZZ Top on the CD multichanger. Unless you're still in the dial-up Stone Age, in which case it's the equivalent of trying to fly an F-16 along a public footpath packed with ramblers. Or something like that. ®

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