NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, October 2003
Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHZ
Dennis Kemper-Executive Director
Las Vegas PC User Group

Last year at the annual Association of Personal User Groups Conference – APCUG for short, we had a "new" vendor as a sponsor…this company is very well known in the PC Industry, and many of you have their products on your computers. You might remember phrases like 8086, 386, 486, and Pentium…oops I gave it away….this company is called Intel.

Intel is located in Santa Clara, California where they have been doing business for close to 35 years, they are the leading company in the development of microprocessors and are at the center of the digital revolution. We can thank them for the product we use so much in our daily lives -- the personal computer. One can only speculate at what point this industry would be without Intel, it is impossible to think that it would be anything close to what it is today without them.

During the conference, Intel asked the million-dollar question, what could be done to help computer user groups from their end. The reply from "your officers" was to offer special pricing to user group members. Our focus has always been to interact with vendors in the PC Community, to form a mutually beneficial relationship with them that benefits computer user groups and with Intel, I believe, for the most part, we have been able to accomplish this.

Four months after the initial contact Intel started the ball rolling in our relationship, they offered a deal for the 2002 Fall Conference attendees … a Pentium 4 3.06GHZ Hyperthreading Processor and an Intel D850EMV2 Motherboard for a discounted price, along with creating a special page for user groups. I believe this is the start of more things to come. Of course I had been lagging in the "latest and greatest hardware department" as usual (my current computer was over a year old) so a new case, memory, soundcard and DVD Drive were in order. The greatest aspect of this opportunity was the visit to "Fry's Electronics! This store has to be one of the ten wonders of the world!

At this point, we are dealing with an empty case, boxed processor, bare motherboard, memory sticks, and the assorted cards to toss in the system along with a "quick install sheet" that is suited more for a drink coaster then an installation guide. However, in fairness they do say that this guide is intended for professional installers only…the full manual is available from Intel but it weighs in at 64 printed pages. The change in performance from the old machine is about double 1.4GHZ to 3.06GHZ.

The most intriguing feature of this combination is the Hyper-Threading Technology that enables multi-threaded software applications to execute threads in parallel. This level of threading technology has never been seen before in a general-purpose microprocessor. Internet, e-Business, and enterprise software applications continue to put higher demands on processors. To improve performance in the past, threading was enabled in the software by splitting instructions into multiple streams so that multiple processors could act upon them. Today with Hyper-Threading Technology, processor-level threading can be utilized which offers more efficient use of processor resources for greater parallelism and improved performance on today's multi-threaded software. This boils down to much faster loading and execution time for applications that are multi-thread enabled. I have noticed a huge difference in Norton Antivirus and Adobe applications.

At the time of this writing Intel has started to offer another round of products, the 865-875 Motherboards, 3.0, 3,8, 2,6 GHZ 800MHZ Front FSB Processors, all of which deliver higher performance than what is listed in this article. For more information on Intel products please visit their website at http://www.intel.com .

There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this review as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. This review is brought to you by the Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member.