Every 2 years or so, Intel switches to a smaller fabrication process.
This decreases heat substantially, and allows them to increase clockspeed.
The original Core Duo came out in 2005 at 65nm, and the Penryn will be out shortly in 45nm.
In the last two years, AMD has had no way to compete with Intel. Its aging Athlon 64 architecture was no longer good enough, and not energy efficient enough for laptops. The only advantage they’ve really had was that their entire lineup was x64. Unfortunately, because of micro$oft being 5 years late with Vista, there were no viable options for running a 64bit OS, which essentially made their advantage pointless.
Enter 2007, and AMD finally have something to compete with. The native quadcore Phenom A.K.A. Barcelona. Unfortunately for AMD, it’s still 65nm, and still not out. Their delay means that they won’t be competing with the Conroe, but with Penryn (that’s 45nm)
Here is a pricelist for Intel CPUs that will come out in January 2008.
The Q is Quadcore.
The E is Dualcore
Can you guess which one I’ll be buying (barring any surprises from AMD)
I pay money not for clock-speed, but for base capability (In this case, I’d want as many cores and as much cache as possible. (In another post I might mention why cache is so important, but basically it can improve energy efficiency quite a bit, as the more cache you have, the less times you need to recalculate things)
Remember, you can fake clockspeed very easily, but you can’t fake anything else.
I’ll be getting the Q9450, with a massive 12MB cache! (3MB each core)
I’ll probably use an intel X38 Mobo with DDR3 ram.