Channel cool to Barcelona and Penryn

Channel cool to Barcelona and Penryn

Offerings from Intel and AMD fail to inspire

The release of new multi-core microprocessors in the second half of the year from AMD and Intel are unlikely to ignite a sluggish whitebox PC market, according to industry pundits.

While Intel readies the first chips off its 45 nanometre process, code-named Penryn, and AMD prepares to take the wraps off its quad-core Opteron chip, code-named Barcelona, Pioneer Computer managing director, Jeff Li, questioned who would be interested.

"I don't think people will be very excited," he said. "Processors are already powerful enough for normal use."

Plus Corporation managing director, Nigel Fernandes, said the new chips were unlikely to mean much to either commercial organisations or the average home user. Both Fernandes and Li said interest would be driven by gaming PCs and server configurations.

"We've had some enquiries for 16-core and 32-core servers," Li said. "It hasn't been huge because not many people can pay for one. Just because Ferrari brings out a new car, doesn't mean everyone can buy one."

Fernandes said the march towards Penryn would be prefaced with an Intel piece drop on July 22. He claimed the vendor's higher-end, $700 processors would drop to around $350.

"Quad-core and dual-core are set to become very mainstream products and the consumer will win again. I'm still waiting for the reseller to win," he said.

Neither could confirm the actual launch dates of the new processors. Fernandes predicted Barcelona-powered machines wouldn't hit the shelves until Christmas. Intel has said the new chip will ship in the second half of 2007 and industry pundits widely take this to mean close to the festive season.

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