PC and notebook CPUs don't mix

PC and notebook CPUs don't mix

Intel has warned dealers against purchasing notebooks with desktop processors instead of specifically designed mobile CPUs.

The note of caution came as Toshiba and possibly other tier-one brands start to adopt the practice, which until now was thought to have been restricted to white-box manufacturers.

Intel said mobile processors are specifically designed to generate less heat in the confined atmosphere of laptops. It claims the extra processing power of a Pentium 4 desktop CPU is retarded in a notebook because it requires large cooling fans and drains the battery power faster. This creates more wear and tear on the other internal components.

Intel is also concerned that white-box manufacturers don't have the thermal experience to control the CPU's heat and will literally end up causing a meltdown of the system.

However, those in the industry say Intel is damning the practice because it wants to reap more revenue from its mobile processors, particularly P4s.

Desktop P4 CPUs are almost half the price of their mobile counterparts and are faster, the only down side being that they can't be integrated into the lightweight or ultra-thin models.

Michael Ritchie, sales manager for white-box notebook builder Pioneer Computers, which has integrated desktop processors into notebooks for years, said that a saving of $100-$300 on a notebook becomes significant very quickly when the orders are in the tens or hundreds.

Toshiba has also taken advantage of these savings, releasing a Satellite 1900 series in the US, Canada and Europe that uses a desktop P4 processor.

Laurie White, product marketing manager for Toshiba Australia, said Toshiba will not introduce the series in the local market.

The Satellite 1900 is successful in the low-end retail space in those geographies because people want a desktop replacement unit where megahertz count, he said.

Toshiba will wait for the release of P4 mobile processors on March 5 before releasing a P4 powered notebook in Australia.

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