AMD has finally launched the K6-III chip, while Intel is gearing up to the official launch of the Pentium III next week.
Both chips have caused a stir as applications will have to be rewritten to take advantage of the performance gains the processors offer. Intel's chip also includes a unique identification number, which some have claimed infringes the user's privacy.
But do users care which processor is inside their PCs? PC Week conducted a poll to discover what users really think of the two new chips.
Lee Elliot, senior projects officer (technical) for the London Borough of Barnet, said: "Either of these CPUs will be more than adequate for 95% of desktop requirements. Neither of them will be adequate for things like very high-resolution photographic quality animations in real-time.
I don't rate any of the current CPU designs as I think the whole idea of extremely large monolithic designs is flawed: they take too long to design and debug and don't scale well. The X86 CPUs are possibly the worst in this respect."
George MacDonald, senior consultant at the Bond Technologies IT consultancy, claimed: "As you can upgrade to the K6 without having to buy a new motherboard, it's a fraction of the cost of upgrading to Pentium III. That's why I'd get a K6."
Robert Bridge, senior technical support analyst at a major financial organisation, needs to be convinced: "We'd need to see definitive proof of serious performance increases from any new processor before we'd change our PC specifications. What advantages are we going to receive when 95% of our workforce uses Microsoft Office which runs fine on a PII?"
John Gilliver, senior research scientist/engineer for Marconi Electronic Systems, said: "I tend to prefer the alternative to Intel, more on the basis of encouraging the competition than anything else. It is very unclear at the moment how much (if any) software will actually use any of the facilities that are unique to either device."
Glen Richmond, national IT manager for Gofers UK, added: "It would be a very sad day indeed if (AMD and Cyrix) were to go. They offer a good quality product at a price much lower than Intel. Also, with no one snapping at Intel's heels, would it do its best to bring down TCO?"
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