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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Technology Market :Intel Vs AMD

Intel Challenges AMD By Slashing Prices In Half,
Intel Core 2 Quad and Xeon processor prices are reduced by 50 percent in an effort to clear out 65nm inventory and to offer a low-price alternative to rival AMD.
The Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 (2.66 GHz) has been reduced to $266, down from $530. Likewise, the Intel Xeon X3230 (2.66 GHz) was also reduced down to $266. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 was also cut from $266 to $183. Intel's Celeron 430 dropped down to $34.

Intel made a surprising spring price cut for some of its processors, such as the Q6700 Core 2 Quad or the Intel Xeon X3230. Some price cuts go as high as 50 percent, while other processors have had their price reduced by 30 percent.

The motivation for this initiative remains unknown, but Patrick Ward, spokesman for Intel, said most of the processors were built on the 65 nanometer technology, while Intel is now promoting its 45nm chips, Computer World reports.

“We’re transitioning from 65nm to 45nm,” said Ward. “We’re in the process of refreshing our line. If you see a 65nm [chip], it’s older technology and we’re moving from it.”

The price cuts include the Core 2 Quad Q6700, which dropped from $530 to $266, Intel Xeon X3230 also dropped from $530 to $266. Besides these significant drops, the Core 2 Duo E6850 now costs $183 from $266, while Xeon 3085 is now $188 from $266.

Under 20 percent price cuts include Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, down 16 percent from $266 to $224, Intel Core 2 Duo E4600, down 15 percent from $133 to $113, Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor E2200 down 12 percent from $84 to $74 and the list goes on.

Dan Olds, analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group Inc. told the same newspaper: “This really keeps up the pressure on AMD. Intel blankets the market from high end to low end, with multiple choices at almost every price point – each competitive with AMD on either performance or price or both.”

As AMD prepares its new 45nm line, so is Intel, by refreshing the current product line.

“They’re making sure they have a compelling price and/or performance value proposition in every segment where they compete with AMD,” Olds also said. “In short, it isn’t getting any easier to compete with Intel.”

Windows XP SP3

Microsoft released to manufacturers (RTM) the final code for Windows XP SP3. The upgrade provides support for WPA2 and the Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) used in Windows Vista, among other things. The public version will be available for download via the Web on April 29. Based on our initial installation, the upgrade will be effortless for most Windows XP users.

The last Service Pack for Windows XP, SP2, was released in August 2004. The initial release took some users all night to download and install. The company pushed back the initial public release from June 2004 originally. Despite numerous glitches still present in the code, Windows XP SP2 was formally made public on August 20, 2004, and Microsoft had to work hard to convince users to upgrade.

Microsoft confirmed today that the final version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 has been released to PC manufacturers right on schedule. The update will be available to end users to download next Tuesday, April 29, and pushed to Windows Update in June. A post on Microsoft's TechNet developer site confirmed the release.

Microsoft gave us an early look at the update as a 580MB disk image. What we saw is barely changed from our preview of an early beta of SP3, and seeing Windows XP SP3 for the first time is highly unremarkable.

Far from being a new operating system, Windows XP SP3 is really an accumulation of updates for compatibility, security, and performance. It doesn't contain new features found in Vista, aside from Network Access Protection (NAP), which lets XP systems work with Windows Server 2008's ability to enforce system health requirements before allowing access to network assets. In addition to that feature, the only actually new ones are "Black Hole" Router Detection, more description in the Security Options control panel, kernel-level support for FIPS 140-1 Level 1 compliant cryptography, and a new Product Activation system that allows installation without immediately requiring a product key.

On a 1.5GHz Athlon system with 1GB of RAM, the installation process took a little over an hour. The setup goes through listing third-party drivers, performs a system inventory, checks space for installation, backs up files, installs new OS files, and performs a cleanup. After that, a reboot is required. For a look at the process, see our XP SP3 slideshow .

Windows XP SP3 will be available via Windows Update as a 70MB download and at Microsoft Download Center as a full installation weighing in at 580MB. It will also be made available to volume license customers, TechNet subscribers, and MSDN subscribers. As a cumulative update, it can be installed on top of SP1 or SP2, and works with any edition of XP. The update, however, is not applicable to the 64-bit version of Windows XP. In an overview document, Microsoft specifically mentions that it works with Media Center Edtion, but our preview of the beta noted that Media Center updates were stopped after installing SP3. We haven't yet tested whether this has been corrected, so stay tuned for our results.

Finally, Microsoft noted that the processes system administrators can use to deploy XP to multiple machines have not changed; further information for them is available at Deploy Windows XP Professional.

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