Intel’s technology leads the way when it comes to PC hardware today. Unfortunately, the company is also good at confusing consumers with its myriad brand names and labels. There’s the i7, Viiv, a range of “extreme” processors, as well as the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad. What does it all mean? Read on for some answers.
Q: What’s new about the Intel i7 chip, and is it worth paying extra for a computer that has one?
A: The Core i7, as Intel calls it, is the name of Intel’s new flagship processor. It succeeds the Core 2 line of processors, which will be phased out.
Core i7 processors are all quad-core chips, meaning that each unit has four processing cores. Among the many new features of the chips are support for high-seed DDR3 memory; a new QuickPath Interconnect interface, which replaces the front side bus interface of previous generations; and “turbo boost” technology, which is a type of built-in overclocking functionality that allows the chips to run faster than their rated speed during times of heavy processing.
The i7 chips also boast some impressive power-saving features, as well. Each of the four cores can go into a zero-power mode when it’s not being used, thus lowering power requirements of the chip and the system as a whole.
Right now the i7 is a desktop-only chip, but you can expect Intel to leverage the power-saving features of the i7 in an upcoming notebook processor.
In terms of price, the i7 does command about a 30 percent premium over previous-generation chips, but entire system prices of machines built around an i7 are roughly in line with mid- to high-end systems that used previous-generation chips.
Are i7 systems worth a price premium? In a word, yes. All other things being equal, i7 systems perform at least 30 percent faster than computers equipped with similarly clocked Core 2 Quad chips. And with an i7 system, you’ll have some measure of defense against rapid obsolescence. The new chips use a different socket than the older Core 2 Quad processors do, so processor upgrades down the road with an i7 computer are not out of the question.
Q: What’s the difference between Intel’s Extreme chips and its standard Quad Core chips?
A: The “extreme” moniker applies to chips in each of Intel’s desktop processors lines — Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core i7 — that are geared toward hardware enthusiasts. Accordingly, the “extreme” chips maximize what a processor in each line can do. They offer more on-board memory, or cache, than other processors in the same line, and they communicate with the rest of the computer’s components at top speed. Perhaps most importantly to those who use them, however, extreme processors offer an “unlocked” multiplier, which allows enthusiasts to overclock the chips — or push them beyond their rated speeds — by adjusting timings in the computer’s BIOS, or setup program.
Extreme chips also command an extreme price premium over other chips in the same product family. For example, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770, which runs each of its four cores at 3.2 GHz and boasts 12 MB of cache, retails for close to US$1,500 — just for the chip. Given the rapid pace of change, and obsolescence, in the technology industry, the price premium of extreme processors makes them a questionable value for most people.
Q: What exactly is Intel Viiv? I have a digital video recorder that needs a PC with Intel Viiv to utilize a feature.
A: Viiv is the brand name that Intel chose to describe a combination of technologies that, together, are designed to allow consumers to work more efficiently with multimedia, including high-definition video. Thus, Viiv is geared toward media center PCs or units that can serve in some capacity as digital video recorders. A specific set of technologies — include dual or quad core chips, high definition audio, and certain Intel chipsets — combine to make a PC worthy of the Viiv logo.
Viiv is a marketing initiative that’s on the way out, however. Part of the reason is that many PCs sold today fully meet the specifications that used to be required for Viiv certification. If you have a device that supposedly requires a Viiv-ready PC and your computer is fairly new, try it with your computer anyway. It will probably work.
Q: I’m interested in purchasing a new laptop. Is there a difference between dual core processors and Core 2 Duo processors?
A: There can be. Intel’s initial dual core processors were called Core Duo. That brand name gave way to a new generation of chips dubbed Core 2, which come in two varieties: Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad. The Core 2 Duo is a dual-core processor, and the Core 2 Quad is a quad-core unit. The “Core 2,” then, has no relation to the number of cores on the chips; rather, you can look at it as the brand that denotes the second generation of multi-core processors from Intel.
The advent of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spawned a new genre of fantasy and science fiction in which males (invariably white) argue that it is an “opportunity” or that the government should open up and let the virus run its course. After all, Omicron is “mild,” as numerous studies are now showing, and even more so among the previously infected and/or vaccinated population. It’s time, they argue, to accept that COVID-19 will be with us forever and re-open the country. The government must face reality, must “move from denial to acceptance” as one recent poster on LinkedIn put
Are you in control of your smartphone or is it in control of you? Sometimes it is difficult to tell. One minute you might be using FaceTime to chat with loved ones or talking about your favorite TV show on Twitter. Next, you’re stuck in a TikTok “scroll hole” or tapping your 29th e-mail notification of the day and no longer able to focus on anything else. We often feel like we can’t pull ourselves away from our devices. As various psychologists and Silicon Valley whistleblowers have stated, that is by design. Many people are making efforts to resist and step away
One evening towards the end of 2003, Chloe Sells was entering the J-Bar in Aspen, Colorado, in search of a late night drink, when an older woman approached her. As Sells recalls in her new photobook, Hot Damn!: “She looked me up and down and said, ‘We’re looking for some help for Hunter. Are you a night owl? Would you be interested?’” Hunter, as every local knew, was Hunter S Thompson, the celebrated creator of “gonzo” journalism, and the town’s most infamous resident. The woman was his wife, Anita. “It took me only a moment,” Sells says, “to answer ‘Yes’ to
Who on earth wants fish tank wastewater, chicken poo, tumble-dryer lint, loo roll tubes, “a plaster mould of a Komodo dragon’s foot” or half a broken toilet? No one, you might think, but the Buy Nothing community begs to differ: these are all real “gifts” snapped up by more than 5 million members worldwide, who give away their unwanted items in the local community. It’s living proof that “one person’s trash is another’s treasure,” as Alisa Miller, the administrator of the group puts it. Miller offered her daughter’s broken toy birdcage with little hope anyone would want it; it was snapped