CAIRO: If you are still trying to figure out what the Pentium 4 sticker on your notebook means, forget about it; that kind of processor technology is history. The new Core 2 Duo processor is the new replacement with 40 percent better performance and 40 percent more energy efficiency. But does the local market really need it or can it even handle it? According to officials of the company that masterminded the processor, the answer is yes.
In a country still struggling with high illiteracy rates and where the government is launching joint initiatives with the private sector to increase computer literacy and usage, there is a surprisingly high acceptance of new technologies.
I don t think the Egyptian consumer is different than any other consumer [around the world], says Khaled El-Amrawi, country manager of Egypt, the Levant and North Africa. He explains that the technological gap between the region and the West is not as big as some would expect. The needs of the consumers here and in Europe, for example, aren t much different, he adds.
During the regional launch of the new Dual-Core processor, which took place in Cairo this month, the company organized a demonstration to compare the efficiency of the new processor and the Pentium.
Trying to change a video file in the DVD format, while rendering a high-resolution photo, the computer working with the Core 2 Duo (C2D) processor was 2.5 times faster. Two similar demonstrations were carried out to display the C2D efficiency for different usage needs. For professional use, the experiment was to try transforming a power point presentation from ppt format to pdf, while conducting a virus scan. For those interested in computer games, there was another experiment showing the difference in displaying and operating games in favor of the C2D.
We believe C2D will do now what Pentium did in the mid 1990s, says El-Amrawy. And what did Pentium do during this period? Revolutionize the industry, he adds.
The idea is to increase performance without increasing energy consumption, says El-Amrawy. The product’s edge stems from its ability to increase the instructions the processor gives per hertz and consequently increase performance per watt.
On desktops, the C2D gives 40 percent better performance and is 40 percent more energy efficient. In notebooks, performance is enhanced by more than 20 percent with the same battery life. In servers, there is a whopping 80 percent enhancement in performance and 35 percent lower power.
Multitasking is one of the new features of the processor, enabling users to run several programs at the same time with the same efficiency.
The international release of the product was received with excellent reviews from various industry professionals and critics; company officials already say that their slogan, “The best microprocessor on earth, is well earned. “Intel’s new Core 2 Duo processors run blazingly fast in PC World tests, reported PC World magazine, which anticipated market dominance for C2Ds.
Being the third generation of the company’s dual-core processors (following Pentium D and Core Duo), C2D introduces a new height in micro-architecture. Because enhancing performance requires increasing the number of transistors within the processor, there was a need to decrease the size of transistors. Now, none of the 291 million transistors in C2D exceed 65 nanometers, the equivalent of a tenth of a human hair.
Thus, the added efficiency doesn’t affect the size or weight of the computer or the notebook, not even in the surrounding machines. El-Amrawy explains that although the processor works at high speed – exceeding 2 GHz or 2 billion hertz (the first Intel microprocessor introduced in 1971 ran at 108,000 hertz) – it doesn t require bigger cooling systems. These systems usually increase in size and price with the enhanced performances of the processor.
With 10 variations of the C2D, there are already 550 custom system designs underway. “Ultimately, tens of thousands of businesses will sell computers or components based on these processors, reads a company press release. Production and shipping has already started.