Availability: starting March 6th
Now that the year two thousand is well underway, it's pretty clear that households resembling old episodes of the Jetsons are still pretty far from reality. Robotic maids and hovercraft-filled, floating freeways have yet to materialize, and although we wouldn't mind reviewing the first Bed-Maker Deluxe, there is no question that our friend "Betty" is more or less still a concept.
What we have today is reality, however, and has been long in waiting. Expedited by a grueling battle between chipmakers AMD and Intel, the gigahertz barrier (which has approached quite rapidly) has finally been breached. If anyone has left-over party favors from their Y2K bash, it may be time to put them to use.
Before you pop that $600 1971 Dom Perignon, we'd like to demonstrate exactly what 1GHz of performance will offer and what you might be asking for after your purchase.
In a seemingly endless battle between Intel and AMD, we've seen an outrageous number of processors in a despairingly short period of time. Undoubtedly, the frequency of CPU releases in 2000 will rival that of the tumultuous 1999, meaning price cuts more often, greater speed increases and even more fervent competition. Then there's the over saturation argument, but that's another story…
Originally slated for release in the second half of this year, 1 GHz speeds were never anticipated for the early part of 2000. Due to pressure from OEMs as well as the immanent release of Intel's 1GHz part, AMD has opted to make systems equipped with 1 GHz Athlons available as early as the 6th of March rather than the 3rd or 4th quarters of this year.
Let's be thankful graphics cards don't follow the same rapid-fire release pattern. Could you imagine if a new GeForce card were released in 5MHz increments?