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  • Just when you think it's safe to go back into the CPU waters, Intel goes and releases a brand new Pentium 4 processor. Why this is rather surprising is that it wasn't really that long ago that the Pentium 4-1.8 GHz was introduced and we assumed that AMD would up the ante with a newer, faster version of their Athlon processor.

    Rather than put up their dukes in the high-end arena, AMD instead released the Duron 1 GHz and put the squeeze on Intel in the value market. Turnabout is fair play, so I guess the introduction of the Pentium 4-2.0 GHz is the Intel response to AMD's continued shakedown of the poor Celeron. If you can't hit 'em low, then hit 'em high.

    After the rather sedate Pentium 4-1.8 GHz release (only 100 MHz faster than the 1.7 GHz) we're back to the usual huge core speed jumps. The Pentium 4-2.0 GHz represents a hearty 200 MHz increase in speed over the 1.8 GHz, and brings with it some very interesting questions. With the AMD Athlon currently mired at 1.4 GHz, just how well will it continue to hold up to Intel's incredible core speed barrage?

    While the Pentium 4 holds court with SSE-enhanced programs, the Athlon performs a bit better in standard applications, and the Athlon 1.4 GHz has competed well against even a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4. At exactly what point the Pentium 4 architecture can totally surpass the Athlon 1.4 GHz is still undecided, but perhaps with the Pentium 4-2.0 GHz we may finally get the answer to this burning question.

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