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As a bomb technician meticulously defuses a masterfully crafted explosive suitcase, a million thoughts race through his head as the seconds tick away.
"If I pull this red wire, will the circuit break? Is there a backup circuit to detonate the device if I pull that blue wire?"
Yet, as he works, comfort lies in the fact that he has been well trained for this operation. Heís been doing it for years and is the best in the department -- what could possibly go wrong? He tries to push away the memories of his friend, who was killed a few short months ago by a similar situation that should have easily been controlled, but the question remains; will this Samsonite carry-on blow up in his face as well?
Behind this melodramatic anecdote lies a great wealth of symbolism. Intelís 440BX chipset has enjoyed a more than lengthy lifespan, and for technology to progress, needs to be replaced. First, VIA stepped up to the challenge, offering their Apollo Pro 133A chipset that beat the BX in several aspects (mainly features) but suffered in memory performance. Intel promptly answered with the i810e, complete with a graphics controller that completely incapacitated gamers. Then, after several months of delays, the i820 was released. What seemed like an ideal solution was immediately slammed for an RDRAM-only policy, and is reportedly being shunned by OEMs because of memory translator hub errata. Needless to say, the pressure Intel has been under to release a high-performance platform, providing the same value as their competition, may have felt like defusing a time bomb.