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Processing speed ...Pentium III to benefit servers, CADD users

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The biggest benefit of the new Pentium III processors just introduced by Intel is that their availability will cause a drop in the price of the Pentium IIs, according to Rob Singer, of Software Central, 1839 E. Independence.

Singer compared the computer industry to a pendulum, and said that technology in hardware is currently changing at a faster rate than that of software.

"All a computer does is run software. Currently, even the lowest processors out there are running the software just fine," Singer said.

The Pentium II and III models are similar in that the same model motherboard, which is the main circuit board of the computer, supports both processors. Both processors run at the same frequency, 100 Megahertz, that the motherboard runs at, which is an advantage over what the Pentium processors were putting out before the Pentium II 350 Mhz. The models Intel sold before the Pentium II 350 Mhz ran at 66 Mhz.

"The reason Intel increased the speed of the motherboard they currently put in the processors was that they were finding the faster processors would remain idle quite a lot of the time because the motherboard was moving data to the processor so slowly. It was basically like a big pump with too small of a pipe leading water to it," Singer said.

The Pentium III also has an added 70 instructions inside the processor, mainly for multimedia, soft-imaging and three-dimensional graphics and will later assist with voice-recognition technologies that Singer said should be mainstream in about two years.

"Right now they're able to do basic dictation and rudimentary navigating on the computer by voice. It's faster right now to just grab the mouse rather than try to navigate that way, but that should improve with time," Singer said.

Singer said the Pentium IIIs will mainly benefit businesses running servers, accessing large databases and serving multiple users. Program developers, computer game designers and those involved in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) where accessing to three-dimensional images quickly is important, will also find the Pentium III advantageous.

For die-hard Mac users, the PowerPC G3 already provides a faster alternative to even the newest Pentiums, according to Christian Carroll of Database Systems, 1550 E. Battlefield. The baseline G4, due out next fall, will nearly double the performance in clock speed of the Pentiums in almost all categories.

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