The 'Tweaking' Session.One of the sessions at IDF was a “How To Tweak” seminar put on by Intel and some partners. Intel recognizes that the enthusiast market is educated and doesn’t fall for the marketing hype, however the enthusiast market is small. Intel recognizes also that this relatively small market has tremendous clout in recommending systems to friends and associates. The thing I found most interesting was the lack of them using true tweakable boards, and they were only pushing their boards. This is interesting since they do have the memory tweak feature, and some basic overclocking features but not the feature set you would wish or expect.
Intel went through various tweaking measures in the seminar and also went through how to properly measure the performance of a system. It is shocking to know how many people do not know how to properly run a benchmark.
There was strong support for the SATA initiative as the numerous benefits really help in the performance arena (reduced cable clutter = increased airflow) and also Intel talked at length about memory timings and how they affect the performance of the system.
ATI formed part of the seminar and they felt strongly about the benefits of the nextgen PCI-Express interface, and will be strongly pushing into that market while recognizing that AGP is not going to disappear overnight. One interesting tidbit – while the PCI-E slot will provide far more power than the AGP slot, future ATI cards will still require a supplemental power connector.
I asked the question about why the P4EE, as an ‘enthusiast’ part, was not shipped unlocked considering the enormous price / performance delta over the regular P4 line. Intel indicated that this was something that the project managers wanted but Intel would not do it due to people pushing it so far and maybe having a legal issue. Kinda means it isn’t for overclockers… oh well.