PC Platforms: Looking Back at 2006 and Ahead to 2007By Loyd Case | Print
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Feature: It's been a banner year for processors, chip sets, and memory. We take a look at 2006, and then gaze into our crystal ball to try to predict what will happen in 2007. (ExtremeTech)Consider the desktop personal computer. Form factors have changed, new CPUs have emerged, and more-advanced chip sets have arrived on the scene, but the fundamental PC platform remains little changed. You still have core logic, a CPU, separate memory, and an underlying system board. It's true that AMD moves the memory controller onto the CPU, but that alters the overall balance only slightly. Even so, the PC platform is evolving, and the PC of 2008 may look quite different from today's familiar, boxy unit.
Processors and chip sets are becoming increasingly intertwined, though Intel's dream of tightly coupled chip sets and CPUs hasn't taken root yet. Most of the synergy between processors and chip sets has been marketing. This past year has been a busy one for the PC platform, but 2007 looks to be more of a transition year for PC hardware, as
Let's take a look at what happened in 2006 with the fundamental PC platform and then try to forecast what will happen in 2007.
The old NetBurst architecture was clearly at its last gasp, because of Intel's inability to hit the higher clock frequencies that the company had predicted only a year earlier.
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