At this week's launch in San Francisco of the 350MHz and 400MHz Pentium II chips, formerly code-named Deschutes, Intel will demonstrate systems running CPU and I/O-intensive applications such as communications, file compression and decompression, and virus scanning and filtering.
At the heart of the performance boost is Intel's first 100MHz bus, which speeds connections to such components as graphics, memory and I/O.
While automatic file compression, for example, is possible today through software such as WinZip 6.3, Intel claims existing hardware has not been robust enough to support those capabilities. "There are still big delays in just sending e-mail across the network, but [the performance] of this architecture lets you leave the file compression switch always turned on so every file is automatically compressed and decompressed," said Will Swope, vice president of marketing at Intel, in the US.
Intel officials declined to discuss systems costs or relative performance, but independent channel sources said the price/performance of the new computers will be worth the upgrade.