Intel to debut new processor performance yardstick: ‘performance per watt’

“Intel, which next week is expected to announce plans to move to a new processor architecture, is switching to a new yardstick to measure processor performance: performance per watt,” John G. Spooner reports for eWeek. “Intel Corp. is expected to detail next week at its IDF (Intel Developer Forum) a plan to begin building multicore chips with the architecture, a modified version of the circuitry behind its Pentium M notebook processor, during 2006.”

“Intel’s announcement will publicly signal an internal shift that’s already taken place. After years of promoting clock speed, it’s now emphasizing overall performance and power-efficiency,” Spooner reports. :”Intel’s shift to processor numbers and its wholesale move to multicore processors—a multicore chip includes pack two or more processor cores in one package—sealed the deal for the architectural change, as power can be a limiting factor in fitting two or more processor cores together into a single chip.”

“Chips with multiple processor cores boost PC performance versus single-core chips by splitting up jobs. ‘It’s not even so much even performance per watt as it is fitting higher performance computing into more constrained environments, either constrained by power, by [heat] or by noise or size,’ said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research Inc. Particularly for desktop PCs, ‘It’s all about attaining the maximum performance you can in an environment that, unlike in desktops of the past, now has some constraints on it. As you move to multiple-core devices, scaling the frequency higher isn’t as important as the ability to put multiple cores on a chip, anyway.’ Thus the performance-per-watt plan was born and Intel’s Israel-based processor design team, which created the Pentium M, using Intel’s P6 architecture a base, appears to have gotten the job,” Spooner reports.

Much more in the full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Intel to deliver dual-core, hyper-threaded processors ahead of schedule – August 15, 2005
Intel to announce shift to new microprocessor technology – August 12, 2005
Report: Mac OS X for Intel hacked to run on non-apple x86 PCs – August 11, 2005
DRM chip in Intel-based developer Macs prevents Mac OS X from running on non-Apple PCs – August 05, 2005
Arizona wins $3 billion Intel plant – July 27, 2005
Apple joins Intel at Carnegie Mellon – July 26, 2005
Intel to renovate desktop processor line in 2006 with transition from 90 nm to 65 nm – July 15, 2005
Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006, all Macs to be Intel-based by end of 2007 – June 06, 2005


  1. Looks like Apple was Intel’s dream come true. Apple knows how to design around a chip, and now Intel has a partner that won’t hold them back in chip design. Steve probably told them to go for the gold standard. We can rest assured that the cutting edge chips won’t be residing in any dull boxes for $499.

  2. Now, this is what Intel showed Steve Jobs that made him take the final decision of migrating to Intel’s processors.

    I don’t know about you, but the little fear/shame/dissapointment/left-in-the-dark/I-don’t-know-what sensation I felt in my heart with the Intel migration announcement at the WWDC’05 has dissapeared entirely.

    Citing an ’80s song by Timbuktu:
    “the future’s so bright… I got to wear shades”

    fef – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

  3. So, the Megahertz Myth is dead?? Woo hoo!

    Btw, that eweek page took ages to load up… too many crap ads I think (despite the command-. to stop them!). Looks like they might have been Java based too. Yea, yea, maybe i should get a 3rd party ad blocker… but still… it’s ridiculous it takes so long with fast net connection and computer.

  4. <<So, the Megahertz Myth is dead?? Woo hoo

    Not in the hearts and minds of ignorant PC users .. but at least Intel’s got their shit in order>>

    Intel created the clock speed measurement standard. Now, because their chips will be installed in nearly 95% of CPUs, their Performance Per Watt (PPW) measurement will become the new standard.

    All they have to do is not release the clock speed of their new chips and focus on the PPW. It won’t take long, even for the technically ignorant, to adopt it.

    Intel is being unshackled from the limitations set by MSFT, and me thinks they are loving it. I am too.

  5. what´s 99% of the people going to do with better performance?
    download their porn faster? hmmmm….that would just take a faster internet connection….

    Because no one will ever need more than 640 kb of memory, right?

  6. From Apples’ security page..

    >The Mac OS X default configuration, in contrast, guards against shady characters who can so easily taking control of your system.>

    Where are they having their documentation written? China?

  7. I always cross the street when an umlaut approaches… and always make sure to lock my doors whenever the accent graves are roaming the streets.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. I’m waiting for an apology from all those bloggers/analysts/pundits who accused Apple of lying about the reasons for the switch. Or blamed Apple’s misbehavior for turning off IBM.

    Apple gave it to you straight but you couldn’t believe it.

    Come on now, you know who you are… Come on say it, repeat after me: performance per watt. performance per watt.

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