Intel finally realised that it should go back to the future with a tweaked Pentium 3 as it performed better than the overclocked Pentium 4 generation. That's whats Pentium M and Merom are ultimately based on and this puts Intel in much better shape than it enjoyed in 2005.
AMD plans to embrace the Athlon FX and X2 and to sell them as part of the Live platform. The company already has a trade mark on the name. This programme will be an attempt to persuade manufacturers to get much closer to Microsoft Vista and to buy more AMD chips, naturally. AMD needs machines that will be able to meet Vista premium logo requirements. The board itself will have to feature S-ATA and RAID. RAID is not a requirement if you are making a small lunchbox style PC. The board has to support 5.1 audio and 10/100/Gigabit LAN, while 802.11x support is optional.
The Live machines are about to go in living room and AMD plans to ship specially energy efficient CPUs for it. Those CPUs and coresponding boards have to support Cool N Quiet and all drivers have to be WHQL certified. The machine requires IEEE 1394 Firewire while the TV tuner and remote are optional accessories - unlike with Intel's Viiv PCs.
In phase one the Live machines have to support Windows Media Centre edition and to be Windows Vista capable while in the second phase, manufacturers are supposed to meet Windows Vista Premium logo requirements.
The CPUs will drain 35 to 65W and scheduled for a Computex 2006 launch. That is in early June 2006, simultaneously with the socket AM2 launch. µ
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