SIGH. DEEP SIGH. No sooner does AMD buy more shells for its shotgun podiatry vaudeville act than Intel returns to its old ways.
That is not, for those new to this game, a compliment.
The problem is the X48 chipset, quite possibly the second best chipset not on the market yet.
It is a minor, and I mean minor revision to the otherwise excellent X38 chipset. The added 10 merely brings you from a 1333FSB to 1600FSB. It is otherwise the same part, one look at the mobos that have the X38 sticker hastily crossed out and the name X48 written in will tell you that.
The problem? In the days of yore, like six months ago for people with memories that long, this would not have rated a name change, or anything else, just a bump in the stepping noted on the technical documents. New boards would have a "now with more vitamins, minerals and FSB" sticker on it, and the world would go on.
What do we end up with? A "new" chipset on "new" boards, and ghod help us, fodder for the marketing critters. All this for functionality that was either there from day 1 on X38, or added in the last month, then almost assuredly fused off for 'new vanilla' X38.1 parts not labeled X48.
Why did they bother? Is it to milk money out of the high end? Don't they do enough of that already with the EE/XE/whatever chips? Are they trying to make us buy an XE mobo for your XE chip, and woe betide the fool who buys one without the other? Are they going to EOL the X38 after a whopping 39 day lifespan?
In the end, we are left with two chips that do exactly the same thing with one bullet point artificially changed. OEMs now must stock multiple SKUs, must have multiple variants of the same mobo, and most likely pay more for the added 266MHz. What a mess.
Who pays? In the end, the customer - that would be you and I. For anyone touching this mess, from Intel to little Timmy buying the uber-rig, it only adds headaches, which in turn jack up costs. There was a time, again in the golden days of six plus months ago, when Intel would not do such a thing because it realised it shafts the very consumers who give them the highest margins. Oh how I long for those days.
With any luck, Intel will realize that this course of action is not a very bright one, and will backpedal ASAP. If it wants to go back to the bad old monopoly days and jack up prices, fine, it earned it, but just stop playing SKU games that hurt everyone. µ
It does not run Google Docs well
Expect the graphics card to be an entry-level offering
Firm could opt for a slider mechanism instead