Business Desktops Slow to Adopt Dual-Core Chips

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-01-18 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Large corporations, which tend to favor platform stability over new technology in their purchasing, are likely to be the last to adopt dual-core processor business desktops.

Business desktops are bringing up the rear in the dual-core processor transition. The deskbound business machines, which are usually architected to offer businesses stability versus providing them with new technology, wont move en masse to chips such as Intels new Pentium D 900 until at least the second half of this year, the chip maker predicts.
Whereas Intels dual-core chips now come in some mainstream consumer desktops and earlier this month began selling in notebooks, following the introduction of its Core processor, they mainly populate corporate workstations.
Only a handful of high-end business desktop models offer Pentium D chips at the moment. Intel, which expects to exit 2006 shipping mostly dual-core chips in its client PCs business, doesnt expect business desktops to make the switch en masse until after arrival of Averill, its next business desktop platform, due midyear, said Mike Ferron-Jones, director of Intels Digital Office Platforms Division. Read more here about dual-core processor business notebooks. The relative lack of change in corporate machines is a "reflection of buyers desire for stability," Ferron-Jones said. However, "We want to go out of 2006 with 70 percent of clients as dual-core [systems]. The business mainstream is critical for us to meet that commitment, so were going to be driving the Averill platform and dual-core pretty hard in the second half." Averill machines, some of which will be architected to ship for 12 months without major changes as part of Intels Stable Image Platform program, will incorporate Pentium D 900 chips along with a beefed-up chip set, dubbed Broadwater, a new gigabit Ethernet connector code-named Nineveh. Aside from adding new hardware, they will also include Intels Virtualization Technology and AMT II, an updated version of Intels Active Management Technology. AMT monitors PCs hardware and can help recover machines that have problems. Thus, "In the second half of the year, expect a rapid ramp of dual-core processors as Intel brings out the Averill family of platforms," Ferron-Jones said. Those Averill machines will replace Intels first Professional Business Platform desktops, which came out in May. Next Page: Intels challenge.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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