Corporate PC vendors are leaping on the MMX bandwagon, despite some critics’ claims that the processor has minimal advantages for business users.
IBM, Dell, Digital and a host of other vendors have announced MMX plans for corporate desktop models and Toshiba, Hitachi and others have made announcements in the notebook arena.
MMX will offer a 10% to 20% performance boost to regular business programs, but its real capabilities won’t be realised until business applications are specifically written to take advantage of its multimedia capabilities.
David Bolt, general manger of Intel Australia, says that communications is the key.
“Intel’s MMX technology is an important step to enhancing the PCs increasing role as a communications device.”
Bolt says MMX will improve performance in areas such as videoconferencing, software based video, 3D graphics and video editing.
Nevertheless, a list of software and tools demonstrations featuring MMX provided by Intel on launch was still heavily skewed towards the home rather than the corporate user.
Dell New Zealand general manager Ross Allen also cites videoconferencing as an application where MMX will provide immediate benefits but adds that “customers who work with the Internet and intranets should also notice improved performance and communications.”
Dell plans to offer MMX-based OptiPlex models this month.
PC Direct has been testing MMX for some months and has three machines that are MMX-capable.
“These will be launched officially when processors are available in quantity,” says product development manager Richard Moss. “From Intel we believe that will be mid-February. It’s easy to make an announcement but you have to have the chips.”
Moss sees one advantage for corporate users in the larger internal cache MMX offers, “but the real benefits will come when software is delivered through 1997.”
PC Direct will deliver home PCs as well as offering the processor on its 570AX corporate model.
On the home PC front, most vendors will have an MMX-based offering in short order. Locally, Compaq has already announced that it will deliver an MMX-powered line of Presario home PCs in early February. Overseas, Toshiba has announced MMX Infinia home PCs and Acer has followed suit in its Aspire product line. IBM, similarly, has boosted its Aptiva line of consumer PCs.