P7 prototype 'exhilarating'

It may not surprise you to know that Intel is working on a 300MHz P7 processor. It may surprise you to know that one highly placed Australian PC enthusiast has the power-packed processor installed in his computer. It certainly surprised Intel.

Although Intel's managing director, Tony Janz, told Computerworld Australia: "I do not believe that a 300MHz P7 exists in the market today," a source close to the company claims the performance of the P7 processor is "nothing short of exhilarating".

According to the source, the motherboard sports the P7 processor and "clearly indicates that Intel is well and truly seeing the light as far as RISC technology is concerned".

He says: "This chip is not only a true 32-bit system racer, but it has increased capabilities for 16-bit applications. Add it's sophisticated multitasking facilities and this could pose a real threat to the Alpha board."

Computerworld has been told the Intel P7 motherboard contains the following features:

--An estimated performance of 299.632MHz at 37.9W

--Over 6 million transistors in the CPU core (as opposed to 5.5 million transistors in the P6), and an estimated 16 million in the secondary cache

--Connections of up to three parallel ports (as opposed to only one on the existing P6 motherboard)

--Up to 3 com ports (as opposed to 2 on the existing P6 motherboard)

--An internal SCSI connection

--Simultaneous read and write capabilities to the hard disk

--No sequential executions

--Dynamic branch prediction

But the real difference between the P7 and previous Intel processors is its mips (millions of processors per second) capabilities, which according to the source, "significantly boost I/O processing". So what would this mean to the average user? "With this motherboard, you could boot-up your PC and before you switch on the monitor, the system has already loaded to Windows," the source says.

Meanwhile, officials at Intel Australia refute "any kind of existence of the 300MHz P7 in the worldwide market."

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