Stories by Tom Mainelli

Intel changes chip names

SAN FRANCISCO (03/19/2004) - Intel Corp. is shifting the focus of its processor names away from megahertz. After years of driving CPU sales by promoting faster clock speeds as a measure of better performance, the chip giant on Friday announced a new processor naming scheme.

High-end P4: Better, not best

SAN FRANCISCO (11/20/2003) - With the unexpected announcement of the company's first gaming-oriented processor--the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition--Intel Corp. obviously hoped to steal some thunder from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon 64 launch. But while PC World tests show that the new P4 EE outruns a standard Pentium 4, AMD's shipping Athlon 64 FX-51 outperforms both.

Hot rod PCs: Chic and unique

SAN FRANCISCO (11/20/2003) - When a decent PC from a reputable company costs just US$550, why should anyone be willing to spend ten times that for a desktop computer? For the same reasons that some people buy a Lamborghini instead of a Corolla: power, performance, and prestige.

MPF - Transmeta unveils low-power processor

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (10/15/2003) - Transmeta Corp. has unveiled its low-power Efficeon TM 8000 processor, a chip the company claims can rival Intel Corp.'s power-saving Pentium M CPUs. While announcing the Efficeon at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, Tuesday, Transmeta also released benchmarks showing its chip outperforming Intel's lowest-power Pentium M.

First tests of Athlon 64 PCs: Fastest yet

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is entering the world of 64-bit computing, launching Athlon 64 CPUs that are producing some of the fastest PC WorldBench scores yet, and a handful of vendors are ready to sell you those new systems.

Intel's newest P4 challenges Athlon 64

SAN FRANCISCO (09/23/2003) - Looking to play spoiler to Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon 64 launch, Intel Corp. is rolling out a new higher-performance processor dubbed the Pentium 4 With Hyperthreading Extreme Edition--but exclusive tests show AMD may have the last laugh.

A powerhouse living-room PC

SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - The PC Power and Cooling Inc. SleekLine 3000MX targets power users seeking a compact system that's capable of handling home-theater PC duties. My shipping unit--loaded with a 3.2-GHz Pentium 4, 1024MB of DDR-400 SDRAM, and two hard drives configured in a 240GB RAID arrangement--ran quieter than most desktops, though louder than the fanless Hush Technologies GmbH and Tranquil PC Ltd. PCs. In performance, the US$2999 system trounced both, however, garnering an impressive PC WorldBench 4 score of 136.

Mailblocks improved

SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - The Web-based e-mail service Mailblocks Inc. can effectively block junk messages by using challenge/response technology that forces senders to prove that they're real. In the past, however, people whose addresses had been verified by one Mailblocks user would be challenged anew each time another friend or colleague began using Mailblocks. The updated service keeps track of all verified users, eliminating repeat challenges. Other improvements include customizable challenges and a very much needed spelling checker. The yearly fee remains US$10.

Symantec raises subscription rates

Symantec quietly increased subscription renewal rates for its entire line of security products at the end of last month, citing the rising cost of fighting viruses and other malicious code worldwide.

Worm targets Kazaa users

Unsuspecting Kazaa users could be downloading more than free music: A new worm has infiltrated the file-sharing service.

New Transmeta CPU losing support

Transmeta's Crusoe promises a lengthened notebook battery life, but now that the much-hyped chip is being cut short by IBM, some are questioning Transmeta's staying power.