Intel Pentium Dual-Core?
No, I’m not talking about the Pentium D. The Intel Pentium Dual Core T2060 is a new and unannounced Intel chip that has been mysteriously showing up in budget notebooks offered by mainstream resellers such as Best Buy and Circuit City. The T2060 is not on Intel’s roadmap; similarly, neither were the budget Core Duos (T2050, T2250) and Core 2 Duo (T5200).
The T2060 has the following specifications:
- 1.6GHz clockspeed
- 533MHz Front Side Bus (FSB)
- 1MB L2 cache
Despite the resurrection of the Pentium naming, it is this author’s belief that the "Pentium Dual Core T2060" is little more than a budget Core Duo T2050 with half the L2 cache (the T2050 has 2MB). I would estimate performance to be less than that of the T2050, and on par with the AMD Turion X2 TL-50 (1.6GHz/2x256kb L2). How much of a performance loss the reduction of the L2 cache will incur I do not know. However, I do believe that the the performance difference between a 1MB and 2MB L2 cache would be more drastic than that between a 2MB and 4MB L2. Either way, considering that the T2060 is a budget notebook processor, I doubt the customer buying it will be too concerned with performance; it should have plenty of power for a regular users’s needs.
With dual core is becoming more affordable than ever, the days of the single-core processor are becoming more limited in PCs, and the widespread availability of cheap dual core computers will speed up the process.
Retailers to offer special promotions for Vista launch
In typical Microsoft fashion, there will be a number of promotions to push a new operating system out the door. On Tuesday, January 30, retailers will offer customers freebies with the purchase of Windows Vista.
DailyTech has a list of retailers and deals offered by them here.
In addition, you can see current deals on Vista loaded notebooks, some of which cost less than $700, here. And don’t forget, those with Vista laptops get free WiFi at Starbucks until April 30th, see details on that here.
Suppliers increase notebook component inventory in preparation for Vista
Suppliers are increasing their stock of notebook components to be ready for the potential increase in demand from clients after the launch of Windows Vista. Inventory of the end-user market remains at normal levels however.
Windows Vista graphics drivers for ATI cards released
ATI on Monday posted the final release versions of its first Windows Vista certified graphics driver on its website, Catalyst 7.1.
ATI says that the driver includes native support for OpenGL under Vista, which will result in a performance gain over its previous RTM driver. Users will also be able to playback Blu-ray and HD DVD media in the 32-bit version of Vista. A third-party media player is still required for playback though, along with an HD LCD with an HDCP chip and a Radeon graphics card with an HDCP chip.
Nvidia is preparing a Vista driver for release on January 30, Vista’s launch date. It will replace the Nforce RC1 driver package.