Only "good" Pentium 4s have EM64T enabled@ 2005/02/13
Intel has told everyone on the record now that it will soon switch all of its desktop processors over to support for 64-32 extensions - or iAMD64 as we dub it.
How will it do this? Well, the engineers at a fab will throw a switch and the number of the processors will change so that a 531 - a 3GHz Pentium 4 - will be exactly identical to a 530 except EM64T will be switched on.
So how do you tell whether the Pentium 4 3GHz you are buying, or going to buy, be enabled for EM64T or not? You'd better ask the supplier that. If you get a satisfactory answer, let us know, because we reckon the average sales assistant won't have an earthly what you're talking about. Just in case, print out and take along the latest INQUIRER crib sheet, so you can make it crystal clear to her or to him.
We often get letters from readers at the INQUIRER who obviously don't work for large corporate organisations so don't have ready access to the online sites Intel and others make available to their cronies, sorry customers and partners.
Some of our readers try and do smart things like pull a fast one on the sales assistant by showing they have advanced knowledge of future plans. Plainly this is not a very good idea, because you only help make the sales assistant look small, and they’re probably working for a pittance anyway.
Retail shops have an entirely different agendum to corporate customers. Often, they can get preferential buying prices from the IT suppliers, but that doesn’t mean they need or even necessarily want to know what’s coming on down the line three or six months in advance. No. What exercises the buyers here is the price they can get for the kit, how quickly the kit can be sold, and what they can get away with.
They will find themselves committed to stock and have to deal with the general public. And you all know how difficult we can all be, when haggling.
So our advice to you - if you are buying microprocessors separately or as part of a system - is to wait your turn like everyone else. If you insist on buying early, you will inevitably pay over the odds. You’ll probably regret it too, because you’ll be at the bleeding edge of your credit card.
And there will be always something coming down the line that will cause you to rend your hair, gnash your teeth, and tear up your clothes. Don’t be an IT fashion victim. Just carry on reading the INQ. Here's the latest crib sheet. Ask the sales assistant about what difference big caches make too. But don't ask them about dual cores. You can probably do that next year, once all the stock has shifted