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Has Intel learnt nothing?

by on15 March 2024

The GHz races were a joke

Yesterday, Intel lifted the kimono on its Core i9-14900KS, and while some were excited by the speeds it promised, for those old enough to remember, it was just a trip back to Chipzilla’s disastrous past.

For those who can’t be bothered clicking the link above the Core i9-14900KS, is here to remind us of those heady days, boasting a whopping 6.2 GHz right out of the box. This chip's not just fast—it's blazing fast, and it's got a price tag to match at $689..

But this is a nostalgia trip back to the speed-obsessed '90s and early 2000s, when clocking up the GHz was all the rage. Famously, that race was won by AMD in March 2000. It managed to beat Intel to 1 GHz in what was considered a major coup at the time.  AMD held the crown for only a few weeks, but it did have bragging rights. 

Intel's Pentium 4 processors specifically prioritised boosting clock speeds at the cost of instructions-per-clock. 

At that time, AMD and Intel were busy trying to convince the world that the higher the clock speed, the better the chip. Both were trying to outdo each other with ever-higher speeds. It was all fun and games until the electric bill came in and bill shock will also be delivered in spades with the i9-14900KS.

Tom's Hardware's tests show this chip consuming 31 per cent more power than its predecessor for a measly less than one per cent performance boost. Talk about diminishing returns.

The GHz wars ended with a whimper and while there were slow increments it was not considered as important as power efficiency. It seems odd that Chipzilla is trying to return to those times – particularly when power bills are so much higher.

Last modified on 15 March 2024
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