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P4’s PCI predicament

Andy Brown
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News.com has this report on a bug with the Pentium 4’s chipset. The bug caused Intel to delay the release from October 30 to November 20, but is considered minor enough that Intel will continue to ship P4 systems with the bug until it can be fixed.

According to the article, the bug “can degrade performance when video or other graphical data is processed through a PCI bus. . . .” Data corruption is also a possibility. A fix is planned in the “relatively near future”, whatever that means.

Obviously this isn’t going to affect too many people, since PCI video cards have been almost completely relegated to pulling second monitor duty (unless you have a Mac, of course). Add in the affordability of AGP cards with dual monitor support and the bug becomes a tiny footnote.

Of course, the notable exception to this rule is those “gotta have it” power users who want both dual monitor support and better 3D performance than a GeForce MX can offer. You know, the sorts of users who would buy a P4 system as soon as it came out.