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Letters
Let the Chips Fall Where They May

(Brand loyalty vs. economy: Our readers tell us how much (or how little) they value the 'Intel Inside' sticker. And we hear readers' thoughts on Office 97's usability.)

In his column about processor chips (Start, June), Mike Elgan misinforms those PC users considering high-performance alternatives to Intel products. New Digital 600MHz Alpha-based systems may have been introduced at the $10,000 price when he wrote his article, but in early May, a Digital VAR named Enorex listed prices on its Web site ranging from $3,849 for a 366MHz CPU to $4,799 for a 500MHz CPU (no price for 600MHz was available). Looks to me like serious power at a very good price/performance ratio.

Jerry Adamson

via the Internet

Every time some brave competitor dares to step on Intel's toes with a new chip, the computer magazines act as a cheering section for the upstart. Performance comparisons have been seemingly calculated to enhance the marketability of the challenger.

There was the Cyrix 6x86 and the outrageous P-rating system used to market it (install the chip in boxes with very fast video and disk subsystems, run an application-level benchmark that smears total system performance across one number and voilą, you're "faster than the Pentium"). And now comes the AMD-K6. Maybe the upstarts really have something this time, but I have already seen another magazine present total-system benchmarks proving that the K6 is faster than the Pentium Pro, while simultaneously showing that when you actually compare CPUs, it isn't.

Why can't reviewers be smarter than that? When you're comparing CPUs, compare CPUs-not disk and video subsystems and memory architectures.

David L. Staples

via the Internet

Editor's Note: A feature showing a strict chip-to-chip comparison is in the works for an upcoming issue.

It makes no difference to me what chip is in my system. I want it cheap, fast and good. Intel only offered me fast and good; AMD gave me all three. The cost savings with the K6 allowed me to upgrade other parts on my system.

Eric Bin

via the Internet

As long as I have the assurance that a processor adheres to an industry standard that prevents compatibility issues, I really don't care if it says "Intel Inside" or not. I'll go for the one that gives me the biggest bang for the buck.

Bob Barto

via the Internet

Cheap is relative. I'll gladly pay the $100 to $400 more it will cost to get that "Intel Inside" sticker. When you are paying $2,000 to $4,000 for a computer, what's another few hundred to make sure you get the best and, more importantly, no surprises? The "me-too bunch" is going to have to show me before I lay my cash down on anything but Intel.

David Ellis

via the Internet


Windows Magazine, September 1997, page 28.

[ Go to September 1997 Table of Contents ]