The chippen will cost around $4000.
Itanium is a IA-64 processor. This means that it is targeted for a completely different type of programs than those we are used to.
This is what I know of the Itanium:
The first chip set for Itanium should become 460GX, which allows four Itaniums on the same motherboard and 64 GB of RAM.
Later it should be possible to construct super computers holding 512 Itaniums (in clusters of four).
Heating problems have been reported. The Itanium is extremely power hungry and runs very hot. It has been using up to 130 watts in some tests, and this appears to be a really serious problem. The problems should arise from the choice of VLIW design, which should not be suitable for a general-purpose CPU as Itanium as some articles indicate. I am no expert on these issues, and it sounds weird if Intel should choose thewrong architecture.
There is no doubt that the Itanium is going to be a heavy processor. But it will not end up on many desktops. It is too expensive, and the design is 100% intended the server market.
There have been speculations about a lousy IA-32 performance. All the programs we use (including Windows 2000) are of 32bits design. This corresponds with the P6 processors (like Pentium III etc.) which also are of 32 bits architecture.
Now Intel comes with a 64 bit processor. It has to emulate the 32 bit instructions, to execute 32 bit programs like Windows . An emulation is costly, it takes power from the processor. This is also the case with the Itanium; it has to translate each of the IA-32 instruction. Some magazines have claimed that the Itanium will be terrible slow executing IA-32 programs.
Some articles even claim that Intel wants to dump the Itanium and go for the successor 'McKinley'.
Anyway, the Itanium will require a new 64 bit operating system - could it be Windows 2064? Linux 64 and NT 64 should be upcoming.
Read about drives in module 4a
Read about chip sets on the motherboard in module 2d
Read more about RAM in module 2e
Read module 5a about expansion cards, where we evaluate the I/O buses from the port side.
Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.