Conroe will be a kick-ass gaming chip - so says Steve Smith, one of the gurus in charge of Intel's desktop products.
Speaking to us this afternoon, Steve told us that he believed that Conroe, the next generation dual core part that Intel launched today, will deliver "Leadership performance" for gamers.
Many gamers have been using AMD chips for the fastest single-threaded gaming performance. How does Intel intend to combat this?
"The performance of Conroe will deliver an absolute value of performance higher than where we are today," Steve said. "Inevitably, gaming is going to be moving to multithreaded programming. The next generation console boxes are multithreaded, and our new processors are multithreaded.
"We're at an inflection point where both are moving in the same direction, so that's where the future is going to be. As games get more threaded, they're going to get better."
The subtext is this: Intel's dual core performance is going to be unbeatable, in Steve's estimation. With games going threaded, that makes Conroe the unbeatable gaming processor.
We asked him how he thought Aegia's PhysX processor might affect the market for gamers and the hardware they buy - conceivably, physics calculations could be moving away from the processor, making dual core less relevant.
"In terms of development targeted at consumers, we ship large numbers of PCs for consumers, and roughly 2/3rds of those are performance PCs. How many PCs are going to have that kind of physics processor in? It will be difficult for developers to justify moving physics calculations from the processor to a dedicated piece of hardware because 90% of new Intel PCs will be shipping with dual core chips by 2007. Developers want to hit the maximum number of people with their products to get the best return on investment."
How do you think Conroe is going to perform in games? Are game developers really going to get their butts in gear and get threaded? Give us your thoughts!