Mobile P4 chip will mean notebook modifications

When Intel’s Pentium 4 comes to notebooks next year, consumers will discover a boost in power— and possibly an extra fan to cope with the heat it will produce.

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By  Robin Duff Published  December 30, 2001

When Intel’s Pentium 4 comes to notebooks next year, consumers will discover a boost in computing power— and possibly an extra fan. The new mobile Pentium 4 chip, which Intel plans to launch in April, will run at 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz— faster than any other portable chip.

However, analysts say the new Pentium 4 will also be much more power hungry than current Pentium III-M processors, which go up to 1.2GHz, or current Athlon 4 mobile chips from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
As a result, notebook makers will need to take extra precautions to fit the Pentium 4 into existing lines.

Models that don't have a second fan for heat removal, for example, will likely have to add one. Larger, heavier batteries will also be part of the mix.

It is estimated that the chip will consume about 30 watts of power when pushed to its limits. Because the mobile Pentium 4 will consume more watts than the Pentium III-M, the upcoming chip will be found only in two- and three-spindle machines. (A hard drive, a DVD drive and a port for extra batteries or 3.5-inch floppy disks count as three spindles.)

These machines, weighing in at 5.5 pounds and more, generally offer better cooling capacity and extra space for larger batteries, when compared with notebooks that weigh 4 pounds or less.

“The consumer is going to have to recognize that higher-performance systems will be larger power consumers...will need to have a large battery and will be heavier if they’re going to have a reasonable run time,” said Dean McCarron, analyst at Mercury Research. When it comes to small, light notebooks with long battery life, McCarron said: “You can have that, it’s just you’re not going to have that with a Pentium 4. It comes down to the choice of what you want. If you want exceptionally long run times, you’re going to have to sacrifice performance.”

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