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Benchmark Reviews Editors Choice Awards 2008 E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 19 December 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Benchmark Reviews Editors Choice Awards 2008
CPU Coolers
Desktop Processors
Solid State Drives
Desktop Graphics Cards
Computer Cases
System Memory
Desktop Motherboards
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Desktop Processors

Processors have been making plenty of news this year, just not any headlines. We were happy to see the VIA Nano CPU - Codename Isaiah receive proper attention back in February, but not much later NVIDIA came calling with their Tegra 650 Mobile Processor. These are both great innovations for 2008, but neither of these processors are destined for consumer desktop computers.

Other than a few revisions of the AMD X2 and Intel Core 2 series, there hasn't been much news in regard to desktop processors. but nothing compares to the nature of progress we witnessed only a few months ago during the Intel Core i7 CPU launch.


The one product in the desktop processor category that earns our Benchmark Reviews Editors Choice Award for 2008 is the Intel Core i7-920 BX80601920. At the time of this writing the Core i7-920 processor is being sold at NewEgg for $299.99, making it tough to ignore for bargain shoppers. This quad-core can puff-up to eight cores with the re-introduction of Hyper Threading, and media encoding has never been faster. I could suggest the Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition as a runner-up, but the $1029.99 price tag seems a bit steep for the extra 10% of performance. Either way, the Core i7 platform has re-invented desktop processors, and 2009 looks like a good year for Intel.

Aside from bugs in the core architecture, AMD's launch of the Spider platform heading into this year could have gone much smoother. While it may seem like Benchmark Reviews caters primarily to the Intel enthusiast, this is really only a by-product of two things: poor marketing efforts and weak competition. AMD hosted a Phenom launch event in Lake Tahoe, a location twenty minutes from Benchmark Reviews HQ, and yet when I asked the marketing staff if I could attend without the need for travel assistance or lodging, I was turned away.

This was an unwelcome change of attitude for me, since I have operated an AMD-friendly computer company for several years. Benchmark Reviews didn't want free products, we only wanted to be included in press release distribution for our manufacturer news section; but we couldn't even the industry underdog to muster up this minimal effort. So with a combination of poor marketing efforts and miserable launch success, AMD has earned a contemptible reputation this year. Heading into 2009, Benchmark Reviews has scheduled sit-down time with AMD at the upcoming CES, but I have a feeling that we should prepare for the worst.


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