Naast Anandtech heeft ook Sharky Extreme een Pentium III 550 onder de loep genomen.
At an estimated price tag of $650 - $750 the new Intel desktop flagship is not for the faint of heart. Luckily it seems to be getting more and more clear that SSE support will not fade back into the woodwork as MMX has, instead it will be used to prolong the effective lifespan of the P3 line well into the next decade.
As Intel rival AMD readies their next generation CPU, the K7, for production, it's interesting to note that the P3-550 is already in the ring waiting for the fight to begin. Intel's massive infrastructure of design and manufacturing has produced a fantastic example of technology with the P3-550, will AMD's counter punch be enough to stem the tide of Intel's advance? And will "3DNow2" offer the same degree of software support and performance enhancements that SSE is beginning to already?
These questions will have to wait to be answered until mid/late July (the time that the K7-500 will begin to ship in light to medium quantities). For now the bar has been raised to a new high with the P3-550's introduction, and it will surely be tough for any semiconductor manufacturer to match it, much less exceed it anytime soon.