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Intel Profits Fall Despite Faster Chips
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SANTA CLARA, California - The Nasdaq composite lost nearly a percent Wednesday on news of Intel's lower than expected earnings. The chipmaker attributed the lack-luster numbers on lower sales due to "an increasingly luddite customer-base that can't appreciate the value a faster chip can add to their lives," according to a statement released by the company. One of the company's latest offerings, the 2586 or 'Eflon' chip, is capable of 400 teraflops, roughly 40 times as powerful as a top-of-the-line super computer. It retails for $655,599.99.

"We've never felt that price was an issue."
-- Intel chairman Andrew Grove
"That's a lot of power, more than most people think they need," admitted Intel chairman Andrew Grove, "But you never know, do you? You're playing Everquest, then you decide you need to watch a DVD, and your kid does something cute you want to record, and pretty soon you're maxing out your old Pentium 9. With the Eflon, you don't max out -- period." In the face of price pressure from AMD, Intel released the Eflon SE chip, competitively priced at $450,000, but sales have been weak.

"We've never felt that price was an issue," explained president Paul Otellini, "This is your computer we're talking about here. You can't just limp along with yesterday's equipment." Consumers, it would seem, disagree with that assessment. "They have a Pentium 9?" asked one man, wandering the aisles of Circuit City, "I have a Pentium 4 at home, and it seems as fast as I need. What's a terror flop?" A computer programmer and admitted game addict said, "I paid almost three thousand dollars for my setup a few months ago. Other than a new video card every couple of months, I don't expect to put any more into it for a few years. I definitely won't be dropping any coin on an Eflon."

While no game manufacturers we interviewed for this story would admit collusion with chip makers, 3 out of 4 say they are working on games that will require Eflon-compatible chipsets. They don't foresee a problem, however. "By the time 'Spiderman 3: Lean, Green, and Mean' hits store shelves," conjectured one developer, "They'll be giving the Eflon away for a hundred grand."
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