HP doesn't see the added value in adding Intel Turbo Memory to its notebooks

When Intel launched its Santa Rosa platform, many new features were added to improve notebook performance. Intel bumped the front side bus to 800MHz, added new Merom-based Core 2 Duo processors along with Intel Active Management Technology 2.5, the GMA X3100 integrated graphics solution and the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN Draft-N network adapter.

The company also announced NAND flash-based Intel Turbo Memory which is aimed at improving performance and increasing battery life for notebooks in Windows Vista. Intel claims that Turbo Memory (which is available in 512MB or 1GB varieties) can provide up to 2x faster loading times with applications and a 20 percent decrease when booting Windows Vista.

Although Intel makes these claims for Turbo Memory performance, the results in the real world haven't been as promising. Hewlett-Packard has publicly stated that it hasn't been impressed with Turbo Memory performance and that its notebook computers will not carry the feature.

"We have done quite a bit of research on this [to see] whether there is any true value for our customers, rather than taking what is available and putting it in," said HP's Steven Gales to ZDNET UK. "We added 1GB of RAM and saw a much higher improvement in performance compared to using any of the ReadyBoost or Robson technology. If you have enough system RAM in the system already, ReadyBoost doesn't give you a lot."

HP also took issue with the fact that the use of Turbo Memory onboard a notebook locks out the customer from adding a ReadyBoost compliant Secure Digital card or USB thumb drive to improve system performance.

"A customer can have more flexibility with an SD card or USB key because they can choose for themselves (when to add it and) pick the price point at which they want to add that technology. We're not forcing them into paying X and being locked into 512MB," Gales continued.

Finally, HP showed concern over the price of the Turbo Memory module. HP points out that Intel charges around $50 for the 1GB module. On the other hand, a consumer could pick up a 2GB Secure Digital card for around $20 and get roughly the same performance boost in Windows Vista.

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