WORD HAS REACHED our tender ears that Braidwood, the Intel flash on mobo hard drive cache has been postponed. It won’t be coming out with the upcoming Westmere based CPUs, but it may slide in before Sandy Bridge with a platform refresh.
While we have never been a fan of such schemes, we like the fact that Intel is trying to improve performance instead of simply selling chips. It may not be hard to beat such laughable and wrongheaded attempts as MS’s ReadyBoost, but you should at least make a buyer notice an improvement for the extra cash. Intel’s last attempt, code named Robson, didn’t exactly set the world on fire.
The Taiwanese vendors didn’t seem to think Braidwood did much to improve anything, and were quite vocal about that at Computex. With the postponement, likely until the next chipset, it looks like Intel is serious about making it worthwhile or not at all.
Part of the problem with this type of technology is that it is both hardware and software based. Intel can make a hugely fast flash cache system, and Microsoft can totally destroy any hope of performance with a crippled and broken OS. We won’t point to Vista for sinking Robson, nor will we point to Vista SP7 for sinking Braidwood. That sentiment would be far too honest for such a cynical paragraph.
In the end, think of Braidwood as on hiatus until the 6-series chipsets, or possibly until Sandy Bridge. If Intel can use that time to make it live up to the promises, it will be worth the wait.S|A