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Loading at the Speed of Thought: Intel Demos Benefits of Robson

All the users who utilize their computers for intensive and resource-demanding tasks know how irritating are moments when a program like Photoshop is loading slowly for ten times a day, or when images which are supposed to be accessible quickly take a precious minute to load.

Loading multiple large items from a hard drive may be improved by using Intel’s code-named Robson technology, which allows to cache parts of frequently used files, their location and other types of information needed to improve response times of a system running Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. Robson, however, will not help if a portion of large files not accessed for a period of time needs to be retrieved by an end-user, as the limiting factor would still be performance of hard disk drive (HDD).


Intel Robson module. Click to enlarge

At CeBIT 2007 Intel demonstrated some benefits of its Robson technology with a vivid example. A company’s representative turned on two similarly configured notebooks from Asustek Computer with Intel Core 2 Duo processors inside and then started to load a bunch of pictures while using Google Earth. The scenario is typical for an end-user who came back from holidays and who wants to share his impressions with his friends and colleagues by demonstrating pictures. It takes a little more than one minute to get everything ready on a Robson 1GB-equipped PC and it takes more than two minutes to load the same portion of information without Robson.


Asustek's laptops with and without Robson. Click to enlarge

The benefit of Robson should be no less apparent in other tasks that require to load a lot of frequently used data from hard disk drives, but the question is whether machines with Robson are going to be significantly more expensive compared to similarly configured personal computers without this technology.

 
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