CNet has up an article looking at the lucrative virtual world market
for processor companies. An Intel developer forum held in San Francisco this week highlighted the opportunities for selling hardware to both consumers and vendors in the VW marketplace. "[Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner] showed statistics that indicated a PC's processor bumps up to 20 percent utilization while browsing the Web, while its graphics processor doesn't even break above 1 percent. But running Second Life--even with today's coarse graphics--pushes those to 70 percent for the main processor and 35 to 70 percent for the graphics processor, he said. The Google Maps Web site and Google Earth software pose intermediate demands. Running a virtual worlds server is vastly more computationally challenging, though, when compared with 2D Web sites and even massively multiplayer online games such as Eve Online. An Eve Online server can handle 34,420 users at a time, but Second Life maxes a server out with just 160 users."