Some years back, as an unworldly young IT journalist, I remember being rather taken in by the intoxicating atmosphere at an Intel press launch. I found myself surrounded by exuberant executives, all happily confident in the knowledge that their company would continue to lay down the standard for years to come.

This article appears in the September 06 issue of PC Advisor, which is available now in all good newsagents.

According to one particularly hubristic individual, Intel was actually 'slow-playing’ the market, launching brand-new chips that, as far as company insiders were concerned, were already decidedly old news. Indeed, Intel’s real technology lead was so great (according to this big shot) that, should a serious rival ever pop up, Intel would be able to strike back within six months by rolling out a chip so far ahead of the game that it would blow all competitors out of the water.

Clearly that executive was a bit out on his timing. But if he had said six years rather than months, I'd probably be phoning him up right now to ask about next week’s lottery numbers.

Intel hasn't had the best of starts to the new millennium. Despite its apparently peerless position on top of the pile in the year 2000, it’s since been forced to stomach test after test going the way of AMD, its younger and leaner rival.

But whereas every previous defeat has been greeted by the increasingly desperate riposte of 'Ah, but wait until you see our new processor range', this time Intel has actually delivered on its promise – and very handsomely, too.

Take a look at this blog, where we tell you exactly why the new Core 2 Duo processors signal Intel's grand renaissance. What's more, we'll show you the extent of their advantage. Here and here we've uncovered a couple of machines kitted out with the chips that you can buy today. These systems are so stellar they could have even the AMD faithful raising a glass to Intel's latest achievements.