AMD and Intel goes head-to-head, in my inbox

AMD vs IntelWith an amusing coincidence of time, AMD and Intel decided to battle out their PR strategies, in my email inbox. Earlier today, Intel pushed a press release titled “The 4 on 4 Myths for April 4th” into my inbox – highlighting some myths about quad-core processors and why they rock. No less than 3 hours later, AMD also pushed a press release, “AMD releases performance benchmarks on upcoming 3 GHz Opteron processor” – highlighting why it rocks too, and why you shouldn’t listen to the Intel guy. It was like watching two kids arguing why they’re better than the other.

I thought I’d share some of that with you. From the Intel front,

Misperception #2: My systems are already equipped with Dual-Core – now I have to take the time and effort to install Quad-Core?

Advanced technology adoption is not a problem. Quad-Core is easy to install, with drop-in compatibility with Intel’s previous Dual-Core platform. This also makes it easier on data center managers by streamlining the path to server consolidation. In fact, business data centers can achieve significant cost savings/server thanks to the optimal utilization, lower power consumption, and lower software costs of Quad-Core systems.

By the way, you forgot that people actually have to buy the processors. So in fact, it really should be “now I have to take the time, effort and a loan to install Quad-Core”.

Misperception #4: Intel’s Quad-Core is ugly, and far from elegant

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When performance is as great as it is today, customers don’t care about the intricacies of how the cores are connected inside the CPU package. Intel’s solution allowed a much faster time to market and Intel will have shipped more than a million of them before any other x86 competitor has shipped a sizeable volume. Using Intel’s industry-leading 65nm manufacturing technology also allows for smaller die size, better yields and lower cost. This also means better supply. So, it is a careful choice of performance, schedule and cost. Intel is already demonstrating 45nm processors which will further its lead in processor performance, innovation and nanotechnology.

I’m not too sure the aesthetics of a piece of silicon should be regarded as one of the biggest misperceptions of this CPU. I’m sure once you’ve smothered it with thermal paste, mounted it under a brick-weight heatsink and fan, that the elegance of a computer processor might be the least of your concerns. Although my AMD Athlon is pink, just for your information.

Intel makes some pretty bald statements. What does AMD have to say?

Wow, right in the face! I guess rivalry has reached new heights.

16 insightful thoughts

  1. I think the “ugly” one has some to do with the current Intel chips not being “true” quad-cores but rather dual dual-cores, or something. I think AMD decided not to take the route and instead go to market with true quad-core chips, which put them behind Intel for the time being.

    But, I wouldn’t take my word for it. This is a sketchy memory from an old PCMag article or something.

  2. RC, yeah, thats sounds right.
    Intel did the same thing with the first generation dual cores from them, that is (Pentium D) two single cores ‘stuck together’.
    Meant less money was spent in development/construction/deployment, meaning it was rolled out relativly fast. CoreDuo/Core2Duo AFAIK, were ‘true’ dual core.
    When it goes to 8-core, I’m sure Intel will do the same thing.

    Mike: Core2Duo seems to be ‘the best’ at the moment (save for quad core). As with all things computer hardware related, it sways between one market leader and another for most of the time…just like ATI(well, AMD) and nVidia.

  3. @Singh400: Heh, even if I wanted to, I don’t even have a motherboard new enough to support whatever they need. (Socket ABCDEFG, DDR3 etc)

  4. Who needs the fastest CPU? Seriously. For me all modern CPU’s are fast enought and there are only some percent difference in speed. I’m a satisfied AMD user since the old 5×86.

    @Brian: Most Valve customers are gamers 😉 and therefor they use less mobile pc’s where Intel is really strong.

  5. I run a Pentium D 3.0GHz processor and compared to Intel’s Core2Duo 3.4GHz, there isn’t much of a performance increase. Furthermore during Vista’s performance indexing, my processor garnishes a score of 4.8, while a faster Core2Duo earns a score of 5.0. Not much of a difference if you ask me and not much incentive to upgrade. Plus, my processor is almost 18 months old. What does this say about Intel?–I’m not quite sure, but I’m glad to see I’m getting my money’s worth for this Pentium D and will not be upgrading until I get a new computer, or upgrade everything (processor, GPU, etc).

  6. Hi Long
    Sounds like kids fighting in a playground.
    Incidentally how much did you manage to donate to your old school through the sale of that free AMD Media Centre PC? Hope you got full wack! :-)

  7. @Kev D: I never got my media center replacement. Long-story short, it got lost. But I hope to get another AMD machine in the not too distant future.

  8. Multicore with hyperthreading means the PC can run more threads at the same time. So benchmark for a processor should base on the floating point calculation. Different processors can have strength on different field and different operations. If you are a hardcore gamer, the key is the gfx card. If u r a music freak, then mp3/4 conversions are the key.

    There are many way to benchmark a processor. So it is better to look in the detail. I have a Pentium D and a Core2duo and a Opeteron. Speed wise pretty close. My C2D seems to run faster when i launch multiple applications. yay….

    ya… i am pretty broke….

  9. The design of AMD cpu’s is better in my opinion, with on-board hypertransport and the forthcoming “barcelona” evolution is clearly better than Intel’s reliance on bridging hardware, however Intel’s lead in 65nm and 45nm manufacturing allows the chips to produce more cycles per second for less input power…

    All the benchmarks tests 90nm AMD processors against 65nm Intel products – meaning that AMD should jump to a 25% or greater lead when both are made at 65nm, and Intel will probably catch up again when they go to 4Ghz and 45nm.. time will tell. As for me, I will just get a CPU that has a nice performance to $ ratio and just get a fat-ass Geforce card… i mean, geez who would buy a cpu that costs 4 or 5 times more but only gives 10% or 20% better performance?

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