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AMD vs Intel – Dual Core Showdown

AMD Challenge

Historically, Intel has had the edge in the processor market – dominating its nearest rival AMD in both market share and chip performance. However, over the last few years the tables have turned on Intel. An ever increasing number of computer manufacturers and enthusiasts (including myself) have moved over to the AMD camp seeking better performance at a reasonable price.

Now that the dual core era is upon us, is it AMD or Intel that reigns supreme? According to CNET’s recent benchmarking – there is absolutely no contest.

In a word, AMD smoked Intel in almost every possible way.

CNET writes: “After reading the round-by-round account of our dual-core desktop CPU prizefight, it should come as no shock that AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 chips are the runaway victors here, laying out the Intel Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition 840 chips pins up. If we had to call out one chip, AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 4400+ is an outstanding bargain given the competition, but as our results show, any AMD dual-core CPU will serve you better than its similarly priced Intel equivalent.”

CNET’s point total on the benchmark was AMD: 100 / Intel: 0 – but to be fair, lets take a look at some other benchmarking results.

PC World Writes: “The AMD machine was the second-fastest we’ve ever tested, with a 116 mark on WorldBench 5, easily surpassing the 95 posted by the 3.2-GHz dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 reference system that we looked at earlier.”

[H]ard OCP writes: ‘AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 is currently leading the pack in the world of dual core computing. If you are a computer user that wants to be able to heavily multitask and are into 3D gaming or content creation, you would be remiss to not purchase the AMD Athlon 64 X2 solution. Combine the overall AMD Athlon 64 X2 mega-multitasking-performance with its subtly increased power needs and its compatibility with current 939-pin Athlon 64 motherboards and AMD has what amounts to a silicon homerun with the bases loaded.”

The Bottom Line: AMD is the runaway winner in the dual core battle. In fact, AMD is so confident about their dominance that they have challenged Intel to a public performance evaluation (complete with petition) of the two chips by the end of 2005. So far Intel has not taken them up on the offer. They have even went so far as to complile a top ten list of reasons why Intel won’t accept:

10.Tried to follow their own roadmap to get to the duel
9.Decided to take the “front-side bus” to the duel; got stuck in a bottleneck
8.The “Intel Inside” stickers they used to package the cores together keep melting
7.Too busy rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
6.”Hey, we don’t expect anyone to actually buy these things!”
5.Didn’t want to compete when they realized that the duel would involve actual “rules” of fair competition
4.They couldn’t get a permit from the fire department to emit thatmuch heat
3.No systems available yet –protective clothing used by manufacturers only safe for up to 149 watts
2. Dell told them they weren’t allowed to participate
1. Moore’s Law has been replaced by “Paul’s Paradox”: the number of canceled products per year at Intel will double every year after the introduction of the AMD Opteron™processor.

Them’s fightin’ words!

If you are interested in checking out AMD’s challenge and signing the petition click here. The challenge is due to end on January 1st 2006.

Update 12/13/05:
The deadline has passed and AMD has declared victory in the head to head showdown. Check out this Nerd Approved article for more information.

Posted by Sean

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