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AMD vs. Intel, Will the Best CPU Please Stand Up?

AMD vs. Intel, Will the Best CPU Please Stand Up? - PCSTATS
Abstract: Age has mellowed my thirst for speed, and my upgrade schedule has slowed to a yearly pace, but that doesn't mean I'm settling for any less. (Summer 2006)
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel / AMD Jun 14 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > Intel / AMD

There once was a world of two desktop processors

In the last few years I've witnessed a lot of fan hardware sites pop up and primarily praise one manufacturer while vilifying the other. I don't see much of a point to this since every company has its own distinctive strengths and weaknesses. In the computer world, brand loyalty is useless; there are no frequent buyer points or discounts for returning customers after all, now are there? Now it's not my job to tell you what to buy, but rather try and give you enough information to make an informed decision on what's probably going to be the best solution for your situation.

As it stands right now, AMD's Athlon64 architecture is better than anything that Intel has to offer, plain and simple. The current Intel platform simply runs too hot, too slow, or is considerably more expensive than its AMD performance equivalent. The direction Intel is headed certainly looks promising considering the mud is licking its fenders right now, but those processors aren't available yet. As enticing as early 'Conroe' samples appear, let's not rush to judge. After all delays can pop up anywhere at anytime. Remember 90 nanometre!?

All of Athlon64's success cannot be attributed to AMD alone, and I have to give credit where credit is due. nVIDIA has done a fairly phenomenal job at making the transition from a VGA company to motherboard chipsets. Of course this partnership can disintegrate at any time now that nVIDIA also spits out chipsets for Intel. Will this spell doom for AMD's success in the long run, and will ATI ever decide to issue an attractive K8 chipset of its own? These are the questions I'm left wondering.

AMD has dramatically improved the quietness and reliability of its retail heatsinks, and durability of its processors from just over two years ago. Intel has tried to make the best of a bad situation; with the Netburst architecture essentially stalled it has moved towards parallelism (multi core) for more performance. Intel's large enough to suffer the financial impact of such problems, and it's reassuring to see its next generation processor is not being rushed out the door. Intel's 'Conroe' core looks like it may be a force to contend with, but it's way to early to call that fight. We'll see next year.

So where does all of this opinion leave you? You're struggling with a decision and I'm talking about a bunch of seemingly unconnected issues. The question should be simple; AMD or Intel, Intel or AMD?

So, which will it be?

I think if you need to buy a computer in the very near future, gravitate towards a PC based on AMD's Athlon64 processor. It's simply superior to Intel's current Pentium 4 or Pentium D or Pentium XE processors. The Athlon64 trails a little when it comes to multitasking, but it's not behind by much.

Now, if you're planning on a new computer in eight months to a year's time from now, then I don't recommend Intel, or AMD. The way things are going now, both companies are involved with massive changes to their computing platforms, and there isn't a clear winner to side with right now. You'll be better of waiting and see how the next AMD VS. Intel war turns out... Just remember though, it's an eternal struggle and you'll need to choose a side at some point. Right now AMD simply kicks Intel's offerings out of the arena.

The Last Word Goes To.... You.

What do you think of the current AMD vs. Intel situation? If your opinion differs from mine, feel free to press your case by using PCSTATS feedback page - we read every single comment that comes in.

(PS. For the record, after a few Intel Pentium 4 systems over the last couple years my latest rig packs an AMD Athlon64 processor, and it's totally sweet.)

Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest reviews right here.

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- The Art of Overclocking; Is It For You?
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- How to Fry a 1.4GHz Athlon in 4 seconds.
- Experience Crusoe vs. Intel Inside

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Editorial News»

 

Contents of Article: Intel / AMD
 Pg 1.  AMD vs. Intel, Will the Best CPU Please Stand Up?
 Pg 2.  Step 2: Heat and Reliability
 Pg 3.  Step 4: The Forgotten Factor is the Chipset
 Pg 4.  — There once was a world of two desktop processors

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