AMD scores huge 7-round TKO over Intel in dual-core benchmarks

AMD scores huge 7-round TKO over Intel in dual-core benchmarks

Summary: The news keeps getting worse for Intel when it comes to arch nemesis AMD.  The last time I checked in on AMD's rising star, the company's Turion mobile processor was holding its own against Intel's Pentium M.

TOPICS: Processors

The news keeps getting worse for Intel when it comes to arch nemesis AMD.  The last time I checked in on AMD's rising star, the company's Turion mobile processor was holding its own against Intel's Pentium M.  In the last month alone:

  • AMD served more than 15 companies with subpoenas as of part of its antitrust lawsuit against Intel (as Microsoft just recently proved, all it takes is one employee to make have made a dumb mistake to spark serious legal concerns).  Intel has to be worried that there's a bent needle or two in that subpoena haystack.   To make matters worse, VoodooPC founder Rahul Sood came forward to to say that Intel was using strong-arm tactics to influence the Canadian PC manufacturer's AMD vs. Intel balance of offerings.
  • AMD reported big financial results.  According to's Michael Kanellos, "Advanced Micro Devices saw sales jump 23 percent and net income rise by 72 percent in the third quarter, thanks to increasing demand for PCs combined with greater acceptance for its products." In addition, AMD surpassed Intel in sales in the US retail channel and announced that it expects 2006 to be a banner year.
  • News surfaced that AMD's newest fab should go a long way towards wiping out shipping delays that have dogged the company while allowing it to participate in segments that the company's current manufacturing capacity simply couldn't service.
  • Dell  became a channel for AMD's chips.  Although the chips are not yet included in any of the Austin-based PC-maker's systems, the company claimed it that it started to sell AMD's chips because customers were demanding it.  Well, if customers are demanding it, and the AMD-Dell relationship now officially involves cash flow, the next logical step if that cash flow proves to be signficant (and considering the aforementioned retail sales data) is pretty obvious.
But if that news isn't bad enough for Intel (and good for AMD), now comes this: AMD's 7-round clean sweep technical knockout in ZDNet's comparative review that benchmarked the two companies' dual-core offerings against each other.  When I saw how the review was going to be a 7-round test of sorts, I completely expected AMD to win a round or two.  As I paged through the review and AMD won one round after another after another, I thought for sure that Intel would eventually get on the scoreboard.  But it never did.  In this David and Goliath matchup, the gloves have clearly come off.  And David is winning.

Topic: Processors

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • AMD Rocks!

    Clearly, this is a company who saw an opportunity, took it and is profiting from innovation and excellent engineering.
  • focus on tech, not marketing, yields good results

    I have been using AMD as my preferred CPU in home systems for years now, and I am finally able to convince management to invest in a non-intel server for testing at the workplace for a performance benefit.

    AMD has worked hard in the past few years and finally is paying off.
  • Excellent!

    AMD is the only way to go.

    Better performance, better price, uses less power, runs cooler, stable.

    Why would a thinking person choose anythng else?
    Tim Patterson
    • Speaking from personal experience.....

      The notebook I'm testing Vista64 on is an Acer Ferrari system with a Turion and, I know it's not entirely AMD's fault, but this system requires a lot of cooling. It's a very big chassis (theoretically, more room to breath than the typical system Turion is targeted at). Also, there's the issue that AMD processors are not available in every system. For example, if like the fact that Lenovo's Thinkpads and some of Dell's notebooks have a Trusted Platform Module in them (TPM) along with some of their other enterprisy features, going the AMD route may involve some serious compromises. So, while the benchmarks are very impressive, I can see where some "thinking people" might choose something else.

      • Well...

        It's all a matter of opinion based on wants/needs.

        In about a month I'll be replacing my old P4 based notebook with a Turion based model. Unfortunately it looks as if I'm going to have to pay the "Windows tax" even though I'll be formatting it and installing 64-bit SuSE 10.

        Your points may be valid concerning the notebooks David but I've built many desktops and AMD is clearly the best choice in that arena. Speaking from personal experience.
        Tim Patterson
        • No argument with that...

          my point is, that some "thinking people" as you've identified could be justified in their decision to go with Intel.

          • But..

            I stand by the question and it's implications as it relates to desktops. Based on extensive personal experience.
            Tim Patterson
          • OK, but the original post...

            excluded that all important desktop qualifier.

      • I have to agree, my laptop is celeron-d

        as much as I am a die-hard amd desktop fanboy, I chose a toshiba celeron-d based mulitmedia laptop after some extensive research of the under $1k range...
        • Shoulda done more homework

          If you went with the Toshiba Celeron D for an under 1K, you should have done a little more homework. I went with the HP Pavilion ZV6131. AMD Athlon 3200 64 bit processor, 100 gig HD, 512 megs RAM (would have preferred 1 gig, but can't argue), 15.4 widescreen, built in wireless and wired networking, fast video with 128 megs DEDICATED RAM (as opposed to system shared), firewire port, 3 USB ports, built in 6-in-1 digital card reader, S-Video out, Altec Lansing speakers that rock, PCI Express port, and DVD Burner. All that for under $1000. I have a nice Dell Latitude work laptop that I bring home and the HP is much better. It runs cooler, it's faster, and just in general is a nicer experience. My wife agrees. She likes the HP better too.

          I also have 2 other PCs in the house that are AMD machines, one is a server. Both just seem to run things faster than the Intel processor machines I have, even though the Intel machines cost more, have faster processors, etc.

          My own experience has left me as an AMD fan simply because I can get them cheaper and have had better luck with them as far as dependability and durability are concerned.
          • Well was a good deal at the time

            It was a Satellite M45-S165, Celeron-M 1.5g (not D, my bad) on sale for $799 over the summer at Best Buy (of all places), very similiar to yours w/o the dedicated video mem or 6-1 card reader.

            Was my first Intel-based system purchase since my PII-500 way back when...
  • Finally!

    For some reason the "tel" part of the Wintel monopoly never gets enough attention or is submerged in lickspittle adoration of Andy Grove. At last AMD is getting really aggressive about breaking the stranglehold Intel has had for too long.

    This is the best news posted here in a long time.
  • That benchmark was truly interesting...

    If it were a fight, the referee would have probably stopped the match. It's sort of amazing how far AMD has come.

    The interesting thing is, if they ever supplant Intel in the Wintel alliance, what would they call it? AMDows? WinMD? WMD?
    Third of Five

      I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks for that bit of humor on this Friday.

      • Beware

        the Windows of Mass Destruction!
  • Home users with dual core?

    Given the emphasis on inexpensive devices in that market, seems the only ones who might be interested in that comparison are gamers. And the article notes that games are not yet optimised for dual cores.

    And a 64-bit chip?
    When is 64-bit supposed to dominate the market?

    And then I'm not sure about the significance of the differences shown. On the "normal" jobs considered, is the difference seconds or minutes?
    Context appreciated.

    This isn't disagreeing with the conclusion, only wondering about some of the assumptions and meaning of the numbers.

    And, by the way, think Apple is regretting its choice?
    Anton Philidor
    • The future..

      [b]Given the emphasis on inexpensive devices in that market, seems the only ones who might be interested in that comparison are gamers. And the article notes that games are not yet optimised for dual cores.

      And a 64-bit chip?
      When is 64-bit supposed to dominate the market?[/b]

      While it may be true that 64 bit computers are probably more machine than necessary for the basic mundane tasks like writing letters, email and such, new and faster technology can and usually opens up NEW avenues that no one ever thought of "back in the day..." New technology sometimes comes out of the blue and is a bit ahead of itself. That doesn't make it something to avoid.

      The 64 bit chip will dominate more and more as time goes by. It's day will come - and it will someday be supplanted by 128 bit chips.

      One of my hobbies is video editing and encoding... Back a few years ago, I set up a box dedicated to it that ran a Pentium 1, 233 MHz chip. It took about 13 HOURS to encode a 45 min video clip. The same task takes about 2 1/2 hrs to do the same task on an Athlon 2000+ (1.5 GHz). On an Athlon 64 single core 3500+ (2.2 GHz), the task takes about an hour or less.

      [b]And, by the way, think Apple is regretting its choice?[/b]

      Not quite yet...

      The Pentium M (which, surprisingly is essentially a Pentium 3 mobile chip on steroids) still dominates AMD's mobile offerings. In fact, in some cases, it blows the doors off of it's desktop counterparts (both Intel and AMD) with clock cycles to spare. Of course, Intel won't tell you that directly, but hopefully, they've seen the error of their Pentium 4 ways.

      Much of Apple's interests in Intel lay in the mobile processor arena. Their pet peeves with IBM/Motorola was in a.) a lack of a mobile G5 processor and b.) limited supplies of G4 and G5 processors. For the moment, Apple will be more than content with their contract with Intel. Apple was never really about speed, it's been about style. As long as Intel can keep 'em supplied with Pentium M's, I'm sure they'll be happy.
      • P-III versus P-IV

        Hey! I still remember when I replaced a dual P-III-750 server with a Dual P-IV-2800 server that was maybe 20 to 40% faster in CPU testing.

        The P-III was a great chip. The P-IV was still born, and no one seemed to notice.
      • The test was completed now.

        Even if you're right about the future dominance of dual-core and 64-bit chips, I think you acknowledge that their use for ordinary pueposes is far in the future.

        Seems to me the test is saying AMD is better prepared now for what can be expected to happen a number of years from now.

        But for those who did the test to pretend that what they're saying is relevant right now appears plain wrong.
        Anton Philidor
      • Not about speed?

        I agree with you about most things (your experience with encoding video pretty much mirrors mine), but Apple was never about speed? Granted, Macs were always put forth as a better user experience (your mileage may vary - I had more trouble with my Mac running OS 9 than my Win98 machine). But I remember Steve Jobs saying that the fastest Macs smoked the fastest Windows-based machines, even though the clock speed was much slower. When it was proved that many of those claims weren't true, then it become solely about style and the user experience. Take anything some one trying to sell you something tells you with a grain of salt. Especially corporate types like Gates or Jobs. And that includes the heads of Intel and AMD.